:: Friday, November 28, 2003 ::
Today, we got up early to go to New York City! Alas, it was a rainy day, a sharp contrast to the beautiful weather of yesterday. I can now say that the weather has been horrible every single time I've been to New York. We took the train from Crestwood to Grand Central Station in Manhattan. The fare was a bit much, I thought, but the train got there pretty quickly, and we met up with another friend of ours who lives in New York at the station. We then proceeded to visit the New York Public Library, the front of which appears in the film Spider-Man. We went inside and toured the incredible reading rooms, which were paneled with wood and had beautiful paintings on the ceiling. One special exhibit room had original paintings of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart, who is famous for his portraits of the president.
We then walked to Rockefeller Center, where they film the Today Show on NBC. We saw the tall building in the background, and there was the huge skating rink with the gold statue in the background. It was picture perfect, except for the pouring rain. There were actually people skating on the ice, despite the wet weather. The holiday music was playing in the background, and if it had been light snow falling instead of the heavy rain, it would have been a scene right from a movie. We walked up towards Fifth Avenue, and there was a beautiful cathedral to our right and a long line of upscale stores along the street. Eventually we passed by a cafe, where my friend introduced to us the black and white cookie, which is available only in New York. We ate our cookies after we found a subway to go to Chinatown, our next destination. The cookies were good, but they were too sweet. They were like a giant sugar cookie with sugar frosting on half of one side and chocolate frosting on the other half of that side. The subway fare has increased significantly! I was last in New York City in the spring, and the fare for an all day pass was only $4. Now, it's $7! We figured that we would only be making one round trip, so we loaded our subway passes with $4 for two one-way trips instead of purchasing a day pass.
We arrived in Chinatown and met up with another friend from school. She was also in New York for the weekend visiting a relative. We went shopping for a little bit along the little stores, and then we went to Little Italy, where we found a nice Italian restaurant for lunch. I shared a chicken Caesar salad with a friend. We then went back out to Chinatown, where my friends did some more shopping. We also were able to get some bubble tea; I really miss this drink, which is popular in Asia. I've only had the milk-tea variety, so this time I tried something different by ordering my tapioca pearls in a passion fruit, green tea drink. It was too sweet initially, but once the ice cubes melted, it was perfect... quite an exotic flavor and drink.
Subsequent to that, we hopped on the subway again and went to Times Square. It had been crowded all day in the city, despite the rain, but it was even more crowded at this time and place as everyone was getting off work and going out for shopping on "the busiest shopping day of the year." The sidewalks were jammed with people, and we moved slowly along the street. By this time, the sky had darkened, so the billboards and signs were all lit up brilliantly in true Times Square fashion. We made it to a couple of shops, and we even stopped at the Toys "R" Us store, which was so jammed we could hardly move. I've never seen a store so busy in my life. How interesting we would find ourselves in the busiest place in the busiest city on the busiest day.
The rain and the crowds were getting really bad, so after a quick visit to the Hershey's chocolate store and the Disney Store for shopping, we parted with our friends staying in New York City and walked back to Grand Central Station. On the way, we saw the Chrysler Building glowing through the fog in the sky. It was truly beautiful; I was glad to see one skyscraper today, considering that the clouds had obscured many of them through the day. We took the train back to my friend's house in Yonkers, and we had a delicious dinner cooked by my friend's dad. It was chicken breast in a salty French sauce, accompanied by rice and corn. Soon after dinner, we went to bed because we were so tired from walking around all day.
Quote of the Day: "Anyone who isn't Helen Keller can read that!"
:: SL 7:22 PM [+] ::