Monday, July 4th, 2011
For our last day in New York, our plans were to visit South Street Seaport and cross the Brooklyn Bridge, but first the girls really wanted to see a movie. After breakfast we headed to a theater in Times Square for a viewing of Monte Carlo, which was surprisingly good. Then we headed downtown on the subway and got off a few blocks from South Street Seaport. It’s a bit of a tourist trap, with the usual chain stores inside the restored buildings, but it does look different than any other part ofNew York and it was very lively on the Fourth. After walking around the pier a bit we had lunch at Red, opting to sit inside because of the heat. The food was pretty good, nothing really special. After lunch the girls and I checked out SuperDry, a Japanese clothing store. They’ve just opened one of these at Valley Fair, and I think maybe they should have done a little bit of research on changing the name… Anyhow, it’s just a standard casual clothing store, nothing big. From there we walked to the pedestrian entrance of the bridge, which was actually quite a bit away. But we got to see the underside of the bridge which is interesting because there are all these bays where stores and companies used to be. It would be cool if they could restore those! We started walking across the bridge, and thankfully there was a breeze because it was quite hot in the sun. The walkway is wood planks and you can see through them to the river below which is a bit disconcerting. As we got closer to Brooklyn there were a few stands selling mangos on sticks, which were really good. We also saw this bicycle that had been “yarn bombed”.
We walked around Brooklyn a bit (I guess the area we were in is calledBrooklyn Heights) and it was really nice. So quiet the second you got off of the bridge and the neighborhood just seemed so livable. It is also the site of the Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims, a station in the underground railroad and the home of Henry Ward Beecher, a famous abolitionist. It was fun to stumble on that!
We took the subway back to our hotel (so easy! I love love love the subway) and rested up before dinner. We went to Saju Bistro, a really nice French/Italian fusion kind of a place. I tried to get the girls to order escargot but no dice. We were having such a nice dinner that we lost track of time and had to race out of there to get to the fireworks. Mark’s GPS was offline and he had us going the wrong direction towards the East River instead of the Hudson River for a few blocks, but soon enough we realized we were like salmon swimming upstream and turned around. We hired a bike taxi to take us faster but after a couple of blocks he gotpulled over by the police for having too many passengers, so we tossed him some money and kept walking. Once the fireworks started, we went a block more until we got a view between buildings and watched from there. Definitely a cool extravaganza! We walked back to the hotel, and went to bed after a long but rewarding day.