81. New York City (Day Three)
The plan for today was to visit the Statue of Liberty bright and early, before it was mobbed by other tourists. I wasn't sure why I wanted to see the statue close up, except maybe to photograph the views from the top, but it was on every must-do list of NYC in existence. I caved in to the pressure. Even though I arrived early all the tickets to the top had sold out, leaving only the option of walking around the base. Not worth it.
Instead I walked up to Trinity church, through a couple of department stores where I bought nothing, and admired the crappy views from the Brooklyn Bridge. Why have a walkway down the middle of the bridge when all you can see out each side is cars and suspension cables? Apparently no one else cared because it was packed with other sightseers.
I dragged Danny down to the Staten Island ferry, which he only agreed to because it was free. The boat passed close enough to the Statue of Liberty that I felt I could tick it off the list. The views of Manhattan were fantastic, so I counted that as another tick. As soon as we arrived on Staten Island we turned around and went back again, which seemed like a bit of a waste of time but all I wanted was the scenery from the ferry.
Next on the hit list was One World Observatory, a recently opened tourist attraction next to the 9/11 memorial. You might have noticed that I am a sucker for a good view, and that was the only reason I visited the tower. 102 floors up definitely fits the definition of a good view. It was a beautiful sunny day and the 360 degree views were breath-taking. It was absolutely worth waiting in line for, something I try to avoid at all costs.
The afternoon was spent walking through Soho and Greene Street, admiring the classic NY architecture and boutique stores, then up to East Village and the famous Katz's deli. On the way back to the hotel I passed a Whole Foods Market, a supermarket chain I had heard plenty about on my foodie podcasts but had never experienced firsthand. It. Was. Amazing. I couldn't believe how much clean, natural, plant-based food there was all in one place. Not all the food was vegetarian but the meatless options were endless. Australia has a lot to learn. And the buffets! Salad, trail mix, olives, pickles, hot food, desserts - I was like a kid in a candy store. To top it all off there was a beer shop attached, allowing me to pick up some local cider. I brought Danny back here later on so we could stock up on decent food for our trip tomorrow (and buy more alcohol).