The best thing about eating in New York is that everything tastes just a little bit better than you expect it will, and you can eat whatever you want, at whatever hour of the day your heart desires. For example, if you get the sudden urge to eat Southern Cantonese on a Saturday nite, you just might be in luck.
Such was Grimaldi's Pizza in Brooklyn. The red checkered tablecloths, the coal-oven roasted flavor, the fresh ingredients all combined for an incredible lunch. My son, Nathan, who thinks Little Ceasar's is the cat's meow, said it was the best pizza ever. That's because it's real pizza, son, made with fresh ingredients. We took the foot path across the Brooklyn Bridge to walk off the pizza and the homemade ice cream we'd picked up after lunch.
The kids were interested in seeing ground zero, and we spent some time looking at the old gravesites in the cemetery of St. Paul's Chapel. St. Paul's was a relief center for 8 months after 9/11, and is now a museum that chronicles those horrific days and months after.
That nite, Darren and the kids (sans Leah) went to the Yankees/Red Sox game. Nathan insisted on wearing his Red Sox hat on the subway after the game. Yankess fans were yelling at him, "Hey, theeeer, get that a kid outta heeeraa, don't ya know this is the wroooong town ta weaaaar that hat in?" They didn't seem to mind riding with the drunken Yankees fans, and thought the whole experience was fabulous. Plus that, the Red Sox won, and so Nate got to see his team win in Yankee Stadium! "Wouldya look at that hat that kid's goooot on-whatdaya think youur doin' theeeer kid?" New Yorkers are great.
Friday we strolled through Central Park and ate a terrible hot dog that was most disappointing. The kids rode the Carousel and then the girls went shopping to H&M. After shopping in the children's department with Leah for 45 minutes, I was reduced to sitting on the floor at the top of the escalator, where the girls would rush by every 20 minutes or so and throw clothes at me, or ask me what I thought. After I had sat there for an hour, eaten a granola bar and cleaned out my purse, Leah had to go to the bathroom. Of course there was no bathroom available there, so Sammie took Leah next door to Victoria's Secret to use the restroom, and a lady accidentially sprayed perfume in her eye. (Plus there was no toilet paper.)
Saturday we got up at he crack of dawn to get in line to see the Statue of Liberty. Now that security is so tight, the lines wind all around Battery Park. So we got there at 8:15 and were some of the first people in line to get on the ferry over to Liberty Island. I must say, coming up on Lady Liberty is an incredible experience, and one can only imagine those thousands of immigrants and how their hearts must have been pounding as they passed her. Leah is fascinated by the Statue--her size, "her bun," the tablet she's carrying, why she's green, etc.
Ellis Island was remarkable as well. The museum that tells the story of many of the immigrants paints a very vivid picture of how America became the melting pot that it is. I loved learning about where all the people came from, what they went through once they got here, and how devastating it must have been to find out you had come all that way only to be sent back because you had some sort of communicable disease. Some immigrants spent months on Ellis Island, recovering from illnesses and going through insurmountable red tape get to Manhattan.