She took us to Spritzenhaus33 for a refresher. It had an expansive bar with lots of beer choices, as well as hard liquor. There was a huge fire place in the middle of the hall and high stacks of oak firewood waiting for cold weather. Picnic tables were plentiful for seating and the
"wall" windows were garage door style. They were all open today because the weather was so pleasant. See www.spritzenhaus33.com.
Mike was a little dehydrated so a large water for him. Teshia had beer and I had my usual cuba libra (rum and coke with lime). They didn't have Myers Dark, but Goslings worked. The menu was limilted, at least at this time of day, mostly appetizers and sandwiches. We weren't starved, so we shared a German style pretzel with peanut sauce for dipping. Teshia paid (on dad's credit card). Thanks, Tom!
A big entertainment attraction here is the Jenga game. There were boxes scattered everywhere--on the fireplace, tables, bar, floor. Just grab one and start playing with your friends. The goal is to remove a block from the pre-arranged wooden tower and place it back on the topmost level in a balanced way. The person that places a block just before it falls is the loser. It is all based on manual dexterity and mental skill. See www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jenga. We were not up for a game, but enjoyed snooping at the challenges going on around us.
After our quick refreshment stop, we wandered a bit through some iffy neighborhood back streets. I wasn't nervous in the late afternoon, but night might have been different. Lots of trash, not so good graffiti on abandoned buildings, bicycle frame padlocked to a street sign pole (no wheels or handle bars, rusted, long abandoned, but still locked to the pole). People we passed said "Hi" and we felt safe passing through.
No sure what subway line (M or L maybe?) we took from the Brooklyn side, under the East River, and back to Manhattan. When we hit daylight again we were near Teshia's favorite NY book store, The Strand, at 8th and Broadway. We popped in for a browse. It reminded us of the original Border's in Ann Arbor--several floors and every nook and cranny packed to the brim. If you want it, they have it or they can get it. Rare, out of print, hot off the press, and book related necessaries. This 1927 establishment's motto is "Where books are loved" and you can tell it is true.
Here we unwillingly parted ways from our niece. We so enjoyed our short but sweet visit with her. But she had things to do and places yet to go this day. It was strange to see the little one that we so wanted to hold on to now evolved into a butterfly of independence and confidence. It was inevitable. We are so proud of her and her parents that led her through the zigzag steps of life to this point. Nothing but promise ahead.
We could have taken a subway back, but decided to walk as far as we could. We were at 8th Street and Broadway and our hotel was at 44th Street and 5th Avenue. That meant about 40 blocks. One thing about the blocks in NYC is that they are SHORT. Thank goodness. You feel like you make quick progress.
What touched us as we plodded along was the architecture. Every era represented, some very innovative, some classic, some traditional, some perplexing, some ugly. Also, saw street artists, news stands, public works of art. At Union Square Park we cut off onto Park Street (which is also 5th Ave). That took us through the Gramercy and Murray Hill districts. Awesome people and pet watching. It made the time fly.
We spotted the flagship Brooks Brothers store. It was a fashion icon in our youth, but not as much in the limelight these days. We continued within eye shot of the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building (one of our favorite structures in the world). We again strolled past the grand NYC public library on 5th and the historic Grand Central Station.
We finally turned left on 44th and discovered the New York City Yacht Club building. It is out of this world with windows that look like the sterns of ancient sailing ships. It was built in 1900 in the Beaux-Arts style with lots of sea-faring details carved in the stone facing. The history of this building and the NYC Yacht Club are definitely worth reading more about at www.nyyc.org. Mike stated this may be his new favorite building in the world and what a great loft it would make!!
Back at our hotel we were both pooped with feet aching. We took a brief siesta and then ventured out again for dinner around 7p. We asked the front desk where we could get some good New York pizza. He suggested John's, which I had seen in our wanderings, so away we went.
John's was on 44th west of Times Square, but when we got there the line spilled into the street. We were hungry, but Mike does not usually stand in line for anything. We left a little disappointed and headed back across Times Square looking for a deli.
Pausing in Times Square is a must. It is amazing. We wondered how many light bulbs, LEDs, etc there could possible be in just this little area of NYC. Every color, every shape. Unreal, but very real. So many people. Lots of cops, too. Reassuring. After about 5 minutes of jaw-dropping awe we continued on.
We saw a sign with parking rates. A bit hard to read above, but per car monthly rates are $497.90 between 6a-5p and an additional $497.90 between 5p-6a. One hour is $18.59. Plus there is an 18-3/8% parking tax!!
Shortly after that we came across a promising deli and cafe. We opted to grab a sandwich and eat back at the hotel. We got a turkey/bacon/avocado on ciabatta. It came with half a kosher dill (all mine!!!). You could make a whole sandwich at home with just the avocado on this one. We got cold drinks and cookies for dessert. We were hungry, it was good, and I ate my whole half (meat and all). What a way to end the night and great inspiration to hit the hay, so we did.