It is so great being with someone who lives in New York, it means that we are being taken to places that we wouldn't normally go. Our first stop today was Greenwich Village to have a taste of New Yorks best cupcakes and a Sicilian cake called a cannoli. Both of which of course are extremely sweet so we bounced down the street from all the early morning sugar.
With our energy levels set to high we set off for the tenement museum. It is a group of flats that were discovered in the 1980s, and in which nobody had lived in since the occupants abandoned them. One was the flat of a German Jewish family who had left in the 1980s and the other was a Catholic Italian family who had left in the 1920s. They were brilliantly restored, and with regards to the latter flat, they had help from the daughter who was 7 years old when she lived there. She could remember the smallest detail of how her home had looked and so it is very authentically restored. It was a fascinating thing to see and to learn about immigrants lives in those times. The best part though was we managed to get in for free! Karyn (in DC) had given us her American Museums card which was our golden ticket for freebies and we saved $20 each...the whole travelling on a budget thing is going very well!
We had started out quite late in the day so it was 4pm by the time we bought some food and had our picnic in central park. It was a gorgeous hot day (unlike last night which felt like it could snow!) so the park was crammed. Add to the weather the fact that it is easter Sunday and you have the whole of Manhattan in the one area. There was hardly a blade of grass left for us to sit on.
After lunch we took a stroll through the park and came across a group of rollerskaters dancing to music...and I don't mean just a few, there was about 40 them, many reliving the 80s in leg warmers and shiny leggings. Some of them were really good too, especially a guy in aladdin trousers made of towels and balancing 5 water bottles on his head. It was a totally crazy scene but almost mesmorising to watch and we stayed for quite a while just watching them boogie the day away.
After we had had enough of being back in the 80s we walked towards Time Square. Nicole went home at this point not feeling to well and me and Ian continued on ourselves. We thought that it was just going to be a bit of a box ticker but it was so worth going to, it is an amazing place! Picadilly circus is like a bunch of garden torches in comparison. Later that night it transpired that Easter Sunday is gang initiation night in Time Square and that 4 people were shot and 54 were arrested! Thankfully we had left before all this kicked off, but it would explain the 20 or so teenagers who were on the subway shouting, screaming and swinging from the rails. We figured something was going on but wouldn't have guess what!
Talking of the Subway, for those of you moaning about the London undergroun, don't! You could be on New York subway! Granted the subway is more complex but even my fabulous map man Ian got a little confuzzled at moments. Not only to the trains appear at stations that they aren't supposed to be at but they can suddenly decided to change which direction they are going with very little notice. There are no screens on the platforms to let you know when your train is coming or that you could wait half an hour for one! Worse than all of these though is the signage..."Right for the D train...oh you can go left too...and Downstairs if you fancy it". O.K we will go downstairs and wait for 20 minutes. All of a sudden we see signs that say "Oh, we meant the D train was upstairs"...AAARG!! We had to wait half an hour for a train but thankfully we were being wonderfully entertained by a guy playing big plastic paint pots as drums...he was really good and we were almost disapointed when we had to leave!!
Once we had succesfully navigate this Alice in Wonderland signage it was 1am and we had a long day ahead of us so went straight to bed.