We took the tram over into the city.
Here's a view of Patty's apartment from the tram
And views of the city from the tram
After the tram ride, we hopped a train down to Battery Park to pick up where we had left of (mentally left off) the bus tour the day before.
We got off the train near Trinity Church.
Remember the movie National Treasurer?
so of course we stepped inside to take a look
Battery park was only a couple of blocks away and it was nice to walk and see all this we couldn't see from the bus the day before. Here is looking down wall street and at the New York Stock Exchange
Here is the bull with a TON of people around it!
We also stop for a morning snack
Here is battery park, before getting on a tour bus, we wanted to walk down to the water to catch a view of the Statue of Liberty. There was a FOREVER long line for the ferry to go OUT to lady liberty, luckily we weren't wanting to do that today.
We saw many of our tour buses come and go, but we were wanting an open top at this point. The weather was a little nicer than the day before, and you can just see much better sitting on top with an open view. So we made our way back toward the bus stop, still soaking in our surroundings.
On the side of that last photo you can see part of the East Coast Memorial inscribed pylon wall.
We finally see an opened topped bus pull up and we run through the crowd to catch it before it takes off. This tour guide is a black guy and seems to be pretty interesting with lots of random black history. As we leave Battery Park, we cross in front of the Staten Island Ferry port
Our guide points out this tavern called Fraunces Tavern. It was first called 'Queen's Head' and was a revolutionary war meeting place. It claims to be the oldest building in Manhattan and there is a museum there now as well as tavern and restaurant.
We were actually going pretty fast and it was hard to keep up with what the tour guide was talking about. He did talk about how all the offices in this area were being taken over as residential units. "If we start sleeping where we work, and working where we sleep, are we really going to get any work done"
We had been in touch with Celine who at this point was still calling the Novotel about any cancellations that had popped up. Since there was the two of us, and her and two friends we were hoping the five of us could just share a 4 person room. We knew that we'd need wrist bands for each person as this was the clearance for security on the streets and the only way to be able to leave the hotel during the NYE events. The next stop was the South Street Seaport, and we decided to get off the bus and walk around the seaport for a bit.
We walked around Pier 17 and got some nice views of the Brooklyn Bridge. This is my favorite bridge and it was a little disappointing that it was covered up in places for renovation it looked like.
We knew from the night before's bus tour that we weren't going to get a very good view of the bridge from the bus, so I was soaking in the chance to get some pictures while we were on foot.
After we walked the loop around Pier 17/Seaport. We went back to the bus stop area to wait for a bus. Again we wanted an open top. Two or three buses came, all with closed tops, but it was getting to a point we were tired of waiting. So we both said, okay next bus we're getting on no matter what cuz we've been waiting for quite a while. And of course what is the next bus to pull up.... a covered bus. Oh well we'd deal with it.
The view actually wasn't as bad as we thought it would be. Again we were in that area where we were sitting down below and the night before tour guide had said the bottom deck has a better view cuz all the upper deck could see was the side of FDR Drive. He was right that's about all we could see at that point.
About 3 minutes after getting on this covered bus, we go under one of the bridges and hear a 'tap,thud, tap' overhead on the plastic cover above us.... turns out it was a PERFECT thing we were on the covered bus, cuz if not we would have been covered with melted snow drippings :-)
We turned off of South Street and over to Allen Street through China town and Little Italy.
Our tour guide was a lady (not the same lady from yesterday, thank goodness). She was good, nothing really special about her. Speaking of our tour guide, here is a picture of her as she was point out Coyote Ugly, as we went through the East Village.
She talked about how these various areas, housed a lot of immigrants and it used to be predominately new immigrant communities. It was hard to soak in everything she was saying as we had the hotel on our mind and I was texting back and forth with Celine throughout parts of these areas.
We passed by the UN on 1st Ave, which is where we got off the bus last night. Notice the drops on the top of this picture... that is the snow droppings melting down that would have otherwise been on us, lol.
And actually during this part, I was talking back and forth with Celine (hard when your on a bus with a tour guide blaring in your ear, lol). She had contacted the hotel and found they had a cancellation. But the cancellation was only for a king size room that they were only allowing 2 people to have. So she wanted to let us know in case we wanted to call in and reserve it. I told her we did, but we were on a tour bus (and really couldn't hear much on the phone) so we got off at the next stop which was at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel. We made the call and got our hotel room booked for the night!! Sweet! We were set! It was about 12 or 1 at this point. But it was actually great timing, because as we waited for the next tour bus to hop back onto.... a bus with an open top pulled up! YIPEE!!!! This day was seeming to go along perfectly!
This tour guy was a white man with crazy hair, and was very energetic! As we were pulling away from the Waldorf=Astoria he told us about where that famous Marilyn Monroe picture was taken, and how they waited and waited for a subway to blow the steam up, but ended up using a fan instead, and that there was a man underneath her during that photo, probably looking straight up. This isn't the EXACT corner, but I took a picture anyway. The real corner was on the other side of the building that we didn't drive by.
I just looked up Marilyn Monroe and teh Waldorf on google and came across these invoice. Hmmm pretty cool.
He also told us about the history of the Waldorf=Astoria and that the greatest hotel in the city was the Waldorf. Then his son-in-law opened up the Astoria on the same block, to compete with him as the greatest hotel in the city. When the Empire State Building was built at the site of both hotels, they combined to become one hotel and moved to where they are now.
We continued on 49th with a look down Park Ave at the Met Life building which sits in front of Grand Central Terminal.
Next passing Rockefeller Center, and a view of where we were standing on Christmas Evening watching the bubble light show on Saks 5th Ave.
We even got a better view of the Christmas Tree and could SEE the ice rink this time, unlike the crowded experience we previously had :-P
A view of Studio 1A where my favorite morning show: the Today show is filmed "Hello Matt & Meredith!"
You can also see our tour guide sitting there at the bottom of the image, nice hair :-P
There was a funny bell ringer, singing and dancing. Quite entertaining to watch.
Next we turned up 6th, went by Radio City Music Hall and saw some cool Christmas decorations
I'm not sure what this building is called, it's on 57th between 6th Ave and 5th Ave... I just like it cuz it's so slanty, I remember it from my walking adventures years ago.
We passed lots of buildings and learned lots of random facts
We ended up going north on Madison and coming around to the corner of central park where the Plaza Hotel sits,
and cruising along Central Park South. We got some nice views of Central Park.
Then our tour guide told us (the 2 couples left on the bus) about The Ritz-Carlton.
He prefaced the story talking about central park and the lawns, and how in the summer you can find woman laid out in their bikinis all over because it's the city's backyard... then he went on to tell us about how the Ritz-Carlton supplies all their hotel guests with telescopes for their rooms....
for 'bird-watching'. And sure enough almost EVERY window we could see had a telescope sitting in it.
We turned the corner down 7th Ave and passed this beautiful building, he pointed out the exterior, but I don't really remember, I just remember thinking it was a pretty building.
Then we arrived back where we started at Times Square.
We walked through Times Square for a moment, they were getting ready to close it down at 3, in preparation for the evening's party. We saw all the police officers spreading out to their stations.
We even got a glimpse of the crazies already standing, huddled together near the tip of times square. You can see the dog they have for sniffing bombs.
After this we walked and got a bite to eat, headed toward the Tram and back to Patty's apartment to get our bag and head back in to our hotel.... which I will blog about in another post.