I had zero plans for the day when I woke up, around 6am I guess. The blog was easy to put together since I’d only done Cursed Child the day before so not many photos or much to write. So what to do with a full unstructured day?
Making it up as I go along is one of my favorite things to do, which I somehow never allow enough of when I’m on vacation. I’ve learned the hard way if there are things you absolutely want to do, you better have a plan or you might miss it. Today was gloriously absent all that.
As is often the case, food comes into play. I wanted to return to Katz’s, a deli Jon and I had gone to in 2011. But that’s in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, I’m in New Jersey and I knew from signs I’d seen the day before that the buses I usually took – for commuters largely – were not running due to the July 4th holiday. The weather was going to be great so I decided to splurge and take the ferry.
But breakfast first. As I discovered on my first day here, Jersey City is not a great walking city, so I took a Lyft to a place called Sam A.M., which was close to the downtown area.
I had a simple breakfast sandwich of egg, bacon, cheddar cheese, tightly grilled. And coleslaw, because I love cabbage and you never see that on a breakfast menu so why not. All delicious.
I left the restaurant and made my way to Harborside Ferry.
This ferry had no outside seating and the windows were horribly dirty so no photo opportunities going across. I got off at Battery Park and started making my way through downtown.
Oculus is a very cool transportation hub and mall, run by Westfield. The tall black building behind it is the Millennial Hilton, where Dan and I stayed in 2017. The 9/11 Museum was open and there was a long line of people in it. If you’ve never done I HIGHLY recommend it; but you only need to do it once.
I’m always fascinated by Trinity Church and stop at it whenever I’ve been through here. The nave was closed for restoration so I couldn’t go in, but I’d never roamed the graveyard before and did some of that. The oldest grave here is from the late 1600’s.
The intersection right in front of Trinity Church. If that rings a bell at all it may be because you’ve seen the movie National Treasure.
I don’t think I’d been in this park before, but I used the subway entrance behind it just the other day. The building behind it is National Archives of New York City.
I made a detour through here just because I knew I was close and hadn’t been here since 2011.
The little boy was cute and was standing there for the longest time in various poses with the little girl statue until (I assume) his mother joined him. The statue looked familiar but somehow out of place, although I couldn’t figure out why. This article helped me out – the last time I saw it was in 2017 in front of the charging bull. Called “Fearless girl”, her purpose is to bring attention to the fact that there are so few women in leadership positions in America’s largest public companies.
I do love the public spaces in New York. This has always been one of my favorites for some reason, small but pretty and surrounded by older tall buildings with artisan architecture which you don’t see anymore, especially the one in the background which is a city administration building.
This was new to me, at the entrance to Chinatown. This is an intersection of 8 streets!
This is at the corner of Houston – here they say “Howston” – and Ludlow, and has been at or around this intersection since 1888.
You can order from the counter and seat yourself in an area to the rear right, but no guarantee you’ll get a seat in this crowd. I chose to wait and get table service. And I can’t believe I forgot to take a photo of the food! But it was as incredible as I remember it. I got a sandwich that was 1/2 knoblewurst – a garlic beef sausage that’s probably the best sausage I’ve ever had (and I Love sausage) and 1/2 pastrami. Served with a plate of pickled cucumbers and tomatoes that were amazing. Yes, I realize “pickled cucumber” sounds redundant, but on this tray some of them were so lightly pickled they were a bright green and still very much more cucumber. Super tasty and maybe even refreshing.
From Katz’s I wandered through the Villages – East, then Greenwich, then West. Couldn’t resist a stop at the Stonewall on the way through and decided to go in, which I never have. Glad I did.
It’s a nice, cozy little bar but I felt weird taking photos of the patrons. On this 4th of July you’d never know it was anything special – just people hanging out at the neighborhood bar it looked to me, just as it should. Except for the framed signs and newspaper clippings on the wall as you enter.
From there I walked to the end of Christoper Street to pick up the Hudson River Park, something I’d discovered when I stayed in this neighborhood last year. It’s a beautiful riverfront area that goes for a mile or more I’d bet. Behind me in the photo above is one of many piers converted into public play spaces of a wide variety.
I took this over to the end of the High Line on 12th, but decided I needed to rest and get something to drink. I stopped at Bubby’s, another place I’d discovered on last year’s trip (mostly by getting ice cream at the place next door!).
I knew I wasn’t eating so took the last open seat at the bar. I love hibiscus tea and loved they made it into an Arnold Palmer.
My original plan from here was to wander more of the High Line. I’ve been only on 2 small sections of it and it’s like 1.5 miles long. But I was getting pretty tired and still wanted to make my way over to Central Park. Realizing I would be back on the High Line the next day (today), I took the subway instead.
Central Park was Alive with people, moreso than usual, on this holiday with beautiful weather – about 86 degrees and humidity was low. Lots of street performers of every kind around – puppeteers, musicians, etc. I made my way over to the mall – a wide parkway lined with statues – to get to Bethesda Terrace and Fountain.
I forgot to do a selfie the day before I figured I’d make up for it.
It was close to 7pm by this point and I was pretty beat and ready for dinner. Through Yelp I found a Korean place at the top of Hell’s Kitchen with 4.5 stars so made my way in that direction.
What a great little find this was, on 10th Ave close to 56th St.
No tourists that I could tell, and the only other white guy I saw was with his Korean partner (I assume wife).
When I saw Sizzling Cheese Corn on the menu I ordered it no questions asked – everything about that sounded amazing. And I was not disappointed. I love corn, I love cheese, it was smooth melted yumminess. I have no idea how authentic that is but it sure was good!
Another questionably authentic item, but it played well to my deli theme for the day: a grilled sandwich with (only sitting here writing this did I realize I had a sandwich for every meal) beef bulgogi, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut!, grilled crisp and tight in sourdough bread. Wow. And the french fries were pretty good too. That sauce is a spicy mayo I wasn’t thrilled with. But Wow, that sandwich was terrific.
After dinner I was beyond done and made my way over to the Midtown Ferry at 12th Ave and 41st Street.
It’s remarkable to me how prominent this building seems to be regardless where you are.
I hope you all had a great 4th of July. I certainly did.