Google Something Clever 2.0: New York, Part Three

Sep 16, 2013

New York, Part Three

Day five, we finally went to the city! We got up early, missed the train, discovered an adorable cafĂ©, and almost missed the next train. An hour and a half later, we arrived in Grand Central Terminal. Did you know it’s not called “Grand Central Station”? Remember when you were a kid, and the phone kept ringing, and people were in and out of your house all day, and your mom would make some remark like, “What is this, Grand Central Station?” Well, I have no idea where she got that from, because it’s called Grand Central Terminal. The first thing I did was use the bathroom, and you will not believe what happened: it was clean, and some stranger was polite to me. Everything I've heard about New York is a lie!

When we entered the main lobby, I expected to be overcome with... I don't know, awe or something. I was not. I’ve seen the place in so many movies, it just felt like walking into Target. Like I’d been there a thousand times before. Isn’t that a bummer?

Once we went outside, I quickly learned how to spot fellow tourists, because the streets were teeming with them. They stopped in the middle of the sidewalk to stare up at the tall buildings. They looked all around, their eyes filled with wonder. They held maps and cameras. They took pictures of everything. Rookies. I whispered to my husband, “Never look up. Always face forward, and look around with your eyes only.” All bets were off once we hopped in our first cab, though. I was gawking at all the buildings and taking pictures of everything.

That's where the Avengers battled Loki

I'm pretty sure that's a famous bridge?

"Mountain Dew or crab juice?" (Points if you get that.)

We arrived in Battery Park and followed the signs to the ferry that takes you to the Statue of Liberty. My son has been obsessed with her (yes, “her”) for years, ever since I showed him that scene from “Ghostbusters 2.” We rounded a corner and came upon a fountain/splashpad thingy. This was the first time I laid eyes on her.

Artsy, right?

My husband had been online the night before, and he learned that you’re not allowed in the statue’s crown unless you’re four feet tall. Why, I don’t know. The boy is 42”, last I checked, so I knew it wasn’t happening. My husband was convinced that somehow, we’d get him up there. “Remember Cake?” he asked me. Yeah, no. Security for the statue is a bit tighter than that of a free outdoor concert. We had to go through metal detectors, have our bags x-rayed, the whole shebang. And it turns out that they only sell a certain amount of crown tickets, and they were sold out. We actually couldn’t get inside at all. Our tickets only afforded us a ferry to and from the island. Don’t worry; we were welcome inside the two gift shops, where my four-year-old boy insisted on purchasing a snow globe. Man, I can’t wait to clean up the broken glass, glitter, and mystery liquid from that thing in a month.

Our next stop was Foley Square. Oh, you don’t know what that is? Pfft, rookie. Does this look familiar?
Dung dung! Or, um, Dong dong! Bum bum? There’s really no way to spell that without it sounding like something icky. Whatever. It’s the “Law & Order” courthouse. I stood on the same spot as Benson and Stabler and the late Lennie Briscoe! I heard that they were actually shooting there the day before, while we were wasting time and money at the stupid Bronx Zoo. I could have met Ice-T, instead of a depressed gorilla. Son of a bitch.

They don't let you use most of the stairs. Weird.

Next, we walked a few blocks to Hook & Ladder 8. The ladder truck passed us, siren blaring, when we were only a couple of blocks away. Damn. So when we got there, there were no friendly firemen to let us inside. Oh, well, they probably wouldn’t have, anyway. 

Look carefully at the logo on the sidewalk...

And besides, if it was occupied, I wouldn’t have been able to get all nosy and take a picture through the window. Now do you know what it is?

I didn't get to slide down the pole.

After that, we hopped in a cab and went to John’s of Bleecker Street, which Molley from A Mother Life had assured me served the best pizza in the city. The tables and walls were all covered with carvings from patrons. After checking with the waitress first (oh yes I did), I carved a little note for Molley. We took a picture, so she’ll know where to find it when she finally gets back from Europe. Then, my husband got a little crazy with a pizza pictorial.

Next was CBGB. Now, we knew it was closed, but we still wanted to go to the site. We didn’t do any research beyond the address. We figured it was probably just boarded up. Um, no. It’s a facy-ass, overpriced men’s clothing store. Like, men’s fashion. So sad. Here’s the thing, though: they were very respectful about it. The walls were still the same, the stage was still there, and they had some pictures and guitars on the walls. It was sort of like a museum. Or maybe more like a snooty store that was haunted by dead punks. Yeah, more like that. It was clear that we weren’t there to buy $300 jeans, and the staff seemed okay with that. So, points for them. I didn’t want to wear out our welcome, so I only took a couple of pictures.

Behold the dressing room.

My husband likes how he and our son look like ghosts.

We also took some pictures at the corner nearby, which is now Joey Ramone Place. Fun fact: the sign is absurdly high to prevent theft. Apparently, it is the most stolen street sign in all of New York. It was hard to get a picture of both me and the sign, since I figured climbing the pole more than a few feet was most likely frowned upon. My husband had to stand ridiculously far away. Most of the passers-by were really cool about not stepping into the shot, which surprised me. New Yorkers are not the assholes I thought they were. As long as you don't tell them you're a Red Sox fan, that is.

Hell yeah, I climbed it. Just a little.
Next up is my favorite moment! Are you excited? Stay tuned!