life in and around NYC is insane

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mini trip report - playing tourist in your own city

Our office is doing what's called a "restack", which means they're consolodating and condensing work space.  My cubicle was relocated from the south side of the floor to the north side.  Of course when you do something like that, you send your employees home so that the movers can do their job. Normally if the office closes at lunchtime I just head home.   But yesterday . . .well, Drew and I had theater tickets last night. So I found myself with a few hours to kill in NYC.   First stop was Zuccotti Park.  Now that the Occupy Wall Street crowd has gone home, the park has reverted to a nice place for office workers and tourists to have lunch.  Lots of food carts along the sidewalk, and across the street in front of 140 Broadway.  Mostly hot dogs and gyros ( you can get a kosher hot dog if you like, and lot of the carts indicate their food is halal - welcome to diversity).  I wound up with chicken and rice -- grilled chicken and yellow rice with tahini sauce, served with tossed salad and chick peas.   I am not sure what seasonings are used but the food is very flavorful, and you really don't need the optional hot sauce. Next I walked down Broadway past Trinity Church and the Wall Street bull - they've got the sculpture behind a fence these days. My destination was the Staten Island Ferry. The Staten Island Ferry.   Immortalized in an "I Love Lucy" episode and a Madonna video, the keeper of secrets in a Billy Joel lyric.  Not just a mode of transportation but a tourist destination.   After all, where else can you get a free cruise of New York Harbor?    25 minutes to Staten Island, 25 minutes back.   The closest you can get to the Statue of Liberty without buying a ticket.  You'd be amazed at the number of people who get off the boat in Staten Island and walk through the terminal just to get back on the boat to Manhattan.   After my cruise I hopped on the subway and headed to Times Square.   Browsed through a couple of souvenir shops but bought nothing except a bottle of water.   Found a seat in the pedestrian plaza outside the Marriott Marquis and did some people watching. You will see lots of costumed characters in Times Square. Be forewarned, they charge a fee to pose for pictures.   I saw the Statue of Liberty, a Smurf, and Captain America, to name a few.   The Naked Cowboy walked by, and so did his competition, the Naked Indian. Spent a few minutes in front of the Forever 21 store. They have a camera pointed at the crowd and they project the crowd's image onto a huge screen over the store. Nice little gimmick. Then it was time to meet up with Drew for dinner at Bubba Gump. Bubba Gump Shrimp Company on Urbanspoon I've written about this place before, we've been here a few times. Once again we had a window seat and could look out to the crowd in front of Toys R Us. I had the cherry lemonade -- sweet but not cloying. Comes in a light-up souvenir glass. I ordered my favorite, the shrimp lover's feast. I think they were having an off night, though, because my peel and eat shrimp were kind of blah. Fried shrimp and tempura shrimp were good, but the coconut shrimp was a little too sweet. We were too full for dessert. Our destination was the West Side Theater, a small Off Broadway venue at Broadway and 9th Avenue. Nice little show called "Old Jews Telling Jokes". 90 minutes of Borscht Belt humor, a little bawdy at times but very funny. Another fun night in NYC. Photos to follow.

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