New York I

Around the first of the month, I was both lucky and thrilled to be able to take a weeklong vacation in New York. Adam and I stayed with family in Queens – some of whom I had not seen since the wedding, and some I hadn’t seen since the brief time I was in New York in 2011 to attend my grandfather’s funeral. In terms of really getting out in the city and spending quality time with family, I essentially last visited in July 2006 – too long ago! It was great to be back.

Waiting on line to get in to see Phantom of the Opera.
Mmm, Morimoto. Not my photo: Source.

On Saturday we went to see the Phantom of the Opera at the Majestic Theater, courtesy of my Uncle Frank and Aunt Gigi. Photography isn’t allowed, however, so you’ll have to settle for this shot form outside. It was the first time seeing the longest-running show on Broadway for both Adam and I, but it was my Uncle Frank’s 20th time! It was a really great show and I look forward to reading the book so I understand a little more of what I saw and heard.

Shot of the Highline at dusk. Source: ArtInTheStudio.

That night we went to Morimoto, which was a simple amazing meal. After our meal, we took the  Highline, which starts near the restaurant in the Meatpacking District. This is a combination that I highly recommend. The Highline is beautiful and well-executed. Different sections were laid out and landscaped differently, to provide continued interest. It was a very pleasant walk, and I saw a lot of native plants being used, which is always nice to see. 

Sunday afternoon, we visited the National September 11 Memorial and Museum with my aunt and uncle. You still have to have a timed pass (free) to visit, and go through airport-like security, but the upside is that they keep the crowd at a nice density, which was very appreciated by me. As nice as it was – and it was – I think the whole experience will be infinitely nicer when the swamp white oaks reach their mature height and spread (60 ft. high, and spaced to have a continuous canopy), providing both much-needed shade and striking visual contrast to the two pools, or voids as they are sometimes called.

South Tower Memorial.
One World Trade Center, under construction.
The space between the two memorial fountains, with swamp white oaks. Interesting article about the trees here.
Here’s an imperfect panorama of the South Pool. I took the shots a little too hastily to achieve the proper stitch, but you get the idea.
Click to enlarge, rough edges and all.

That same day, Uncle Joe and Aunt Marianne (and their sweet little Shiba Inu puppy) drove from central New Jersey (several hours each way!) to have dinner with the rest of us at Zum Stammtisch – a german restaurant in Glendale. The food was delicious and my most favorite dish there, the red cabbage, was every bit as delicious as I remembered it to be. Maybe I can get them to ship just that down to Atlanta?

On Monday, we met up with my awesome godfather, Kevin, who planned a great day for us (as he does whenever I come to town). We started out by walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, which was pretty neat – and something I’d never done before (or if so, I was too little to remember). Nice view, nice breeze. Overall a pleasant walk that wasn’t too long.

Starting out on the Long Island side.
Approaching the first pylon.
A lot of people left locks attached to just about everything. Curious, I looked it up upon our return, and this is what I got.
Leaving the first pylon.
Leaving the second pylon – guess they are doing some work.

The we wandered over to Pier 16 before heading down to Battery Park and up to the Liberty and Ellis Islands ferry.

Pier 16.

Liberty Island was the first stop on the ferry. And this panorama I am more proud of! Open it full-size if you can.

Lower Manhattan as seen from Liberty Island.

I’m sure you’ve seen a million shots of the big green lady – I know I have – so I’ll only share one. 🙂

Statue of Liberty

Next was Ellis Island. Full disclosure: we missed the wall entirely. I’m not quite sure how, since we were both following crowds and listening to guided tours. However, it was incredibly hot, sunny and crowded, and we’d been standing in unshaded ferry lines all day, so we honestly might have skipped it by choice anyway. We’ll have to come back sometime.

I catch Adam mid-sentence in front of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.
One of the many great photos in the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.

The museum tour was good – interesting, authentic, media rich, and surprisingly forthcoming about the overwhelming and disorienting process, and the strict and sometimes harsh rules.

After getting back to the mainland, we hoofed it over to Shanghai Cuisine in Chinatown for simple divine pork soup dumplings, moo shu pork, salt and pepper fried pork, (wow, pork much?) and some spicy and delicious shrimp dish, the name of which I have forgotten. This restaurant came highly recommended (aside from acknowledged poor service) and it lived up to its reputation. I miss it and Morimoto already!

Soup Dumplings: They’re  Danger To Humanity! A delightful little cartoon on the table about how to properly eat soup dumplings.

That’s it from the first half of the trip. I’ll be back to bore and/or regale you with tales of the second half soon, including the flora and fauna of upstate New York!


Nerd. Foodie. Gamer. Homecook. Perpetual planner. Gardener. Aspiring homesteader. Direct response graphic designer. I use too many damn commas.