My second full day in New York was July 4th. I would be celebrating our nation’s independence in one of its early capital cities. I hadn’t planned the second day as carefully as the first, because my big adventure would be in the evening. I decided to walk across the street to Macy’s and see if I could find something fun to wear for the holiday. I did, but mostly I enjoyed riding up and down the old wooden escalators. I also enjoyed a breakfast bagel in Herald Square because, why not?
I decided I would take the subway to the Upper West Side and see what was going on there. It’s a different world from mid-town. I walked for quite a while along Central Park and even walked into the park for a bit; there were many families, couples, and bikers enjoying the holiday. I started feeling hungry and checked my phone to see if there was a good diner nearby. John’s Old Luncheonette popped up, and it was only a couple of blocks away. When I walked in, I knew I had made a good choice. No fancy food or surroundings here, and a quite small menu. But, it is clearly a neighborhood place; I was the only customer they didn’t greet by name. I ordered a Long Island Dip sandwich, which is a French dip but on a Kaiser roll. It was yummy and inexpensive. I walked out of there for only $12, including the tip. It was a far cry from my $23 martini on Saturday night!
Remembering that I had a big evening ahead of me, I took the subway back to my hotel and decided to relax for a few hours. My room was beautiful and it seemed silly not to enjoy that view for a bit. I rested until it was time to walk to Pier 83, from which a Circle Line Cruise would take me (and many hundreds of others) to see the fireworks from New York Harbor.
It was a fun evening aboard one of the six Circle Line ships that set sail that evening. I scored a seat outside on the upper deck, so I could see the city from a different perspective. As we sailed around the tip of the island, we passed near the Statue of Liberty, which seemed appropriate on this holiday. We arrived at our designated spot quite early, but we were entertained by a helicopter fly-over and by a fire boat that was spraying enormous plumes of red, white, and blue water. Light rain dampened our spirits a bit, but we stayed under cover for a while, and the rain let up long enough for the firework display, which was as spectacular as everyone had expected. We slowly made our way back to the pier, by which time it was raining steadily. We all knew we would be walking in the rain back to our various hotels. A distance of a mile and half isn’t far to walk unless it’s 11:30 PM and raining. But, the fireworks were worth it, and I’d do it all again.
The next morning, it was time to close out my New York adventure and head to DC, so I walked the two blocks to Penn Station, climbed aboard the Acela train, and prepared to enjoy a quiet three-hour trip to Part II of my East Coast Swing.