Yet again, we started out early as the itinerary for this day included various places of interest and some shopping at the southern tip of Manhattan and Macy’s.
Our first destination was to pay the famous lady of the Big Apple a visit, Liberty. Had checked for the tour online but only to be disappointed by its closure, due to maintenance from damage caused during by hurricane Sandy months back. As such, took the subway to South Ferry station (the red line, train 1) and walked to the Whitehall ferry terminal, where we could take the free public ferry to Staten Island, en-route to see Statue of Liberty. This was the cheapest way though it wasn’t a really close enough to get a good snap shot. And a lot of people was doing this so getting a good view point was important.
The ride to Staten Island was about 25mins and as soon as we arrived, we took the U-turn and lined up on the departure side for a second viewing of the statue (and because we weren’t visiting Staten Island anyways).
After the ferry ride, we took the subway to 9/11 memorial where the twin towers last stood. It was a little chilly and there was a line already forming, though moving slowly. With the printed tickets, it was pretty easy to access the site, though there were strict security checks as expected. Within the memorial park, there were 2 reflecting pools, indicating the location of the fallen towers. Quite a crowd within the park itself, and without a guide, we simply roamed around the area. There were some some pieces of structures belonging to the towers that were kept within a glass building but it wasn’t open for viewing. We left after a while to the nearby memorabilia store and then onward to the next destination.
We figured that walking to Brooklyn Bridge was manageable and so we did. Went through the towering buildings of the financial district and 20mins later, we arrived at the one end of the bridge and walked towards the first main tower of the bridge, along with hordes of people.
From the bridge, we can see the skyline of Brooklyn, with lines of cars moving beneath our feet on this mega structure linking the 2 islands. Left the windy location for South Street Seaport area for yet another round of NYC shopping.
It was an easy walk though a little long (20mins) as there weren’t really a straightforward route. As we approached closer to the area, we noticed that many of the shops were closed. There were signs indicating that the rebuilding after Sandy was still ongoing and not expected to be opened anytime soon. This disappointment was harder since one of the other A&F store was here and we were really looking forward to visiting for some merchandise and unfortunately it was still closed.
We moved closer to the pier and there was a shopping mall converted from former docks warehouses, called Pier 17. Went there for late lunch and some shopping. The view of the Brooklyn Bridge was great from the mall.
Hopped onto the subway back to Empire State Building, where we were hoping to checked out King Kong’s view of Manhattan skyline atop of NYC. There was another choice in the form of the Rockefeller Center, but somehow this popular building drew our fancies more. Entered the building and there were signage to direct people to the ticketing office and the queue. There was an express queue with a price but we figured that we would not spend that much more and rather wait it out in the queue. It was almost a 30mins to the ticketing and another 20 to the top, through a specific elevators. Whatever the price or time, it was definitely worth it in the sunset.
We chose to include option of visiting the 360 observatory at the 102nd floor although the original 86th storey that gave visitors a choice of fresh cold air was also good. There were less people up on the 102nd and more space for panorama phototaking, though glass reflection might be an issue. Another elevator brings visitor from 86th to the 102nd.
After having enough of the sunset and trying to identify the various landmarks, we made our way to the last shopping destination of the day, at the huge Macy’s. It was really amazing to see escalators made out of wood and taking them to the different shopping floors. Ended the day with some custom built burgers for late dinner at modern designed the Counter.