Saturday, 27 December 2014

New York Part 9

Lady Liberty in the distance on this beautiful day
With a late start scheduled for the day, Jo and I went in search of the Army Disposals store to get a duffel bag for me to carry my goodies home in, but it was shut on Saturdays. We walked a few blocks just having a look around, and seemed to find 'handbag alley' - all these handbag shops that were wholesale only, which begs the question - why pay for retail frontage?! I no understand. We found breakfast at a bakery we had walked past all week on our way to FIT, then met up with group and caught the subway down to Battery Park, where we thought we needed to be to catch the Circle Cruise. The park was lovely, and we could see the Statue of Liberty from there, but the cruise did not leave from there - it left from somewhere very close to where we had started out! No matter. We walked
Battery Park
up to the 9/11 memorial site, and saw the new OneWorld Tower. It is a beautiful building, and the memorials, two large water features on the footprints of the two towers, were quite macabre, with water flowing into a black hole in the centre of each. They very much suit the purpose.

World Trade Centre Memorial
We caught the subway back to town and some of us went to the Bryant Park markets. I hadn't eaten since breakfast, it was now nearly 2pm. so when we came across a heated outside bar, I was very interested! I lined up to get a drink whilst Jo found us an awesome position on two lounge chairs next to a heater - bliss! It was wonderful to sit down, it was wonderful to enjoy a beer, it was wonderful to be warm. I really enjoyed just sitting there, in no rush, drinking in the festive atmosphere.
Looking up from my seat
 On the way out we came across the stall I had been waiting to find -one with something beautiful that was essentially New York. Friction Jewellery had electroplated leaves from the parks of New York - maple, oak, elm, birch, ginko. So beautiful and special! I was immediately drawn to the enormous oak leaf - then the maple leaf, then the gingko, then the .....

We skipped gleefully back to the hotel, picking up some flowers on the way home to take to dinner that night. SantaCon, basically a Christmas costume pub crawl, was on that day, and we saw many Santas, elves, and even a Bunny!!
We were to catch the train out to Tarrytown for a full Christmas dinner hosted by Sandy and Ronnie, friends of Suze. We caught the subway to Grand Central where we bought train tickets to Tarrytown, and got to experience a fully cranky European New Yorker, who thought we were pushing into the line sideways, when really those of us who had already bought tickets were just hanging out beside the line. Loved the ticket seller, who got on his microphone, and said to the lady "Hey you, I'm talking to you, they're alright!!". I got quite pissed off with her attitude, and gave her a bit of a serve myself!!

On the train ride out we were all a bit sleepy, and not having eaten since breakfast, I was so hungry I felt sick! We were picked up by Sandy and Co at the station in super-warm cars, and driven to their beautiful house, where we were served with home-made Baileys and bubbles. Then came the stuffed mushrooms, the cheese and crackers, the prawns, the prosciutto wrapped mozzarella sticks, and Ronnie's homemade blue cheese dip. It would be fair to say that I hoovered most of that up, hence when the lovely turkey was served, I could hardly fit in a bite. Ooops! By then we had progressed onto the Apple-pie Moonshine - oh yum! That was enough dessert for me, so I did not partake in the NY cheesecake that Suze had brought, nor the beautiful torte that Ronnie had made. What a guy!! It was a beautiful evening, and the homeliness of it after a week of hotel living made me feel quite homesick for real life! We caught cabs back to the station and made our merry way home, full of Christmas Cheer. Many thanks to them for welcoming us all into their home.

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