Day 2 of our New York trip was packed to the brim with New Yorky goodness. We started the day out right by sleeping in a tad. We had tickets for a 1:30 trip to the Statue of Liberty, and also had tickets for the Grey Line double decker bus tours that we planned to use that day. Randall and his wife Traci were going with us, and Saturday was by far the easiest day for them to join us on all this fun stuff. Anyway, the bus tours start as early as 8 in the morning, but we didn't really get downtown until 10 or so after taking our time in the morning.
We waited maybe 30 minutes in line to get on our bus and after riding it for a while, realized that by the time we got down to Battery Park it would pretty much be time for us to get out and head out to Liberty Island, even if we didn't get off to see anything along the way there. The bus ticket is good for "24 hours" although the buses only run from 8 am to 5 pm so I'm not sure what good a "24 hour ticket" is. Anyway, what we saw of the downtown bus tour was pretty enjoyable, and if I had it to do over again, I'd maybe try to not do both the bus tour and the Statue of Liberty on the same day.
Once we got to Battery Park, we got in line, which went much quicker for having bought our tickets online in advance and fairly quickly moved through a security checkpoint before boarding the ferry to head out to Liberty Island. Entrance to the base of the monument is also available when you get your tickets online at no extra charge, so we had arranged for that as well. The boat ride over gives you some great views of both the Statue and of lower Manhattan and other surrounding of New York Harbor.
Once we got to the Island, we went through another checkpoint and then headed into the base of the Statue. There's a small museum inside that talks a lot about the construction of the Statue, and then a bunch of stairs to climb up to the top of the base where you can get out and look around.
Seen enough Statue of Liberty? :)
After getting our fill of the Statue of Liberty, we headed back to the ferry which took us over to Ellis Island, where we decided to just look from the boat and head back to Manhattan. We got back around 3 and had a full list of things to do that didn't involve getting back on the bus tour, so that was the end of our Grey Line experience.
This sphere was at the World Trade Center and after the events of 9/11 was transported to Battery Park in its existing state. I thought it was pretty interesting.
From Battery Park, we walked up past the Wall Street bull, and swung over to check out Ground Zero, where all we could really see was some construction going on. From there we went up across Canal Street ("Handbag? Handbag? Watches?") in Chinatown and somehow managed not to purchase anything there. Then we went up a few block to Little Italy and had late lunch/early dinner at an Italian place there. This was actually our first real meal since gorging on Virgil's BBQ the night before, and surprisingly, I was just barely starting to get hungry at this point.
We had tickets for Phantom of the Opera later that night, so after dinner, we continued our trek northward, or at least Manhattan-northward since the island doesn't really run north and south. Along the way we got dessert at Pinkberry, a trendy frozen yogurt place where the frozen yogurt just tastes like yogurt (or if you pay extra coffee or tea) and also checked out Union Square where Randall picked up an "Obama is my homeboy" T-shirt.
We made it up to the Majestic Theater, where Phantom was playing a little bit before the doors were to open and when they did, worked our way up to our seats in the Rear Mezzanine. Rear Mezzanine is Broadway code for "Way up in the back". From where we were sitting, it felt like watching a Jazz game from the Bear Cave, except with no Jumbotron to help out. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy the show, but I'm sure the people down on the floor (or "Orchestra" as its called) had a vastly different experience. Also the legroom left a little to be desired.
The stage is way down there at the bottom where there are things covered in curtains.
Anyway, after the show let out, we hit the Subway and headed back to Queens to end our night.
More photos from Day 2.