On our second proper day in New York, we went back to the public library so I could see what the inside was like. Beautiful, of course, and the ceilings blew me away. While we were marveling and taking pictures, a gaggle of giggling girls came by and asked the elderly woman behind the circulation desk where the stairway from the Sex and the City movie was. The woman sighed a deep sigh, one that conveyed that she'd probably been asked this question more times than she even wanted to think about, and wearily pointed them in the right direction. Not five minutes later, another group of girls came by and asked her the same thing all over again.
My three requests for New York were to eat a real bagel (the bagels in Pittsburgh are bullshit), have a NY-style slice of pizza, and go to Strand Bookstore. After we finished up at the library we hopped on the train (hooray for trains! I find them vastly superior to buses and miss the el in Chicago all the time) and swiftly arrived down in the NYU area, where we found the bookstore and bought many heavy books to carry around with us for the rest of the day. We made our way down to the World Trade Center, stopping to get a coffee, wandering in and out of stores, taking pictures, and generally enjoying being able to walk somewhere like we used to do in Chicago.
My coworker had warned me that even though it's free, you need to have reservations to get in to ground zero, but when we tried to get tickets in advance, the website didn't like either of our complicated names and wouldn't complete the transaction. We decided to go down there anyway and see what we could see. It was late in the afternoon on a Friday so the line to get in was almost nonexistent, and the woman at the ticket counter told us she had three complimentary tickets left for that time slot and would we like two of them. Yes, please! No line, no advance registration, we just waltzed on in. Although it's kind of hard to photograph, the memorial is beautiful, peaceful, and very tastefully done.
After we were done at ground zero we walked around the financial district a bit more. I wanted to get a picture of the two of us but don't like handing off my new, fancy camera to perfect strangers. D spotted a man with a much nicer camera and we asked him to take our picture in front of this fountain. I figured not only would he not steal our inferior camera, he'd probably get a good picture of us. Done and done!
After all that walking we were pretty hungry, and found on yelp an amazing pizza place in Little Italy. We shared a pizza and some cocktails as a freak thunderstorm rolled in and drenched everyone running around outside. Somehow the storm was over by the time we were finished with dinner, and we headed out to walk back to our hotel. It was right in Times Square and around the corner from 30 Rockefeller Plaza, so I couldn't resist snapping this picture. I love how art deco and severe it looks!
After all that walking we were pretty tired and called it a night, but not before I spent a good ten minutes convincing D that I wanted to move to New York and could he please figure out a way to make that possible?