We took the train back into NYC today for a family sight-seeing trip. We started off with lunch at Chelsea Market - hummus and pita from Dizengoff, chocolates from Li-lac, and ice cream from Ronnybrook farms: yum!
Then we took a taxi down to the World Trade Center site to see the 9-11 memorial and museum. The reflecting pools were peaceful and a fitting memorial, but both Steve and I found the museum to be too sad - we could not stay for long.
We wandered further downtown to Battery Park and saw the Statue of Liberty in the harbor, then walked up to Wall St. and the statues of the bull and girl, and then took the subway to Washington Square park. We saw the arch, splashed in the fountain, played on a play structure, and watched a chess match. And then we walked to the East Village for Motorino pizza and Momofuku pork buns: yum! (As a side note, my phone says we walked about 7 miles over the course of the day.... tired feet and grouchiness by the end.)
After dinner, our final stop was the Empire State Building - it was a gorgeous night to be up there seeing the towers and streets of the city all around us.
Steve and I left the kids with Grandma (thank you!) and took the train into the city this afternoon. We started at Union Square and walked for miles, stopping to eat, window-shop, and people-watch at various places downtown. We wandered through Washington Square, Greenwich village, Soho, Little Italy, Chinatown, and then Bryant Park and Times Square as evening approached. And of course, since it wouldn't be an Avery/Raab date without grazing, we stopped at various food places to nosh on things - Num Pang sandwiches, Breads Bakery babka, Kee's chocolates, Van Leeuwen ice cream, and soba noodles and sake for dinner at Cocoron. It was just fun to be there again and to see all the different people and vibrant street life of lower Manhattan.
On Tuesday we drove to Westchester to visit our old haunts - to see the apartments we'd lived in, to play in the waterfront parks, to eat at some favorite bakeries and restaurants, and to walk the grounds of Rockefeller State Park and Stone Barns. It was a beautiful day to be outside walking around, and I was reminded of how much we liked living in the rivertowns.
At Matthiessen Park in Irvington, which seemed somehow smaller... as if I'd been a child last time I was here. I think it's just that my children are bigger and cover ground more quickly, although it could be I've been spoiled by Portland's huge parks.
The new Tappan Zee bridge rising over the Hudson River - it's gorgeous.
Some things haven't changed - at the sound of the train whistle, Sebastian ran to the fence to see the MetroNorth and Amtrak trains approaching the station. All day long, he was excited every time a train sped by. It reminded us so strongly of when he was tiny and could watch trains for hours.
Lunch at a new BBQ spot in Irvington - so good!
with Rip Van Winkle, creation of Washington Irving
Our old apartment building!
We drove over to the Rockefeller State Park Preserve and then walked the trails to Stone Barns farm - we saw horses, cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, and sheep - it was very nostalgic to be back on those trails with my kids, admiring the animals.
After Stone Barns, we stopped in Tarrytown for ice cream cones at Main Street Sweets and then returned to Irvington's waterfront park to enjoy the early evening. We watched a baseball game under the lights, played at the playground, and admired New York City in the distance.