We like New York, it’s flashy, it’s unique, full of people and sights and sounds we don’t see often. It’s also a place we love to visit but could never live in. We learned a lot about our opinions this time around visiting with small children and a car. We chose to stay in Brooklyn to save some money since we would have a car and hoped for a bigger room to fit us all. We found a hotel through Hotels.com which sounded too good to be true, because it WAS. Bedford Stuyvesant was the neighborhood we ended up in, in a hotel that was much smaller than we hoped. The neighborhood wasn’t too bad once you got over the smell of urine and the bustle at rush hour(s), and it was really close to the A train to Manhattan. However, we didn’t know how many people would also be trying to get into and out of the city during rush “hour”. Which was not pleasant holding little bitty ones and their stuff. With your face stuffed with other people’s backs, bags and backsides, or being skipped by trains that were too full to fit anymore, the travel left a bad taste in our mouths. We’d gotten pretty minimal in our day pack for sightseeing but it still involved a stroller which isn’t that easy to get on and off the subway. We did get some entertainment on the train however. (An example since my video never wants to load).
But enough whining, here’s the other good stuff about our visit to NYC !
The 9/11 memorials: Washington, DC, New York, NY and Shanksville, PA. The National 9/11 Memorial was a breathtaking site – the sheer size of the memorial as well as the sense of depth created by it. The water features gave you a sense of rushing and then immense calm at the deep pits in the middle. Because it was much busier, in the middle of the financial district, and the airport-like security, it had a very different feel than the Pentagon Memorial. I definitely recommend seeing it if you’re in New York. You really have no excuse- it’s free, it’s accessible and it’s a very significant marker of US History.
We also played the tourists for this trip to the Big Apple. I had never been to Liberty or Ellis Islands before so we hopped on the ferry to see each. Plus the “castle” where the tickets are sold, Castle Clinton, was nice to explore with Cora. The ferry trips were long (the wait to get on from Battery Park and from Liberty Island in particular) and the kids were kind of done, but I got my fix for the Lady Liberty. We skipped Ellis Island – waved to it without getting of the ferry – then headed back to Brooklyn.
I always like to talk about food when I travel. The first night we ate dinner at Shake Shack as recommended by our neighbors in Seattle. No offense, but What-a-burger might be the winner here. Although those custard milkshakes were a close second. Courtesy of Bed-Sty we were exposed to some Caribbean food from Jamaica Grill in the neighborhood and we enjoyed some oxtails, jerk chicken, beef patties and plantains. Made me miss Reggae Hut in Houston. Good meal! Two nights in one city really only means one day of activities for that stop, so a few meals and the ferry was about all we had time for. But they were worth it and we will definitely be back when the kids are older to explore more.