We actually set an alarm clock this morning, the first time since we got here. I actually woke up about 45 minutes before it was to go off, so I checked email and stuff, and jumped into the shower. When I got out, I woke Karen up. We got ready, and took off for the day.
We stopped by Ms. Dahlia's again for breakfast, and I had to get the biscuit again. It's so tasty. Karen had another bagel and liked it as well. The cream cheese was really thick again, but not as much as our previous one. We were headed to Central Park, so we jumped on the A train, and blew right past the 72nd Street stop. Uh-oh, I thought the A stopped there, but we had to get off at 125th Street, and get onto the local C in order to get to our stop.
A few minutes later, we popped out right next the Central Park and The Dakota. The Dakota is the building that John Lennon lived in, and he was shot and killed right in front of it. The portion of the park in front of The Dakota was renamed to Strawberry Fields and there is a large "Imagine" tribute to John in Strawberry Fields.
We continued walking around the park, looking at the rocks and one of the lakes, and strolling through The Mall. We stopped briefly and looked through some prints for sale, and I saw a cool silk-screen of the Brooklyn Bridge for sale. Karen and I have a tradition of getting locally produced art when we travel, so we purchased it. It will look good in our house.
We continued NorthEast, watching the squirrels and kids playing. Most of the squirrels were grey, and occasionally one would be more brown. We saw two weird ones though. One was so blond looking that we thought it might be albino at first. A little while later we saw a dark black one. CRAZY!
We eventually found ourselves on the East side of the park at 5th and 70th. We stopped to see what restaurants might be around, and I realized that we were fairly close to Candle 79. I had hoped to eat here, but wasn't pressing it much and had sort of written off getting to it. I was delighted to see we could go now. I felt a little under-dressed, especially once we got there, but I was very excited to eat there. Karen ordered the grilled kale salad. It was very refreshing and extremely tasty. I think she was a little disappointed with it initially, but later said it was very filling and it was nice to eat a veggie dominant meal. I ordered the seitan picatta and was simply blown away. It was so tasty, and made up of the most amazing seitan I've ever had. The texture was amazing, it cooked up differently than I've ever seen, and absorbed so much yumminess from the sauce and capers. IN-CRED-IBLE. I could eat this every day.
We wrapped up lunch with a perfectly sized and richly delicious Chocolate-Peanut Butter Bliss. We joked around with out waiter for a while, a weirdly hilarious guy that I can't describe more than that. I liked him a lot.
After lunch, we walked toward the subway, and eventually made it over to Times Square again. We walked away from Times Square as quickly as possible, heading toward the West side piers for our 4:00 cruise. We got to the pier at 2:15pm, but didn't really need to be there until 3:15. We had to exchange vouchers for tickets, and I asked if we could upgrade to the full-circle tour that goes completely around Manhattan. It was $4 more each, and was an hour longer, but left an hour earlier, so it worked out really well. The cruise was great, in my opinion, and freaked Karen out at first. We got to see so much from the boat, including a relatively up-close look at the Statue of Liberty, all of the bridges, and eventually the little red-lighthouse. I had a blast!
We saw so much cool stuff that I'm sure I've already forgotten what much of it was. One of the neat things, to me, was how much of the far Northern part of the island was forested. Not super-heavily, but still very surprising to me.
As we pulled in to the pier, we passed the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space museum. The museum is an air craft carrier, holding a number of aircraft on it's deck. Out front is the test Space Shuttle Enterprise. I saw this in Washington D.C. 2 summer's ago at the Smithsonian Air and Space museum, where it used to reside until it was replaced with one of the recently retired full-on Space Shuttles. Pretty neat to think that I saw it in two different cities.
We jumped off board, and walked back toward Times Square to catch the train back to the apartment. We needed to clean up, see the guy we rented from in order to get our deposit back, and get some rest before heading out for dinner.
After chilling out for a bit, we were both getting quite hungry, so we set off for Foodswings. After a slight detour (wrong stop) we easily food the place in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Seems like a really cool place, but we were here for the food. The chica working the counter was really cool straight off, and quickly got us set up. We ordered punk fries (they were out of gravy for disco fries, their version of poutine :-<), chipotle fries, the Zapata burger (chili cheese burger), bbq chicken legs, and mac and cheese..... observations: 1. The fries were fantastic. Nothing fancy, but the cheese on both was crazy good. 2. The burger was quite possibly the best burger I've ever had. great. 3. Karen's chicken legs was awesome. Basically shaped and breaded fried seitan. Holly's is just as good, but these were good and had "bones" in them (wooden sticks) 4. Karen and I both thought that the mac and cheese might have been the best we've ever had, vegan or not. If this place was easily accessible on a regular basis, I'd weigh like 4200 pounds. INCREDIBLY tasty junk food. Amazing. See all of my pictures from today HERE.