First, we went on a tour of the World Trade Centre site. I don't think anyone forgets where they were when they first heard about 9/11. I was downstairs in the basement of my parents' house ironing my clothes and getting ready for school when my sister ran down the stairs and told me about what she had heard on the news. The rest of the day was a mix of students and teachers crowded into our biology classroom, trying to rig up some sort of tin foil TV antenna and watch the events unfold.
|Part of the WTC Site in lower Manhattan.|
It was remarkable to be on the actual site (nearly ten years later) and see how much construction activity there was still going on. Our guide was a man who witnessed the first plane hit the tower from mere blocks away. He spent the next few days volunteering at the site and helping out wherever possible. Although there were only about 30 of us in our group we represented almost ten different countries coming to pay our respects.
|Listening to the Tour Guide explain the events of the day.|
Following a panini lunch near by, we stumbled upon Danny's 'mecca' aka Century 21. Neither of us had heard of this department store before but within minutes of entering Danny realized he had hit the jackpot. The store was absolutely packed. You'd think it was Boxing Day (or Black Friday). Designer products were being sold at prices unheard of (at least for us). We spent the next couple hours grabbing ties, dress shirts, dress socks, wallets, belts, and the like. I didn't even bother going up to the women's section because I knew it would be too much of a zoo for me (you may recall that I don't exactly love big crowds). The sales associate at the register said that the store was that busy every single day. Danny was thrilled and I was exhausted!
Next we explored Chinatown and Little Italy. Let me just say, you could definitely smell which district you were exploring in that hot hot weather, haha! Again, the streets were bustling with people and there was no shortage of things to look at and photograph. We ended up going for supper at a little restaurant in Chintown that was highly rated on Trip Advisor. There was a long line up outside so figured it was a good sign. When it was our time to go in, we sat at a large round table set for eight people. An elderly couple from Maryland who were celebrating their wedding anniversary sat beside us and we enjoyed sharing stories while eating dumplings and the like.
Hot, sticky, and satiated, we went back to our little hotel room to shower and relax in the nicely air conditioned room for a while. I'm pretty sure I had another nap (a common theme for the late afternoon) plus my feet were killing me!
But, sore feet and all, I knew that there was still so much to explore so later that night we ventured up north towards Times Square. I had seen this place many times in various movies but was still surprised at how bright it was outside even at ten o'clock in the evening. I loved looking at all the different billboards and advertisements. We checked out the Disney Store and were again surprised by the amount of people and kids inside. Don't little kids need to be in bed by now? Not in NYC! We did our rounds, took the obligatory photos and grabbed a couple iced coffees at a cafe near by.
Another successful day.