Monday, October 29, 2012

Killer Squirrels and ADD Rooms


Today we took it easier. We started out late but well rested and less sore, and headed down to the Strand Bookstore which we had not made it to yesterday. Kirby found a few books (one of which he is reading as I write this). We were going to meet Lena and Daniel for lunch and had time to kill, so we had some tea at a place by the Strand and then headed down to the Financial District. 

Still with extra time we walked down to Battery Park. There, Tech Support decided to sit down for a moment. As he headed toward the bench I saw a squirrel trailing after him, but thought it was a coincidence. It wasn't, the squirrel continued after him, proceeded to get up on the bench and onto Tech Supports lap.

Certainly, it was a squirrel used to people, but Tech Support was not a people used to squirrels, so he shooed it away. Down on the ground a pigeon was hoping to get in on the action and just about got into a fight with the squirrel. At that point a sparrow swooped down and tried to pen him in on the other side and Tech Support abandoned the bench.

Escaping the overly friendly wild-life, we met up with Lena and Daniel at their office, on the 25th floor of one of the buildings in the financial district. We enjoyed a catered lunch while catching up and staring out the windows at a gorgeous view of the bay. They gave us a few tips on things to do in the area.

After that we headed back down to Battery Park and took the next ferry out to the Statue of Liberty. I'd watched Ken Burn's documentary and so turned up my nose to the audio guide, but Tech Support enjoyed it. The observation decks were all closed so we couldn't go inside, but I think I'd done that when I was ten and have no memory of it anyway.

Next we got back on the ferry and went to Ellis Island, which I hadn't done last time I was in New York. The audio tour was an unending series of rhetorical questions and requests that the listener "imagine" that they are a poor immigrant at the turn of the century. I wished they'd been more imaginative in their audio tour. However, I still enjoyed the exhibits and learning about Ellis Island.

Going on a tip from Lena we did a bit of subway hopping in order to see the abandoned City Hall Station, which involved staying on the 6 subway after it's last stop while it did the turn around. There was not a whole lot to see, mostly a glimpse of stairs and dark tile, but it was still a fun little adventure.

We went up to East Village where we sampled some bao and then gorged ourselves around the corner on delicious cookies and truffles. Buzzing with sugar we headed but uptown, were too late to do anymore shopping, but went to the Rockafeller Center to the Top of the Rock. I'm not sure why it's a rock, but we went up 67 stories and looked out at New York City at night. 

Nothing will ever out-do the Sears Tower for dizzying views that had me clutching at the wall, but neither do I need that experience again. I love seeing cities at night, and it reminded me of the time Tech Support and I looked out at Tokyo at night from the Roppongi Hills Skydeck.

It also had this funny "ADD Room" as Tech Support called it, where moving around caused the lights to do all kinds of different things. He had fun running around and claimed there was a way to "win", although the good humored guard explaining it all to us just said that it was set off by our movements.

After spending a while romantically gazing out at the city, we got cold and headed back to the hotel for an earlier night and some much needed rest.

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