NYC Day 4 April 28th
Another crazy busy day came and went today. Margaret’s, Dayna and I started our morning with another walk to get green juice at a local juicer while David stayed back in the room to meditate.
Today’s free hostel tour was of the Brooklyn Bridge! We had a big group, about twenty people, so getting from upper Manhattan to Brooklyn was… interesting. The group needed our own subway car to fit us all but other than that we made it to the borough in one piece. With the group we walked through Brooklyn Heights, the posh, high end part of Brooklyn. This area has super cute brown stones and funky building architecture. In the last decade, as Manhattan has become ridiculousness un-affordable, Brooklyn has become the new “hip” area to live. Rumor has it Queens is also becoming quite desirable.
The remainder of the tour included walking along the Brooklyn Heights Promenade where we saw the Manhattan skyline at its finest! Our tour guide was saying the current mayor of New York City initiated a refurbishing of the abandoned shipping docks along Brooklyn to be used as recreational zones. Walking along the promenade, we saw one dock being used as a golf course, another as a basketball court and Skate Park and a third being used as a green space park (Brooklyn Bridge Park).
We walked the Brooklyn Bridge next and I must say, it is way busier then how it is portrayed in the Sex and the City movie! It is suicidal to bike on the bridge as the walkway is maybe big enough for coming and going pedestrians but is split to have four lanes; two for walkers and two for cyclists.
We went and saw the World Trade Center memorial shortly after. The city did a fantastic job honoring the events that occurred on September 11, 2001. There were two “pools” created as the memorial (see pictures below). The pools were constructed out of marble and had water cascading down them. Along the perimeter of the pools were the names of those that died engraved. Apparently the pools were constructed from the original concrete basins used in the construction of the towers back in the 1973. As Manhattan is an island, the groundwater table on the island is so low that the towers required these concrete “bath tubs” to be built as foundation to provide support to the buildings structure.
After our somber moment of paying out respects, we rushed to Quintessence, a cute tiny eight table raw restaurant nuzzled in the heart of the East Village. As a group we shared four appetizers including fofu which is raw moss prepared in an indescribable way to taste just like tofu, only raw! I had a Mexican salad with dehydrated corn chips for my main as did Dayna, then we shared a desert of peanut and blueberry ice cream and raw chocolate lava cake. We all were in heaven! We chatted with the waiter for a while and turns out two weeks ago Julia Stiles ate there and Alicia Silverstone frequents there often! We are practically celebrities now that we’ve eaten there!
It sounds like our day is over but nope, not even close! Back to Brooklyn we went, two by two like little ducklings over to Williamsburg to go to Vaute Couture which is a vegan garment shop; turned out the location moved. It was still nice to walk down Bedford Avenue and people watch and soak up the amazing weather we have been having. Before getting back on the metro, we wanted to get a gift for our friend Susan who we were going to visit tonight. 4 vegans trying to find a vegan, organic, ECO friendly gift in under half hour on a street that is dominated by cafes, pubs and clothing stores was fun times! Our choice was between vegan doughnuts or wine… We managed to settle on an organic red wine.
From Williamsburg we booted to Penn station to transfer to a New Jersey bound train to go to Maplewood to have dinner with Susan. Our journey was relatively smooth; it just took an hour or so to commute there.
Our Evening was spent with Susan and husband eating and reminiscing over each other’s past travels. It was so lovely getting a chance to catch up and see a small part of New Jersey.
We checked the train schedule at 10pm and realized the next train departed at 10:17, the following one coming 75 minutes later. We literally had the fastest exist ever from a dinner party to grab train back into city. I had one shoe on as we stumbled out the door.