Mmm... Skyscraper I Love You

One more Underworld video...although I feel it's appropriate

Mmm... New York? I like you.

So here is the problem with going to New York for the first time ever to see an Underworld concert. The concert was so amazingly mindblowingly awesome that we got up on Saturday and went, okay, what do we do now? Because nothing New York had to offer was going to be as great as that concert.

So we moseyed over to Grand Central Terminal, which was really lovely. It was nice to see all the open space, as it hasn't been sliced into a mall like Union Station, as much as I love Union Station. Then we took the subway to where the subway construction started, and a shuttle bus to Battery Park, where we were going to pick up the ferry to Liberty and Ellis Islands.

A bit about the subway and our navigation of New York. MTA doesn't have a decent map posted of the New York subway. The one they have kind of looks like the London Tube map in the 1930s before they figured out that the linear map was the way to go, except they also try to put other geographical features in there to make it extra-confusing. We were able to find this one online which did enable us to get around, sort of.

On Friday, we decided on Josh's advice to walk to the concert in Central Park. It was quite a few blocks but it was a nice walk. We went past Rockefeller Center, stopped for dinner and kept walking. We passed the New York Library, with the lions in the front, as per Josh's instructions. Then we decided to stop for coffee right near the Empire State Building.

So if you know New York you know by now that we had been going in the wrong direction. For about 20 blocks, it turns out, starting somewhere after Rockefeller Center. I looked outside the window of the Starbucks and saw 33rd Street. We needed to enter the park at 72nd. Uh, whoops. Turns out there's more than one New York Library with lions in the front. We had thought it looked bigger in Ghostbusters.

We still had plenty of time to make it to the concert but we were not about to walk 40 blocks there. So we found a subway station and a train going in the right direction and got on. At about this point we're congratulating ourselves on our ability to find our way around a city via the subway, if not on surface streets. We take the DC Metro frequently, and have ridden the subway in other world cities as well. We are subway veterans!

And then the train starts going straight through stops. A lot. Turns out we were on the express train and it didn't stop until 125th. We got off at 125th, took a closer look at all my subway maps, and got on a local train going back in the opposite direction.

So it was a relatively minor deal when the subway stopped earlier than it should have with announcements that there would be a shuttle to Battery Park. In addition to various subway issues, the other lesson learned from New York is that you can't just hop on a ferry and head over quickly to see Liberty Island and Ellis Island. The shuttles are three decks and take forever to load and unload. You can't go up in the Statue of Liberty because of security concerns, so we stayed on the boat and took pictures from there, then got off at Ellis Island, nosed around the museum there a little, and headed back. Somehow all of this took several hours, we were hungry, and our feet were still suffering the aftereffects of the Underworld concert (and walking 20 blocks in the wrong direction) so we decided to bail on plans to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and took the subway back to the hotel.

We had some dinner and then — after another hilarious subway ride in which I thought Melvin had gotten off the train for reasons unknown, when he had, in fact, moved to the seat next to me (I was engrossed in composing a text message that would not get sent until we got topside) — met up with Josh and Kelly for drinks at this very cool place called the Flatiron Lounge. The decor was perfect in every little detail, and they had lots of good jazz and swing playing, with lots of delicious, creative drinks (although expensive, of course). We had a few drinks there and then headed to an Irish pub type place that I cannot remember the name of.

Hanging out with friends was definitely the best part of our Saturday in New York. I guess that's the thing about it — most of the really touristy things are just really touristy, and I'd already seen them a bazillion times on TV and the movies. We had no desire to go to Times Square, for example, although the Empire State Building would have been good to do if not for my raging fear of heights. But New York does have so many great places for eating and drinking.

Which is good, because, if not for Josh and Kelly, we would have probably been better off continuing on to Boston for another night of Underworld.

Trip photos here.


Kelly said...

I also got confused by that "local train vs. express train" thing they do in NYC. I'm used to London, where all the trains stop at all the stops.

J-Will said...

Ummm ... your photos of the Empire State Buiding are actually of the Chrysler Building ...

Carrie G said...

London's subway makes SO much more sense. One of these days I think there's a blog rant about that in me.

Chrysler Building, eh? Clearly I know a lot about New York, hahaha. Guess I should fix that.

Eileen said...

Flatiron Lounge is the best!