Friday, October 7, 2011

New York - Day 4

Day 4: My New Favourite Place in NYC
Thursday, September 29th

Thursday morning the weather looked reasonably okay, so we decided to head over to pier 86 and the Intrepid, as that was something Henni, Lars and I all wanted to see. Admittedly, Lars perhaps just slightly more than us girls, but we were still keen enough to go.

For those of you who don't know, the Intrepid is an old hangar ship which was retired from duty in 1974 and now serves as an air, sea, space museum. Lars was fascinated by the ship's history itself, whereas Henni and I were more taken by the flag bridge and the living quarters.

I think, for me, the highlights of the visit were seeing Henni squee over all the Top Gun references (she's a huge fan ;) ), meeting an honest-to-God retired Intrepid pilot(!!!) and getting a tour of the 'secret' submarine docked right next to the intrepid.

You definitely cannot suffer from claustophobia if you want to work in a submarine!

Once done with the Intrepid, Lars headed off to catch the train to Connecticut, so he could add yet another state to his list (and one I haven't even been to yet! I've still got three more than him though ;) ), and Henni and I walked over to Pier 83 to get some lunch before going on a sightseeing cruise on the Circle Line - we figured this would be an excellent way to sightsee AND rest my leg at the same time ;)

And it was definitely worth the price! The tour guide was amusing (if, perhaps, a bit frustrated by all the tourists who spoke very little English, would come aboard and talk LOUDLY among themselves (so loudly that I was tempted to ask them to quiet down, as I couldn't hear the tour guide), and kept standing in the lanes despite being told MANY times to keep the lanes clear for safety reasons. Seriously, what IS it with people? I'd be too embarrassed to stand back up after I'd been told just once. If you think I sound ever so slightly frustrated myself, you'd be right - and this was only one 2-hour trip - I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like to cope with these people day out and day in! But I digress), the rest nice, and we got some terrific photos of the Statue of Liberty and both Manhattan and Jersy City coastline.

Alas, when we were about half way the sky suddenly turned ominous...

... very ominous...

And before we knew it, there was a proverbial downpour which unfortunately lasted for the rest of the trip, but which fortunately turned into a drizzle as we exited the ferry, so we didn't get too wet as we made our way back to Broadway and my personal highlight of the entire week:

Ellen's Stardust Diner!

Okay, so you have to be a special type of person to enjoy this place - it's definitely not for everybody - but Henni and I both LOVED it! The atmosphere, the singing, the waiters and waitresses, the milkshake...

Most of the waitstaff are aspiring broadway actors, and the entire concept of Ellens is that they'll take turns singing and providing the atmosphere in order to get some exposure. Apparently it works, and most of them were very, very good. But more than just being good singers (which wouldn't have been enough), they were also extremely charismatic, and knew how to get the audience involved.

I won a straw there ;-) One of the waitresses sang "As Time Goes By" and stopped to ask if anybody knew which movie had made that song famous. I shouted out "Casablanca!" and was awarded one of their (completely ordinary) straws ;-) As she came over to hand it to me, she discovered that I was singing along, and so made sure to get me to sing into the microphone, so I can now claim that I have sung on Broadway ;-)

(I know it's not the best photo ever, but we didn't get much notice, so I'm just grateful that Henni thought to grab the camera at all! I certainly didn't have the wherewithall for it.)

Henni and I both felt we had to leave FAR too soon, and were in complete agreeance that we HAD to return for a meal - lunch or dinner depending on whether or not we could convince Lars to come along too ;)

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