Early morning NYC, there is nothing like it. The city wakes early with deliveries, street cleaning, people out washing their sidewalks, walking to work or perhaps returning from last nights outing. They stop for bagels or some other walkable sandwich on their way. It’s 5:30 AM, the streets are yet to fill with yellow cabs and cars speeding and honking. You can safely cross against the red lights.
Ess-A-Bagel is only 11 blocks away (5 little blocks and 6 big ones.) They were recommended by the hotel front staff, and by Daniel back in California. I wanted a good New York bagel, and found one. Chewy, good crust and REAL cream cheese. When I had a “New York” bagel in Chicago they used whipped cream cheese. They didn’t have a clue when I asked them if they had any “real” cream cheese. Oh, the little pleasures.
What a difference a couple of hours make. At 10:00 the streets were filled with cars, trucks and people. Horns blaring with desperation to make the next light. Drivers signalling with a finger rather than a blinker. The white walking figure at the stop lights are apparently a suggestion rather than a law.
After breakfast we walked up to Central Park. I wanted to see the John Lennon
“Strawberry Fields” memorial park. The park was bigger than I expected but was filled with tour groups. I guess it was to be expected, but was a little disappointing. A couple of musicians were spaced around playing Lennon songs. That was nice. We spent a few minutes there then walked back down Central Park West towards Times Square where we picked up a Hop On – Hop Off bus. As part of our room package we had two tickets for this tour. We had never done a double decker bus tour and found a lot of fun. It didn’t hurt we had a very entertaining tour guide and we had just walked about 30 blocks and were eager to sit for an hour or so.
We got off at Houston Street and walked twelve blocks to Katz’s Deli. We lunched there before but just had to go back again. The Katz brothers developed a gold mine with their deli. Too bad they died 50+ years ago and probably didn’t glean the profits seen today. (A roast beef on rye costs $20 and the line was outside and down the block. Do the math.)
After lunch we walked back up to Houston (you all know its pronounced House-ton, right?) As we were walking along Fran noticed a sign designating Peretz Square. After reading the description Fran confirmed it was named for an ancestor of her Aunt Selma’s cousin. There! A little more history of Fran’s family, even if through marriage.
When we arrived at the Nike store we waited just a few minutes then hopped back on the bus. It continued its route down to Wall St, the Ground Zero memorial then back up along the Hudson River. The entire tour usually takes about 3 hours, we spent well over 4. Oh well, as I said, it was interesting, although the second tour guide wasn’t as much fun.
Returning to Times Square it was raining pretty hard. I felt bad for the body painted models. They use water based paint. All that beautiful artwork, down the drain. Literally. Sorry guys and gals*, no pics. FB would probably disapprove. We walked down and picked up our tickets for Kinky Boots tonight. Now we rest a bit before deciding on where to go to dinner.
* I use the phrase “guys and gals” with affection, not affront. I have enough friends of both sexes who would appreciate viewing these women I didn’t want to excluded anyone. If I offend, please believe it was unintentional.