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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Girls Trip to NYC Day 2: Brooklyn Bridge, 9/11 Memorial & Central Park

Day 2 of our Girls Trip to NYC proved to be drier than the first.  While the sun never really came out for too long, it finally stopped raining.  Second day I had planned for us to take the subway down to Brooklyn, find these rainbow bagels Amanda spoke about, head to the Brooklyn area/Park right by the bridge to get this picture below (my favorite view of the city!) and then walk the Brooklyn bridge back over to Manhattan (you can read my entire post about walking the Brooklyn Bridge here).  

View of Manhattan from Brooklyn

After the bridge, we would head to the 9/11 Memorial and than catch the subway or a cab up to Central Park.  In Central Park we had a few sculptures to stop and see (Amanda's request) and the boathouse and the bridge (KW request). After ALL that, we would head back to Connecticut and then eventually to Point Judith, Rhode Island to catch a ferry to Block Island.  Planes, trains, automobiles and ferries was the name of the game today. 

1.  Subway from The Watson Hotel to Brooklyn Bagel Store
2.  Walk from the Bagel Store to South Williamsburg Ferry
3.  Ferry to DUMBO/Base of Brooklyn Bridge
4.  Walk to 9/11 Memorial 
5.  Subway to Central Park 
6.  Walk to The Watson Hotel 
7.   Cab to Grand Central Station 
8.  Grand Central to New Haven Union Station
9.  New Haven Union Station to Old Saybrook Station 
10.  Drive to Stonington
11.  Drive to Point Judith, RI ferry
12.  Ferry to Block Island, RI

Rainbow Bagel and Garlic Bagel at The Bagel Store of Brooklyn

We were up relatively early and from the Watson Hotel, we hopped on the subway and headed down to The Bagel Store in Brooklyn so Amanda could try this apparently famous rainbow bagel.  Maybe this is a big talked about thing in Utah but I was very confused.  Apparently you can get a rainbow swirled bagel with a frosting like cream cheese for breakfast.  According to The Bagel Store's Website, this is the "Bagel that broke the internet" and the Brooklyn location is the original home of the Rainbow Bagel.  While I was still confused, Amanda went with the unicorn breakfast while I opted for a garlic bagel with an olive cream cheese.  I was smitten with my bagel option and loved the large chunks of Olive in their home-made cream cheese.  Fact:  You cannot leave New York without getting a bagel and by 9 am we were carb loaded and ready to walk the bridge.  

Waiting for the ferry by the Williamsburg Bridge

As I mentioned in Monday's post, Day 1 in NYC, Google Maps was an amazing tool for navigating our way around the city.  Google Maps tells you how to get to the nearest subway station and which line to take to get to your destination.  It could not be easier.  When I plugged in the base of the Brooklyn Bridge from the Bagel Store, I was shocked to see that Google was suggesting I take a ferry.  We ended up walking through Williamsburg, a borough of Brooklyn with a large Hasidic Jewish population (which we witnessed, I first confused as the Amish and awkwardly had to google).   

Williamsburg is inhabited by tens of thousands of Hasidic Jews of various sects, and contains the headquarters of one faction of the Satmar Hasidic group, Williamsburg's Satmar population numbers about 73,000. Hasidic Jews first moved to the neighborhood in the years prior to World War II, along with many other religious and non-religious Jews who sought to escape the difficult living conditions on Manhattan's Lower East Side. Beginning in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the area received a large concentration of Holocaust survivors, many of whom were Hasidic Jews from rural areas of Hungary and Romania."  Read More

Once in Williamsburg, we walked to the ferry terminal by the Williamsburg Bridge (South Williamsburg?).  From there, we used an app to get tickets and took the East River Ferry at the cost of $2.50 for a 5 minute ferry ride to DUMBO/Pier 1 at the base of the Brooklyn bridge.  I was so impressed by this transportation option around the city.  Fast, cheap, and a fun way to get around NYC, who knew?

Waiting for the ferry by the Williamsburg Bridge

On the ferry by the Brooklyn Bridge

We got off the ferry, still proud of ourselves for navigating A FERRY around the city (am I the only one who thought this was fantastic?).  We walked passed beloved Grimaldis which unfortunately was not open yet.  And there was the whole thing where I had just consumed a gigantic bagel....But I digress. We walked over to the stairs/access point to the bridge and started our trek across the bridge.  The sun was trying to peak out, the crowds were minimal, and I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of bikers attempting to mow me down on their way to work. This was a good day to bridge.  

Start of the Brooklyn Bridge Walk (Brooklyn Side)

Walking the Brooklyn Bridge

I wrote an entire post about the Brooklyn Bridge last year so we won't go into too much detail.  But, what you do need to know is that the bridge can be very busy, It is a 1.1 mile walk (one way) across the bridge. there are two lanes but the bridge is shared with bikers, and for the best views, you should walk from Brooklyn and into Manhattan. 

