Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Miles and Miles in Manhattan

It felt a little like the National Lampoon's tour of the Louvre, but we managed to see more of NYC in four days than I have seen in my previous three trips there combine. We averaged about 10 miles of walking per day, and I have the pictures of friends sleeping in parks, on trains and at restaurants to prove it.

I'll spare you the 281 pictures I took and share just one favorite spot from each of the four days.

I loved our time at the NYC Public Library's outdoor reading room in Bryant Park. While we were sitting there, it began pouring rain. So we all huddled under an umbrella and talked about books and past vacations and mutual friends. It ended up being one of the best hours of the trip.

While I had seen Liberty and Ellis Islands from a distance on the Stanton Island Ferry on a previous visit to NYC, I had never before visited the islands themselves. All the time I was there, I kept thinking: "Did my great-grandfather sleep in this bed?" "Did my great-grandmother rest on this bench?" "Did my great-uncle lean against this pillar?"

There is something magical about the Brooklyn Bridge. Think of the engineering feat it took to construct it, the millions of people who have walked across it, the ships that have sailed beneath it and the art that has been inspired by it. It was also the perfect way to work off the slice of Junior's Cheesecake we had just eaten.

Our last stop was Central Park, and what an experience. Of course we timed it perfectly with the Puerto Rican Day Parade, so we ended up adding about 5 miles to our planned trip to get around the parade rout. But we met some great people who invited us to their party in the Bronx, which we had to decline as we were leaving the city in just a few hours.

An exhausting trip, but a great trip. I'm so glad we had a chance to see the city together. I'm really hoping we'll be able to do a trip like this again soon.

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