|Subway Wall Street Stop|
As all grandparents must do, we proceeded to spoil our grandson by first catching the subway uptown by Central Park and going to FAO Schwarz the famous toy store. Ezra (Rome) went bonkers at FAO, grabbing stuffed dogs, dinosaurs, and ponies. He would grab one then drop it when he saw the next best thing except for a stuffed horse that was about 18 inches tall and $80 which he never let go of. We got the horse, a ball, and a book before he caused anymore pocket book damage.
We had a good time visiting, but NYC is definitely not South Texas. It's true what they say that there is always something to do in NYC. It's an exciting pace, but surprisingly you can find places that give you the feeling of getting away from the crowds.
We used the subway system extensively after learning the a cab ride would only take lots more time and lots more money to get you to the same places you can get to on the subway. We would buy $20 tickets and those would be good for about two days worth of use. Once we figured out which subway to take things got easy for us. There was a subway entrance right in front of the hotel entrance, another less than half a block away, and another about two and half blocks from the hotel.
We chose our hotel based on being close to our kids places of work, but being literally right across the street from ground zero of the World Trade Center Buildings was a very sobering experience. We visited the visitor's center which showed what is being built on ground zero as well as housing artifacts from 911.
We spent four nights and five days in the Big Apple. Had a good time and enjoyed seeing our kids and our grand son, but we were also happy to get home to Mission, Texas.
|Construction at Ground Zero|
|Fire Fighter's Coat from Ground Zero|
|View of Empire State Bldg from our hotel room.|
|New York Film Academy|
NYC Weekend Restaurant Reviews:
Friend of a Farmer - Union Square: It's a delicious, family friendly brunch. Don't let the line deter you - it moves quickly. Worst comes to worst, grab a coffee from 71 Irving to keep you happy until you sit. We sat relatively quickly even while passing up open tables to wait for one where we could park sleeping-toddler-in-stroller
next to us.
(All meals taste better with child sleeping!) The raisin bread french toast with a side of sausage (and syrup over everything) was delicious, and things like french press coffee and fresh squeezed juice give you that pampered feel that really makes brunch BRUNCH.
Old Town Tavern - Union Square: Sneak your way to the back or head upstairs to find a spot to sit at this crowded, historic old-timey tavern. The wood and tin ceilings will impress you. The staff is friendly and even the dumb waiter is entertaining. Fries (both shoe string and wedge) hit the spot along with a decent beer selection.
This place is a lot like Pete's Tavern (also Union Square) but bigger and the food is not quite as good, but still a great place to go.
Oka Sushi - Financial District: Usually awesome sushi, even the vegetable dish was satisfying here. Just got into the mochi balls and they have the regulars like red bean and green tea and also mango (which is what it took to get my husband and family to enjoy the weird texture of this little treat). Toddlers enjoy the stairs, which are hidden to downstairs so you can entertain them that way if you have to.
Adrienne's - Stone Street: Split an old fashioned pizza and fight over the crispy mini pepperonis or try a modern mini pizza for a new
treat - you won't regret any way you go here - except either ordering too much or not being able to finish all the deliciousness you hoped for. If you have time before or after, head to The Vintry for a romantic or shi-shi feeling glass of wine or bourbon (get some roasted olives too) or over to The Dubliner and try their homemade namesake brew. Preggos can opt for a 2 oz. glass of wine or half-pint at each place respectively.
Cubana Cafe - Park Slope: Delicious, reasonable, and family-friendly. Any dish is delicious and each different from each other. Try some varieties of plantains, like the sweet dark
maduros or the crispy chip ones, to liven up all your choices. Mojitos will do that too, but this preggo had to pass this time.
Also, there was one more West Village Seafood/Italian joint that coincided with the end of a beautiful walk from Union Square through NYU's street and into Washington Square Park. It was the one uncrowded place in town it seemed but the food was great and we walked out (rolled out) full and happy. I'll try to remember for you.