On our 5th day in New York City (Friday), we finally took a leisurely morning. Slow to rise, and slower yet to breakfast, we found ourselves waiting in a bit of a line for food, but somehow we had freed ourselves from a rigorous schedule and instead, enjoyed the slow pace.
Emily sent us a message saying that she was feeling worse, and it was getting harder to take in a deep breath to play her clarinet at rehearsal. We wasted no time slipping into our walking shoes, and headed right over to see her, with some new cold meds in hand (so much for a leisurely morning, lol). She was determined she would perform tomorrow evening with her group at Carnegie Hall, no matter what; even though she was feeling a bit tough from the congestion and lack of rest.
While she went on to another morning of rehearsal, we took a slightly different route walking back to the hotel, and happened upon the Fox News All-American Summer Concert Series. What an awesome find! Fifteen-year-old rising star, Sabrina Carpenter, entertained the growing crowd. I tried reaching Lori & FD to invite them over to join us, but just as I did, the song was over, and the concert too. Too bad we hadn’t stumbled upon it a little sooner!
We hopped on the train, and spent the morning visiting several new places. First on the list, the Flatiron District. Many of you may recall the famous Flatiron Building, seen in several movies and tv shows. The triangular design, the impressive architectural detail, and the fact being that it was built in 1903 and is considered New York’s first skyscraper; it’s a “must see” in my book!
We didn’t make it far before Sid’s feet were starting to hurt, it was definitely time to find a new pair of shoes for that kid. Fortunately, a Foot Locker store was spotted nearby, and they fixed him right up! The shoes he picked out cost no more in NYC than they would at the same store back home, which was a nice surprise. Seeing the look of satisfaction on his face when he stepped into a cushy new pair of Nike athletic shoes, there was no doubt his feet were once again feelin’ fine.
Passing through Union Square, we strayed off course for a bit and enjoyed a local farmer’s market. Musicians entertained the crowds of people, many of them appeared to be doing their weekly shopping. I felt we might have been the only tourists that morning, as nearly everyone there was toting a bag of fresh produce or dairy products. Chris and Sid enjoyed sampling milk from a local dairy farmer; what they’d give to have that on a daily basis! Those two are the big milk drinkers in our family, and they go through a-plenty, let me tell you! This milk was, by far, superior to anything they’d had back home.
Next, we made our way through the Garment District, Chelsea, Greenwich Village, SoHo, and Tribeca. The SoHo District allegedly gets its name from two places: the location is south (So) of Houston (Ho) Street, and it is said to be inspired by the soho (lowercase “h”) district of London. This particular district has beautiful cobblestone streets, and it is one of the world’s largest surviving cast-iron districts. Cast iron was used for both decorative and structural purposes in the early nineteenth century. Although SoHo is also widely known for shopping (for virtually everything), we moved on to see other venues.
Next, we walked through Chinatown (very quickly too, I might add). This area was so crowded with people and cars, and everywhere we walked vendors stepped out in front of us, trying to sell us something. “Waaaaacheees, buy waaaaaacheees,” in your face, everywhere! I told Sid to look straight ahead, don’t make eye contact, and don’t get lost!
If that wasn’t enough of a turn off, the smelly, fly-infested fish markets were! My goal was to get out of there as quickly as possible.
Once we left Chinatown, we came upon Little Italy. Everyone suddenly relaxed, walked at a slower pace, and smiled. Little Italy had friendly people, inviting storefronts, authentic gelato (yum!), and a quaint little restaurant called, “Da Nico Ristorante” where we enjoyed a late lunch.
We made our way back to the hotel, changed clothes, and parted ways for the evening. Lori and FD had special plans for dinner, this weekend was her birthday, after all. Although technically Lori’s birthday was the next day, it was sure to be a BIG day with all we had going on. Emily would be performing with the Middle School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall that evening, and we anticipated much of the day would be spent preparing for it. So while Lori and FD set off for a romantic evening of fine dining, Chris, Sid, and myself secured tickets to a much-anticipated baseball game.
How perfectly things lined up, that we scored tickets to see the New York Yankees vs the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium! Chris and his father are long-time Red Sox fans, and Sid has always chosen their rival, the New York Yankees. Although the tickets came at a price, we knew it was a necessary splurge. We had traveled this far to see Emily perform, and although Sid enjoyed all the sightseeing and delicious food, it was time for him to have his big moment as well. He had, after all, missed playing in the final two baseball games of his league back home in order to take this trip.
We had a really great view, even though we were on bench seats. We did have some awfully annoying spectators behind us; one was a statistics nerd with his little clipboard and headphones, the other was an immature 50-something-year-old with a need to boo and call out all the (alleged) steroid frauds on both teams.
While at the game, Emily sent me a text message, saying she was out with her group for a night of bowling, and was not feeling well at all. Poor girl, it was just one symptom after another, now she had a sore throat. I put Lori and FD on call, just in case Em got worse and needed to leave.
The game ended with a win for Sid (and the NYY), 6-0. The subway had a terminal right across from Yankee Stadium, which was very convenient. We were a bit apprehensive all that day about taking the subway back at dark, especially from the unfamiliar area of the Bronx. We were fortunate enough to get on the first train that came through, but it seemed everyone else was just as lucky, as we were all sandwiched terribly tight in that subway car. Chris had no access to hand rails, and believe me, you’ve got to hold onto something! I put my arm out for him to use for some stability throughout the many stops (and take offs) we experienced during the long ride back; I found myself switching arms every 5 minutes or so due to arm strain :-). We no longer feared getting mugged at night, for it had turned to more of a concern of being squashed!
We arrived back at the hotel around 11:00 pm, without any issues whatsoever. Emily made it through her evening of bowling, and managed to have a lot of fun, despite the nasty bug that was trying desperately to bring her down. Lori and FD dropped by our room, and we spent a good bit of time reminiscing the day’s events. We were all pleasantly pooped; the day was a productive one, and enjoyable in so many ways.
Check back soon for the last two days of “Vacationing in New York.”
My sister, Lori, has journaled about this trip as well, you can check out her blog at, “Day by Day the Farm Girl Way.”