Where did we leave off? Just before NYC, right?
I found an apartment in Brooklyn from Homeaway.com, and I can't recommend it highly enough. Owned by a lovely British women, her husband and two young daughters, it's in the heart of Park Slope, just off 7th Avenue. It has 1 bedroom, and a foldout couch in the living room, and is furnished a la Ikea in a simple but pleasant style. We were able to take the F train into Manhattan very easily, and had great grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques to ogle on our way to the metro station each day. Most importantly, it came stocked with Illy coffee.
Our first night there we ate at the Thistle Hill Tavern, just a few blocks away. They had a proper cocktail menu, which always pleases me.
And the food was good.
The girls enjoyed it too.
The next day, we headed uptown to stand in the longest line I've EVER stood in, in order to get on a crowded ferry and visit the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island. Let me just note that I have no need to ever do this again.
That's my favorite picture, but there are more on Flickr, and even more on my laptop. FYI, The Lady has nothing on Vulcan.
On the boat, Jesse saw on his Twitter stream that Eddie Izzard was also visiting Ellis Island that day. When we got there, we stumbled around for awhile, half-conscious with hunger (me) (the girls) and the sun (me) (the girls). We finally decided to watch the introductory movie, hilariously titled "Tears of Hope, Tears of Sorrow," since we could sit in the cool A/C for 45 minutes. Also, my iPhone battery was running on E all day, and I was excited to find a row of outlets on the wall of the theatre. I turned my phone off, plugged it in, and sat down next to Jesse, who gestured down towards the front of the hall where I'd left my phone and mumbled something. I thought he was telling me to sit closer to my phone, so I got up and moved. Soon after, I realized that Eddie Izzard was sitting directly behind me, complaining about my employer and calling to cancel his car. I'd already been thinking of Antonia when we went through the intense security line, but this sealed the deal.
As I sat there, one ear cocked behind me, an Ellis Island Parks employee began to deliver his talk before the movie started. Looking at him, I didn't expect much, but he soon had the audience laughing out loud and clapping - he was very funny, and had excellent delivery. This only made it worse when, at the end, telling everyone he had to do just one more thing, he walked over to my phone, unplugged it, handed it to me, and told me he "could have had me summoned." Um, thanks? As Peevish pointed out, I can be sure that I caught Eddie's attention. His, and that of everyone else in the room...
After we left the islands, we headed into SoHo, because I wanted to visit Kate's Paperie. On the way, we ate - thank god - and stopped by an AT&T store for a juice pack for my iPhone - thank god - and then the girls spotted Evolution, so we had to stop in there, too. I'd heard about it from a friend, and the girls LOVED it.
Spotted just past the store, was this, which I love:
Errands finally over, we had one more stop. If you're wondering how we fit this all into one day, one in which we didn't even leave the house until almost 11:00, I am too.
The girls HAD to go up the Empire State Building, and I did not have that need, so Jesse took them up and I found a coffee shop with wi-fi AND an available, no-yelling-at-me outlet, and everyone was happy. The end. Of day 1 in NYC.