G at the New York Stock Exchange -- near the TKTS office
On day 3 we got up at our usual late hour and headed out for the day. We got a bagel at Cafe Bravo around the corner from our hotel and walked back down to Seaport to TKTS. We were hoping that they would have tickets to Wicked or the Lion King, but we were out of luck. We weren't sure what to do and the line was really long so we decided to go see the World Trade Center Memorial that they had set up by the site.
Construction has started on rebuilding the new buildings and memorial, so the current memorial had been moved inside. You can see the plans and the current progress of the building on the site at www.wtcprogress.org. The memorial was very touching and brought back a lot of memories. It was hard, yet interesting to read the accounts of people who experienced the horror of September 11, 2001. That day exposed the very worst and yet the very best in humankind.
When I was participating in the Model United Nations in college, we spent 10 days in NYC. I got to go to the top of the WTC and see the amazing view from the top of the building. Then later in 2000, M and I went to see some friends in New Jersey. During that visit we went to the Statue of Liberty and we have a picture of us with the WTC in the background. It's hard to believe that the horror and destruction happened 9 years ago.
Construction on the new WTC Towers. Very little work has been done, but all the neighboring buildings that were damaged have been repaired, and of course the destruction has been removed.
After the memorial, we went shopping at Century 21 -- the biggest discount store we've ever seen in our lives. We decided from there to walk back down to TKTS at Seaport and made the decision to get tickets for Phantom of the Opera. M and I saw the musical a couple years ago in Portland and we really enjoyed it. We kept thinking that we should really see something else, but because we like it so much, we decided to go see it again. After the tickets were purchased we walked back to the hotel to change.
In the meantime, I called and got us reservations for Victor's Cafe, our favorite Cuban restaurant in NYC. On that same trip in 2000, we went to Victor's with friends. We remember the food being amazing and had been craving it ever since (as you can tell, a lot of our trip was centered around food). We changed, hopped the subway and went to dinner. Needless to say, the Vaca Frita was just as amazing as we remembered it. We had Cuban churros for dessert with dulce de leche dipping sauce.
Heaven on a plate. Vaca Frita.
After dinner, we had some time before the show so we decided to get back on the subway and head to the fashion district. We went into H&M and the flagship Old Navy. After spending some time there we rode the subway back to Times Square and went to the theater for Phantom. Phantom was amazing and the cast did an incredible job. It was really fun to see it again.
After the show.
After the show, we decided to take the shuttle to Grand Central Station. While we were waiting for the shuttle we saw a very large rat running around the platform. It freaked M out. We weren't fast enough on the camera to get a picture so we could show Buddy when we got home. (And as a result of no picture proof, Buddy has since asked for very detailed accounting of what the rat looked like. The color of it's fur? Did it have red eyes? How long was it's tail? And we have discussed the rat every day since we've been home.)
Moments after seeing a rat.
We walked around Grand Central Station for a little while and then we decided to head back to the hotel. By then we were hungry again, so we had to stop back at the cafe and pizza place by our hotel and grab a late night snack. I had a really good chicken parmigiana flat bread sandwich and M got a slice of cheese pizza. We took the food back to the hotel, ate, and rested our sore feet.
P.S. M here. Although it doesn't seem like it from the pictures, I was indeed present at all of our outings. G just chose not to take any pictures of me all day for some reason. And the other thing I wanted to tell you was that if the whole NBC gig doesn't work out for me, I found my other calling in life. After dinner at Victor's I used the bathroom and there was lady in there who helped me to my stall and then handed me a paper towel after I'd washed my hands. She had a tip collection jar. I can't think of a more awesome job than standing around listening to people do their business and handing out paper towels. I'm not joking around when I say that is a dream job. Imagine the stories!