The last day of my twenties started with a subway ride from Times Square to the site of the World Trade Center. The subway didn’t seem as efficient as the London Underground, but probably wasn’t as busy as the underground would have been at 9:00 on a Tuesday morning. The new 104 story skyscraper they are building at the site of the World Trade Center, looked suitably impressive.
From there, we walked down past the American Stock Exchange, to Battery Park , to catch the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. Even though we were earlier than the time on our pre-booked tickets, we went straight through the airport style security and onto the boat. On the 15 minute crossing to Liberty island, we got to see the iconic Manhattan skyline and tick pretzels off our street food to do list.
The sun had come out by the time we disembarked, so I was able to take some photos of the statue, unfortunately the air was a bit hazy, so I’m not sure how well the photos back to Manhattan will turn out. We started off walking around the island, admiring the statue from all angles – it is a lot bigger close up, the pedestal alone is 10 stories high and when the statue was completed it was then the tallest building in New York! Then, after another round of airport style security we got inside the pedestal, where there’s a museum showing how the statue was build and financed, which was really interesting – a lot of the funding came from private individuals in both France and the United States, and not just the upper classes. In the museum there was also as 1:1 replica of one of Liberty’s feet, with the ankle being above head height it showed the scale of the statue really well. After the museum we decided to skip the queue for the lift and climbed the 195 steps up to the top of the pedestal, for a brilliant view across the harbour.
After leaving the statue we boarded the ferry to the immigration museum at Ellis island, where we had a quick look around before catching the ferry back to Battery Park on Manhattan island. At $17 each it seemed like a bit of a bargain for a full mornings sightseeing.
By this time we were hungry, so we got the subway up to Chinatown, then walked up to little Italy, with the intention of finding some cheap pizza slices. Unfortunately, little Italy was more serious restaurants, than street food, but nevertheless we had a great lunch at the Italian Food Center.
In the afternoon we took a look at the Chrysler building, with its impressive gargoyles, then chilled out for a bit, as the combination of big lunch, jet lag and a busy morning had caught up with us.
After more cheese and wine at the hotel it was time to go out for the last meal of my twenties – the venue for this was Hill Country, a Texan BBQ restaurant. After a 30 minute walk which helped our appetites we arrived and were given our meal tickets, it was buffet style, but everything we ate was to be recorded on our tickets. An unusual concept, but it seemed to work well, and meant you weren’t forced to eat a massive portion, as you paid by weight.
I went for pork rib, beef brisket and their homemade hot sausage, Jen had pork rib, beef rib and a quarter chicken. The food was really tasty, the pork ribs were almost as good as mine and the beef brisket gives me something to aim for next summer!
After the walk back, we tried to visit the rooftop bar at the hotel, but it was closed for a private party, so we’ll have to try again after our visit to the Rockefeller Center tomorrow.