Walt Disney World ICP - Day 75 & 76 - Exploring New York - 16th and 17th August 2013

16th Aug
I was up nice and early because I had booked myself to be on a walking tour for a large part of today. The tour was by Free Tours by Foot and lasted 6 hours covering Lower Manhattan in quite a bit of detail. We explored all kinds of different areas from the big hotspots such as the 9/11 memorial site to Little Italy, Wall Street, Chinatown and some lesser known areas.

On Wall Street - if you close closely on the ground near here you can see a part of the original wall which stood on this site.

The tour did include a lunch break for an hour and a second 15 minute break too. The tour could have been really lonely as most of the other people were in groups, but I got chatting to a French guy called Alex who was living the dream - an internship in New York for 6 months where he gets paid, has an apartment, free travel and free gym membership. What more could you want? The tour was fantastic and I thoroughly recommend it - although it is a walking tour, you do use the subway twice to save time whilst travelling across town.

After the tour I went back to the apartment and relaxed for an hour or so as I had something very special lined up - a broadway show.

I had heard rave reviews about Newsies on broadway so I booked tickets more than 6 months in advance. I got some great seats. The show itself was incredible with great singing and a fantastic storyline about how the Pulitzer enterprises tried to charge newsboys more for “papes” (newspapers) and they instigated a rebellion changing the future of newsboys forever. It may have even made it into the top spot of my favourite theatre show ever, though I’d have to think about that one carefully.

17th Aug
I met up with Jack today who I will soon be traveling to LA with. He had spent the last few days in Washington DC and raved about it so that’s somewhere I’ll definitely have to visit in the future. Today though, the aim was to explore a bit more of Manhattan. I only really had two full days in New York so I had a lot to get covered today and that’s exactly what we did.

We met up at 9:30am at Penn station and got the subway downtown to board the Staten Island ferry.

The ferry is one of those fantastic things that everyone should do whilst in New York and it’s completely free! Essentially it’s a leisurely form of transportation from Manhattan to Staten Island but the best bit is that it goes right past the Statue of Liberty allowing you to get some great views (and photos) of it. Once we reached Staten Island we walked around a bit looking at the architecture - it feels very European and very much unlike Manhattan, and then we got the next ferry going back to the city centre.

Next, it was a walk to the Brooklyn Bridge which I had had the bright idea of crossing, once we reached it we were exhausted and decided against it. Instead we walked to the nearby 9/11 memorial. On the walking tout the day before, the tour guide told us how to get tickets for the memorial free of charge at a visitor centre, so we headed there. Whilst we were waiting in line for the tickets, a man came past with tickets he no longer wanted and gave them out to the last few people in line, so I and Jack got tickets to go into the memorial without having to queue which was great.

I was much more excited than I should've been to see this Apple store.

The rest of the day was spent shopping, walking around Central Park and just admiring the city. One of the highlights of the day was sitting in Central Park with Jack and a man putting a speaker on the bench next to us. We moved to a different bench so we could have a look at what was happening. Over the next 15 minutes or so, people from all walks of life turned up and sat on the bench, the man got some talcum powder out and wrote "Tango" on the floor and started to play music. People got up and started to tango in the middle of the park in a free tango class. It looked like great fun and everyone was enjoying themselves.

The start of the tango class.

We caught the subway and went for dinner at Outback Steakhouse to round off the night - the steak wasn't too bad at all! It was really good to get to see a bit more of the city today, but I will definitely need to come back to see the city better as tomorrow I only really have a few hours in the city before I have to fly to LA.

Next Post: Walt Disney World ICP - Day 77 - Over to LA! - 18th August 2013

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