Monday, September 28, 2009
1. A borough of New York City in southeast New York, mainly on Manhattan Island at the north end of New York Bay. Peter Minuit of the Dutch West Indies Company bought the island in 1626 from the Manhattan Indians, supposedly for $24 worth of merchandise. The settlement of New Amsterdam, renamed New York when the English assumed control in 1664, quickly spread from the southern tip of the island, eventually becoming the financial and commercial center of the United States.
Play was the sole purpose of this particular Monday. In fact, I propose that play should be the purpose of every Monday from here on out. At least as long as I live in this pounding, pulsing heart of a city.
Determined to start at the obvious beginning as a tourist in my own city, heading up todays itinerary was Battery Park, the glorious Empire State Building and a speakeasy of sorts, with a little wiggle room here and there. Sunshine pouring in our windows this morning helped to get the day going a little sooner than usual, and with the exemplary Empire State of Mind on repeat in our heads and our MetroCards in hand, we headed out!
Sitting at the very tip of Manhattan, Battery Park is already pretty dramatic place. Choppy, glittering waters of the Atlantic crash up against the Pier (Peir 1, hahaha. I'm such a nerd), and then you look up and she's just sort of there.
Smaller than I expected, the Statue of Liberty is powerful in a way that few other things are, not to state the obvious or anything.
The weather started to cloud up a bit, and we really wanted to get to the top of the Empire State Building before the forecast thunderstorms, so we hopped the 1 train up to Penn station! Phew all that transit hopping and sightseeing left us in need of a pick me up, which lead to my second Pumpkin Ale of the season.
By the way, it was hugely more delicious than the first, which really surprised me seeing as this pub was actually inside the ESB and thus assumed to be an icky tourist trap.
Despite the very kind warnings of the neon vested vendors out front (who promised that the special express tickets they sold for just twice the price of a regular ticket)we were zipping up the 86 floors to the top of the city before we knew it! Apparently Monday afternoon is an excellent time to go. Who knew!
What I found most striking up there was the peace and quiet. It was almost like being in church, and everyone around you is worshiping at the alter of Quintessential Manhattan. Maybe they just want a better view of Central park. Maybe they're reliving a marriage proposal, or showing their kids something new and special. Or maybe they just want a moment of calm, a chance to grasp a city that can be so elusive.
Personally, I'm rather partial to the Chrysler Building.
Back on the ground, I found that I just couldn't resist the pull of H&M. Poor David was quite patient, so as a reward I took us out for an absolutely cocktail to toast our day on the town.
By the time the F popped us out at 14th street, rain was posatively spilling down on us. Thankfully, the Flatiron Lounge is cozy and luscious and it made me sort of feel like Nora Charles, which is exactly what I want to feel like all the time, most especially at the end of a long day. Doesn't everyone?
David sipped blissfully away at his usual, a lovely sidecar. Best he'd ever had! And for me, a lovely spritz of a drink called a Lullaby- Apricot eau de vie, bubbles and a little whisper of Absinthe.
A perfect New York day. There really isn't anyplace I'd rather be, and that's quite a nice thing to feel.