Walking the Brooklyn Bridge

Walking the Brooklyn Bridge

Walking the Brooklyn Bridge

View of the Statue of Liberty from the Brooklyn Bridge

City Buildings

One World Trade Center 
Once you arrive back in the Manhattan side, it is a short walk to the 9/11 Memorial, just under a mile from when you hit the Manhattan side.  We passed by some beautiful buildings, some grey skies, and finally arrived at One World Trade Center and the Memorial. 
"One World Trade Center (also known as the Freedom Tower or 1 World Trade Center) is the main building of the rebuilt World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan, New York City. It is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, and the sixth-tallest in the world. The new skyscraper stands on the northwest corner of the 16-acre (6.5 ha) World Trade Center site".

9/11 Memorial

 When I had visited the memorial upon its opening in 2011, you needed a (free) ticket to get to the memorial and to go through a security check point.  The museum wasn't even open yet.  Now, no ticket for the memorial is required and you do not have to go through security.  If you want to see the museum, you will have to purchase a ticket ahead of time and wait in the long lines to enter the museum.  We spent some time at the pools and walking around the memorial before making our way out of the area.  

"The National September 11 Memorial & Museum (also known as the 9/11 Memorial and 9/11 Memorial Museum) are the principal memorial and museum, respectively. They commemorate the September 11, 2001 attacks, which killed 2,977 victims, and the World Trade Center bombing of 1993, which killed six. The memorial is located at the World Trade Center site, the former location of the Twin Towers, which were destroyed during the September 11 attacks. It is operated by a non-profit corporation whose mission is to raise funds for, program, own, and operate the memorial and museum at the World Trade Center site".  - Read More

Because we were short on time and low on funds, we decided to forgo the museum this time so we could make our way north towards Central Park.  

9/11 Memorial

Once at Central Park, we had a few "big list" items we wanted to see.  For Amanda, it was a few statues, specifically Alice in Wonderland and Balto.  For me, it was the Loeb Boathouse and the Bridge.  Low on time, trying to make it back for our train back to Connecticut (so we could take a ferry from Rhode Island over to Block Island), we made it a quick trip through Central Park to see the highlights.  

Bethesda Terrace and Fountain

"Central Park is the most visited urban park in the United States, with 40 million visitors in 2013, and one of the most filmed locations in the world.  
The park was established in 1857 on 778 acres of city-owned land. In 1858, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, a landscape architect and an architect, respectively, won a design competition to improve and expand the park with a plan they titled the Greensward Plan". Read More

The Lake, Central Park

The Lake, Central Park

After watching the couples row around the lake and the clouds rolling in, we decided it was time to start making the trek back to Connecticut.  From the City, we had to cab over to Grand Central Station, take the Metro North train to New Haven and switch over to Shoreline East to Old Saybrook. From there, it was about a 40 minute drive to Stonington to meet Thatcher and Olive and another 40 minutes to Rhode Island to catch a ferry to Block Island to relax for the long weekend.  It was certainly a long day of traveling with a FEW set backs.  

Bow Bridge 

For starters, we made the rookie mistake of taking the EXPRESS train instead of the local, causing us to go about 5 stops past where we needed to go.  Next, the cab driver must have been having a bad day because when I asked him to take me to Grand Central, he instead took us BACK to Central Park, causing us to be late to the station further causing a full out dramatic sprint through Grand Central to make our train.  The next mistake was the connection in New Haven.  the Shoreline East schedule shows the Amtrak Trains which you can only get on with a special Shoreline East pass, causing us to wait another hour for the next Shoreline East train.  We thankfully made it to Point Judith to catch our ferry to Block with a few minutes to spare.

It ended being a long chaotic day of sight seeing and travel.  We were so happy to have better weather and be able to walk the Brooklyn Bridge and stroll through Central Park.  Valuable lessons were learned and New York City left me exhausted but excited to return.  Check back in for some Block Island posts and Newport Mansions.  

Total NYC "Girls Weekend" Expenses (2 days)

Bagel:  $5
Pizza  $5 
Coffees:  $8
Store (gift):  $16
Champagne (liquor store): $17
Store (ornament):  $11
Store (shoes):  $21
Ramen: $18
Pharmacy (water): $6
Street Gyro: $7

Metro North Tickets (round trip): $35
MTA around the city ($3/ride):  $12
Shoreline East (round trip): $14
Taxi (split 2 ways): $7
Ferry: $2.50

Hotel ( $240 split 3 ways): $80
Opera: $100

TOTAL:  $365
Two days in NYC including all transportation, hotel, food, alcohol, and a show on Broadway for $365 is pretty impressive if you ask me, and especially for New York City.

Stay tuned for recaps on Block Island and the Newport Mansions

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