It's spring in NYC, and that means it's time for some new tips for the traveler. I love New York and it's close by and one of my favorite cities in the world. I love hanging out there, even when I don't have a plan, which was the case last week when my husband and I just hopped a train for our anniversary and headed down there.
We started out with lunch in Chinatown. H.K. Wonton Garden has about a thousand things on their menu, and they're all good. Little note for Chinatown: check out Columbus Park in spring to see the wonderful blooming trees. You can also always hear great Asian music there and if you like you can play Mah Jong. Remember when in Chinatown, eat on a side street, haggle with the shop keepers, and check out the murals.
Chinatown was heavily damaged during 9/11 and they are still working on their environment down there. It's taken years, but it looks really good now and the addition of the mural art is great.
Battery Park is already busy this season. There was already a line for the security booth to go to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. There were already a ton of people at Castle Clinton too. The newest addition to the waterfront at the Battery was the globe exhibit. New York has a wonderful arts atmosphere and in the spring, there are always a bunch of new art exhibits in the street. This is one of this year's additions. Find out more at knowtomorrow.org. This exhibit is all about conservation, global responsibility and natural resources. The globes are cool too.
And then there are the bunnies. It's called Intrude. They are currently residing at Brookfield Place, the high end mall in Battery Park City. I'm not sure about these guys, but there are a lot of them both inside and outside the mall. They are interesting, so check it out. If you're not into the bunnies, come for the sunset on the waterfront. It's fabulous.
We stopped by O'Hara's Restaurant and Pub while we were in the neighborhood like we always do. This is still my favorite place around the World Trade Center to visit. This is where a lot of rescue workers spent their down time, and the people who visit here get to see a real memorial to the great men and women who did some amazing work during that time. There are patches and memorabilia from fire and rescue, ambulance, and police organizations from all over the world. It's very moving, and the restaurant is a great place to eat and hang out as well.
Then there's Citibike. This is hands down one of the coolest things I've ever done in NYC. The waterfront is an amazing place to bike. It's $10 a day. You can't beat it. I didn't get a chance to do it this time, because of an injury, but I love it and will always recommend it.
I've been to the memorial and found it moving. I have not been to the museum yet. This trip we did stop in to see forever at the One World Observatory. I want to tell you what I saw and what I experienced and what I thought. I'm sorry if you find my views offensive.
We bought our tickets. We were guided through a hall where they ran a movie about the building, and showed us an exhibit of rocks that were simulations of the rock under Manhattan, then had a movie about the evolution of Manhattan in the elevator to the top of the building. When we reached the top of the building there was a show about the building that opened up to a view from the building, but that wasn't the observation deck yet. We entered another room where they offered to rent us an Ipad so that we could hold it up and have all the landmarks identified for just $15 dollars on top of the $32 that you pay to go up the building. Then they send you to another place where they insist on taking your picture so they can sell that to you when you come back down. I don't know the price for that. Then you follow the yellow brick road some more to a restaurant that is really more like a snack bar and bar. Then you go down a level, and there may have been many levels; I'm not sure, to the actual observation deck. There is a souvenir shop there as well.
After you walk on the camera image of the street below, you finally get to see Forever. And you can. I saw some of the most amazing scenery from up there and it was beautiful. Helpful hint: they have two stands that you can stand by and read that do the same thing the the Ipads do. You don't need to rent one.
You can even see O'Hara's from up there. Here's the thing. The tower is a cool tourist attraction. I have to give that to them. I was just under the impression that it would be more of a memorial to the buildings that used to be there. The whole event was a three ring circus and it seemed a little tacky. Just my impression. The view is beautiful. I'm glad that the building is there. I think that the memorial pools are an amazing testament to all those who lost their lives. It's just that I expected more class when I visited the observation deck. I'm glad I went. However, all things considered, I will probably not go back up there again. I might, but I doubt it. You know where I will visit again. O'Hara's.
If you like tall buildings, come to One WTC for that. You truly can see forever. If you come to see it and think that it will be a tribute, not so much. There's a museum and a memorial for that. I was just hoping that it would translate to the tower.
At any rate, it's spring in NYC. It's a great time to visit the city. By the beginning of May most things will be up and running, and New York is one of the greatest cities in the world. Enjoy!