Seeing Manhattan - but not a lot of it - in half a day

FATHER’S DAZE
Emmitt B. Feldner  for The Review

If you remember a few weeks back – and if you don’t, don’t worry about it, I usually can’t remember a few weeks back, either – I promised to continue with more tales of our trip into New York City.

Terry and I were out in my old hometown at the end of June for a niece’s high school graduation and spent one day in New York City with Alex, Julia, Aiden and two of Alex’s cousins – Lauren and Catilin.

I don’t want to say that this trip was a while back, but Kathryn, the niece who graduated from high school, is already off at college for her freshman year by now.

Anyway, the seven of us made it into the city despite the meanderings of our lead driver, Alex.

It was after noon by the time we got there, so we obviously weren’t going to get to everything in the city – if we’d tried, we’d probably still be there.

We started at the Bowery so Julia – and Aiden – could at least see the Statue of Liberty.

The rest of us, including Alex, had been to the Statue of Liberty at some earlier point in time, so we didn’t head out there this time, just admired the view of it from the shore.

The view I was admiring more was the hot dog and food vendors parked along Battery Park – like I said, it was already past noon and I, at least, was looking for something to eat, not something to look at.

We all got something to eat – nothing says New York to me like a good hot dog from a pushcart and fortunately no one betrayed the fact that they were from out of town by putting ketchup on their hot dog – and we headed for the subway to head on our way.

For Aiden, it was to be his first subway ride, but we’d already impressed upon him to stick close to all the adults even before we left the parking garage, so he did just fine.

He didn’t get to strap hang – they don’t have straps at his height – but he rode along nicely watching all the stations go by and waiting to get off when he was told to.

Our next stop was the Empire State Building, but again it was just to look – we didn’t have time to go up to the top.

A few of us, however, needed to answer a call of nature, but it turns out the only bathrooms in the lobby of the Empire State Building are inside the admission desk – and we didn’t feel like paying just for that.

Instead, we wandered into a bar next door and took turns using their facilities while the rest waited with Aiden.

From there, we went to the stop Aiden had been waiting the whole trip for – the LEGO store at Rockefeller Center.

He’d been saving up his money to buy some LEGOs there, but it turned out that he hadn’t saved enough – in fact, with the prices there, he’d have to be a Rockefeller in order to afford them.

To help make him feel better, we headed a little further uptown to the American Museum of Natural History – and yes, Aiden has seen “Night at the Museum,” so that’s why that was on the itinerary.

We did go inside, although we didn’t have time to do much more than wander through the dinosaur exhibit.

We didn’t get to see Teddy Roosevelt or Sacagawea, or any Roman Centurions or cowboys and Indians, but Aiden was happy with the dinosaurs.

By the time we finished there, it was getting pretty late and we decided to head back to the parking garage to go home.

After another subway ride – Aiden was feeling pretty much a veteran subway rider by this point – we headed for the garage.

But first, we found someplace to stop and eat – even a good New York hot dog only keeps you going for so long.

We tumbled into a little Thai place stuck on a corner on Water Street near the Battery, large enough only for a kitchen and a counter with stools along the front window, but the food was great and we did get to watch all the people and traffic going by while we ate.

There were a few places near there that I would have liked to stop in, historic places like Fraunces Tavern, but I was probably the only in the group interested in something like that and it was getting past a few people’s bedtimes.

NEXT WEEK (or whenever I finally get to it): The rest of our trip.


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