Sunday morning we woke up early and started exploring. We, in classic tourist fashion, took a cab instead of the subway down to the World Trade Center Memorial. We walked around the site (surreal to see in person), then walked to Battery Park and viewed the Statue of Liberty. We also walked through Trinity Church and some of the finanical district. We took a cab back to the theater district, where we waited in line for rush tickets for the show Once (didn't get tix) and did the lottery for Wicked (didn't get chosen: this was actually our second time at this lottery...I forgot that we tried it for the Saturday evening show too but didn't get chosen. We were thankful we got to see Newsies!) The cab ride in hindsight ended up being a semi-good thing because the drove us down the westside and up the east side, so we got to see some sights from afar that way like the Brooklyn Bridge and the Empire State Building.
So now with an open afternoon, we decided to learn the subway system (really easy after all, you just either go downtown or uptown basically) and we headed down to Soho. I almost fell apart from the heat and hunger before we made it to a little cafe and had a yummy salad and sandwich lunch with those two fancy French desserts pictured below. Our main reason for going to Soho was to visit the Purl Soho shop, a fabric and yarn shop that I knew of from following their blog. Complete eye candy in this store. And funny enough, their fabric in embroidery hoop display was an image that I have seen all over Pinterest and never knew it was on display in their store.
It's interesting how the different parts of Manhattan look & feel differently. The architecture in Soho was different from Midtown. And it was also interesting how the crowds of people ebbed and flowed depending on where we were in the city. Sometimes waiting to cross the street was like you were in a sea of people, and sometimes it was much less crowded. And by "much less crowded" I still mean super crowded, never-seen-crowds-like-this-before-in-my-life, kind of crowded.
So after Soho we took the Subway all the way up back to FAO Schwartz because it was closed the night before when we tried to swing through. Talk about crowded. It's iconic though, so it was fun to look around. I took a ton of pictures to show the girls. We settled on Ariel and Snow White Pez dispensers for them at a whopping $3.29 a piece. They were thrilled. Glad we can still enjoy the small-gifts-are-big-gifts-to-them days.
My favorite line of the day happened in this store. We walk in with the crowds and the guy dressed up like the toy soldier is holding this stuffed monkey. This 10-ish year old kid is talking to him and pestering the stuffed monkey. All we hear is the toy-solider-guy say "Go get your own!". We really wanted to throw "kid" at the end of that line in true New Yorker style, but it was hilarious as it was. And just in case the kids aren't hyped up enough from all the toys and the crazy, someone had the bright idea to put in "FAO Schweetz" which is a candy store on steroids. They were playing bumping music down there just to set the scene for the kids to bounce off the walls. Classic.
We left there about 6:15pm and made a decision to try to make it uptown on the westside for a 7pm church service at Redeemer. After a quick cab ride, a wardrobe change at the hotel, and then a subway ride and another quick cab ride, we made it there in time. I was sweating. This is Tim Keller's church but he actually wasn't preaching that night. The service was still really good and it was really sweet and interesting to go to a church in a different city. I didn't want to be the complete tourist and snap a picture inside, although the building in itself was beautiful, but I did snap a shot of the back of the program.
After church we had major indecision on dinner. Our phones ran out of battery from all of the mapping and searching functions we had been using all day (our smart phones were another key to a great trip for us!), but we finally landed on a cuban-ish, mexican-ish place and ate yummy fajitas. Then we visited Cafe Lalo (shown in You've Got Mail) for coffee and a cannoli. Back down the subway to our hotel and we were zonked. One more day to come...