|View from the Staten Island Ferry|
New York is one interesting city! We stayed in a hotel on Staten Island and first thing in the morning, took the ferry over to Manhattan. Our first stop was the 9/11 museum. If you ever get the opportunity, it is well worth the visit. I think it really did a good job of making the event seem real to my kids, who were either not alive yet or were too young to remember the events. The volunteers are very helpful and passionate. One of them was carrying the photograph of a firefighter who was the son of a lady who came through the museum.
After the museum, we took a cab to Little Italy, where we met up with a friend from high school and the kids enjoyed the souvenir shops along the road. It was here that I kept hearing people ask if I want handbags and watches. It took me a while to even realize they were trying to sell something to me. They were just tourist-looking people with nothing more than a small backpack. They would ask in a hushed conversation style, so you didn’t even realize they were talking to you-and where were they keeping their merchandise? Either they take you down a back alley somewhere, or they have a Mary Poppins style backpack. Either way, I was glad I wasn’t in the market for handbags or wristwatches. After lunch we walked to Greenwich Village. In Washington Square, we were treated to a variety of interesting people watching. I wasn’t quick enough with my camera, or I would have had some entertaining photos to share. One group consisted of a man with two women and a baby. The man was wearing a maxi skirt, long dangling earrings, high heels, and a baby carrier with the baby in it. Another older lady had one of those animal hats with the long earpieces that hang low enough for you to put your hands into. Hers was a dalmation. It was about 85 degrees outside, so I thought the hat was a bit much. It was here that we had the opportunity to explain the meaning of the rainbow flags hanging above certain businesses. The occasion presented itself because the kids had been asking for ice cream and we told them we would get some when we found a good place. Not much time passed before we came across “Happy Rainbow Ice Cream.” It was adorned with about a hundred rainbow flags, which of course appealed to an 8 and 10-year-old girl. When we refused to stop there, some explanation was required. We did eventually find some suitable ice cream.
We ended the day with a ride on the subway that required me to jump the turnstile and finally, some Indian food before we boarded the ferry back to Staten Island. We got a great night view of the city and the Statue of Liberty from the ferry and were happy to have a bed waiting for us at the end of a long day of walking.