We were now over halfway through our holiday (BOOO) and hadn’t ventured onto the Subway yet, so we (well, I) decided that today would be the day.
Our Day 4 tick list:
- Get the Subway to Brooklyn
- Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
- See the Statue of Liberty
- Visit Ground Zero
- Walk down Wall Street
- Visit Battery Park
So, we’d read that there was a ‘convenient’ Subway station at the end of our road (which there was) but you could only access like, one subway line from it and I didnt fancy trying to change lines on the Subway because the entire system is bat-shit-ridiculous. So instead, we went to the 42nd Street Times Square station because it appeared to be some kind of hub that all the train lines went into.
And while we’re on the topic, can we just discuss WHY the Hell the Subway needs to be so confusing? WHY is there more than one station with the same name? WHY do the downtown and uptown trains start from “the same station”, yet those two stations are physically like two blocks apart? WHY AMERICA? Anywhoo, thanks again to my anally organised ways, I sussed out our route and it was pretty simple – like 5 stops or something, on the ‘2’ train down to York Street in Brooklyn. (TICK!)
Let me start off by saying, WE LOVE BROOKLYN. As soon as we stepped onto the sidewalk (see? I’m so American. SIDEWALK) it was like we could breathe properly again. Manhattan is so dense and insane, which I loved, but Brooklyn’s leafy quietness really appealed to us too. The Manhattan skyline from the Brooklyn promenade was so stunning, so out came the trusty ol’ selfie stick again.
We walked in the direction of the Bridge, but I had in the back of my mind something I’d read on Trip Advisor, about eating at Grimaldi’s. Apparently it’s super famous and stuff, and every review I’d read had said it was always rammed, so I didn’t hold out much hope. BUT as we approached it, I could see that actually it was pretty empty so, although it had only just turned midday at this point, I was all like MUM WE NEED TO EAT PIZZA NOW, and luckily, she was up for it. So in we went, got shown to the top floor mezzanine which had a nice view and we just revelled in the pure Amercian-ness of it all. Paper tablecloths, paper plates for your pizza and napkins to soak up the grease. We shared a “small” pizza which, as you can probably guess, was gigantic, and had a diet coke each. Could we BE more American?
It started to fill up once we were seated so it got really buzzy and awesome and cool, and basically I loved it. As we left and walked up to the Bridge, arm in arm, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of pure joy. Sounds really wanky but, I felt so….content! I couldn’t believe the trip was going so perfectly; everything was working out exactly as we had planned, and I just said to Mum “Mum…I am just so HAPPY!”, like an absolute knob. She smiled in agreement and off we went.
Walk across the Bridge was super surreal (TICK!). Not just the views, but the sheer concept that we were walking over Brooklyn Bridge was breathtaking really. Trust me my friends, the magnitude of what we were doing at any given point was never lost on me. I pranced across that Bridge, silently thanking the world for giving us the chance to experience all this. Yeah! *HIGH FIVE*
Next up: Ground Zero (TICK). What an eerie place that is. We didn’t spend too long there, because quite frankly it is too depressing, but we wandered around both of the memorials for 20 minutes, just taking in the names of the people that were engraved onto the sides of the two pools. In some of the name cut-outs, people had placed a single white rose. It’s only now, after speaking to my fellow NYC-obsessed pal Ceinwen, that I realise that meant it was that persons birthday. What a lovely way to honour them! There were, as always, a bunch of knobheads there ruining the whole thing by having photos of themselves taken by the memorials, grinning with thumbs up, looking all cheery. Basically, being disrespectful arseholes. It reminded me of when I went to the holocaust memorial in Berlin – same issue there. What is WRONG with people? Absolute cocks.
Seeing as we were downtown, we figured it made sense to walk to the Staten Island Ferry port to hop on and get a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty (TICK!). En route, we encountered a LOT of touts, trying to get us to book onto the Liberty tour to the island itself. One of these guys thought that a REALLY good sales technique would be to grab me and tell me I’m beautiful. Now, I’m all for being complimented, but a) not when the motivation for it is commision and b) not when it’s accompanied by being grabbed. Fuck off mate. What followed next was this ridiculous conversation:
- Man (to my Mum): “What do I need to do to have her in my arms?”
- Me: “err, you dont ask her, you ask me, and I say no thanks”
- Man (to me): “Have you ever had a black man?”
- Me, with brewing rage: “What?!”
- Man: “Have you ever had a black man? If not, I could be your first. You’ll never look back!”
- Me: “Mate, we are British, and we dont talk about sex with strangers on street corners”
- Mum: “No No we are leaving now”
- Man: “Oh c’mon ladies, it’s all just fun”
- Me: “BYE”
THIS COCK THOUGHT IT WAS ACCEPTABLE TO ASK ME THAT SHIT IN FRONT OF MY MOTHER. OR, AT ALL. Disgusting. I am all for the “bants” but that really pissed me off.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, we didnt end up doing the ferry because it looked a bit choppy out there on the Hudson and my Mum and I are uber vomity on boats. Instead, one of the other touts recommended that if we just wanted a glimpse of the Lady herself but werent bothered about getting close, that she was visible from Battery Park. So we nipped across the road to the park (TICK!), and sure enough, there she was. It was enough of a view for us, and meant we avoided the potential vomit situation, which is always welcome. When I go back, I’d like to visit her properly and go up into her crown – time to create a new tick list, eh?
After our 400th Starbucks, the light was starting to go so we thought, right, time to slowly head back uptown. We’d decided that evening to spend it in the hotel room, because Mum was shattered and we both, sadly, wanted to catch up with Strictly (do not judge us!) So, we hit up a grocery store and bought some food, and by ‘food’ I mean family-sized bags of crisps, and cheap 5 dollar wine. Then we wandered to the Subway station at which point we realised we were on Wall Street (TICK!). Lots of grand looking buildings, some of them with the Trump name emblazoned on the front (ugh). We also spied yet another lovely tree, to add to my collection of mum-standing-in-front-of-trees-all-over-New-York photos.
When we got back to Times Square, we could smell snow in the air. Yeah, you ‘eard…SNOW. A few small flakes fell on us and I tried to contain my excitement because I figured it wouldnt last. We nipped into H&M en route home (sidenote: the H&M in Times Square is open until 2am. Crazy-amazing), I bought a bunch of shit, and when we left, it was PROPER SNOWING.I could not believe it. I didnt think the whole could GET more magical. I swear I almost lost my shit completely.
Everyone was prancing about in it, taking photos and just….loving it. And what’s even better, it actually settled! So, so amazing, I can’t even put it into words. Thank you, weather Gods. What followed was us lazing around on our bed eating terrible food and watching bad TV so I wont go into detail there, you’re safe.
All in all, lazing-onthe-bed aside, it was another busy day. I don’t think I’ve left anything out…other than our daily trip to Dunkin Donuts o’course. But yeah, WHAT a way to end the day. Snow in Times Square. I will never forget that moment.