It is strange for me to go back to New York. It feels like a completely different time in my life, so distant, and yet oh so familiar. I was again reminded of everything I loved, and everything I hated about that place. As the cliche goes, it's a fun place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there! And I did for over 6 years! I had given Marty's parents a list of things to do, catered to the idea that they've never been there, and probably will never go back again. We did everything we could on that list in a day and a half. It was kind of nice to play the tourist, though there were times I was acutely aware of how touristy we all looked, it just made me giggle inside.
A word about the photography (yes, it's my obsession lately). But I'm starting to get really frustrated by it. This was not the first time that I had high hopes for taking some awesome pictures, and ended up sadly disappointed. Everything seemed just right, it was a gorgeous day, and we were going to be in some picturesque locations, so I just knew I'd get some awesome, potential Christmas Card worthy shots. Nope, didn't happen. Not unless you think a great Christmas Card photo would be the back of Oliver's head. Sigh. It takes more than a fancy camera to get good pictures, that's for sure. But I'm going to blame the crowds, the toddler-tude, and the distractions, and not the skills of the photographer!
So instead of gorgeous photos, a travelogue...
On the train to NYC, cuddling with Grandma
Having lunch at Katz's Deli, the New York institution where Sally got all excited in When Harry Met Sally. Oliver is ready to eat, pickle in one hand, fork in another. Sitting between Grandma and Uncle Dan (Marty's brother).
Riding on the subway. Doesn't my hair look fabulously shiny?!
Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge: Dan, Pop-pop, Grandma, and Oliver pretending like he's asleep so he doesn't have to pose for a picture.
The back of my head again, it's my best feature, really.
Save me Grandma!!
Get me away from the paparazzi!
After hanging out in the park for a while, we ended up walking back across the Brooklyn Bridge and over to Ground Zero. Though I lived in NYC on 9/11, I had not been to that part of town since then, and while it looks just like a construction site now, the vastness of it is overwhelming.
Exhausted from all the walking, we took the subway back to our hotel to rest and freshen up before dinner. We ate at John's Pizzeria on 44th Street, a favorite place when I lived here. It was still as good, and kid-friendly too!
The rest of the day was a whirlwind of touristy activities, and not much photography. After Oliver had completely explored the huge Toys R Us, we headed down to Macy's to see the Christmas decorations and the window displays. Then on to the Empire State Building for a trip to the top, only to change our minds when we realized how short of time we were running. A quick lunch, some t-shirt shopping, and we headed to Rockefeller Center. The scaffolding was still up on the tree, but the rest of the decorations were nice.
Then Marty and his Dad ran back to Times Square to get our bags from the hotel, and we went to St. Patrick's Cathedral for a peek. Then we booked it on to Grand Central and speed-walked all the way to the last car on the train before finding a seat. We didn't want to miss that train or we would have been fighting with commuters for space. We made it just in time.