Live from New York: Tuesday

Ready for the dayTuesday morning we slept in til 9. After a quick breakfast in the hotel, we headed out for the nearest tour bus stop. The plan was to take the bus to the south end of Manhattan (which locals pronounce mun-HAT-in, not MAN-HAT-in as I’ve always done). Bryant Park On the way to the stop, we passed through Bryant Park. There were no takers for ping pong in the arctic chill that was inflicting New York this week. But sparrows and pigeons fluttered cheerily around the deserted iron chairs that sat beneath bare sycamores. And the skating rink in the center of the park was full of skaters undeterred by the cold.

Bryant Park skating

We sat at the edge of the rink watching for a bit, then headed off to our bus stop. Climbing up to the top level of the bus, I was really wishing the bus was heated. But at least today we’d been smart, and loaded on multiple layers of clothing. The three of us also crammed together into a 2-person bench seat, to maximize body warmth.

It was interesting to see how the personalities of the different tour guides changed the flavor of the tour. Monday’s tour guide spent the tour kicked back in the back of the bus with his feet up on the seat in front of him. His tone was drawling and slightly cynical, though thoroughly informative and entertaining. Today’s guide was equally knowledgeable, but he bounded from front to back of the bus like a Golden retriever, poking fun, cracking jokes, and drawing riders into conversation.

NYC's bestIt was noon by the time we got to the ferry.  Yesterday’s tour guide had claimed that the best Italian sausage in New York could be had at a little concession stand on Broadway 2 blocks from Battery Park.  Our bus let us off right there, and so lunch was an easy choice:  Italian sausage for John, a Philly cheese steak for me, and a hot dog for our girlie. It took some serious bundling to stay warm as we waited for our lunch to cook. It was about then that I discovered that a scarf around the head, though not high fashion, is extremely warm.  I was cold enough not to care about the fashion thing.

Scarves

We headed around the corner to Starbucks where we added coffee and cocoa to our lunch menu, then sat indoors to eat.  Once lunch was taken care of, we headed for the Battery Park ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  We went through a security checkpoint, then were herded into a big slightly-warmer-than-outdoors white tent to wait for our ferry.

LibertyFortunately we were close to the front of the pack, and we were able to find a seat indoors.   By then I was seriously sick of being cold, and although the ride was only 20 minutes or so, riding in the windy outdoors didn’t appeal. Liberty Island was fun– John had a great time getting pictures of Lady Liberty, and the bright blue sky was the perfect backdrop.

FerryNapBack on the ferry headed for Ellis Island it was already mid-afternoon.   Our little one had been cheery all day, but as soon as we got onto the ferry she fell asleep.  At 40 pounds, she is getting pretty big to carry for any length of time, and I knew she needed a nap.

I was wondering if we should just skip Ellis Island and head back to our hotel.  John was good-natured about the idea. But as those historic buildings on Ellis Island got closer, and I saw my husband looking with such interest, I just couldn’t skip it.  This is exactly the kind of thing he loves to do on a trip, and I wasn’t sure he’d get a chance again, at least not for awhile.

Ellis Island immigrant luggageJohn carried her off the boat, still sleeping, and around the main building for awhile as we looked at some of the displays. When his arms started complaining, we looked for a place for me to sit with her. That’s when we found there was a small movie theater in the building, with a documentary about Ellis Island just about to begin.  I sat happily watching the presentation with my sleeping girl draped across me and the seat next to me.   John explored the rest of the exhibits, and then joined us for the last few minutes of the movie– a perfect solution.

The movie got done just in time for us to hop back on the ferry for Manhattan.  Then it was back on the bus to our hotel.  For dinner, after a bit of wandering around to see our options, we settled on a Brazilian-Portugese restaurant 5 doors down from our hotel.

To begin we had cream of black bean soup that was amazingly wonderful– I am going to make it at home one of these days. Then John chose a chicken dish with mangos and bananas in a fruity cream sauce.  I opted for fried chicken with yellow rice and peas– delicious.  Our 5 year old had nibbles of all of it, but ended up liking my chicken and dessert– chocolate mousse– the best.  It was a lovely meal, one that had me googling Brazilian recipes soon after.

Heading back to our hotel, we were sad to realize we only had half a day left of our trip.  But we were glad we’d fit so much into our time.

Ellis Island

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  1. Do you have the cookbook, “Extending the Table?” It’s great for tried and true ethnic recipes.

  2. Hi there! Such a wonderful trip.
    I’m with you on the Brazilian food- I spent some a couple of months in Brazil and the food- oh the food…. Now I’m still looking for recipes….if you do find any good recipes please link or post 🙂

    Congratulations on all your new adventures- how exciting!

  3. You’re awesome of letting your hubby get off at Ellis Island. We only had 50 minutes there, when I could have spent a day or two; someday I’ll go back…