Birthday Trip, New York City, May 2015 (Day 8)

Last full day in NYC already, everybaaady!!!!! But before I start all the reminiscing and perasaan pedih pedih, you all please read Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6 and Day 7 first ok.

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Guess what we did on our last full day in NYC, you guys????? We woke up bright and early to......


..... see the Statue of Liberty!!!!! Again!!! Kwa kwa kwaaaaa.

You'd think that after we saw the Statue of Liberty via water on our 4th day and via air on our 6th day, we'd be very bosan with that statue already, right. But nooOoOoooOooOOooo, laki aku masih ah nak pergi visit the lady herself! This time betul betul on her own island i.e. Liberty Island pulak.

I asked him over and over again, you betul masih nak pergi tengok? You betul belum puas? We've seen the Statue of Liberty upclose and personal already, two times somemore! But mati matiiiii he insisted, mati mati dia nak jejak Liberty Island itself. Padahal pergi dekat dekat pun bukannya boleh pegang bontot!!!!! Haiiiiiii gasak kau lah nak.

13 May 2015 (Day 8)

- Liberty Island (Statue of Liberty)
- Ground Zero - 9/11 Memorial (North & South Pool)
- 9/11 Tribute Center
- Wall Street Walking Tour
- Brooklyn Bridge

Went to redeem our free ferry tickets to Liberty Island (via New York Pass) and the morning crowd wasn't too bad. We didn't have to wait long either, although everyone were subjected to strict US airport-style security checks before boarding the ferry. Had a very, very nice clear view of the Manhattan skyline as we made our way to Liberty Island via ferry, and once we arrived, it was time to check out the lady herself.

The bontot that my husband did not get to pegang.

The ferry operator that we got was Statue Cruises, by the way! If you're not redeeming it under the New York Pass then the regular fee is USD18.00 per adult. Kalau nak naik sampai to the crown of Statue of Liberty, add another USD3.00.

We chose not to naik all the way to the crown because it is 377 steps (via spiral staircase!) all the way up and there is no elevator access from the top of the pedestal to the crown platform. Thanks, but NO THANKS. Siang siang I told Saliheen already, jangan berangan nak naik sampai ke crown, unless he wants to go through another one of my meltdown episodes inside the Statue of Liberty ala my meltdown while trekking in Ubud ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

If you don't want to pay to see the Statue of Liberty, don't mind taking pictures of the Statue of Liberty from afar, don't mind not stepping foot on Liberty Island, and don't mind squashing with 10 million other tourists and locals (who use this mode of transportation to travel to and fro work) then the free Staten Island Ferry will be your best bet. The ferry (which is ginormous by the way) will pass by Statue of Liberty and you can take pictures as it does.

Tak free VS Free

I have to admit I actually enjoyed visiting Liberty Island and seeing Statue of Liberty up-close and personal hehe! I think it was because queues and waiting times weren't long and irritating and it was pleasantly surreal to see the actual icon of New York towering down on you, y'know? Must say the statue is WAY smaller than I envisioned it to be since I was younger, though. All those TV shows and movies making it seem more gigantic than it really is... Haha rubbish!

We hopped on the subway after that, grabbed food for lunch then walked over to the Ground Zero (9/11 Memorial) to see the North and South Pools which used to be where the two Word Trade Centre buildings used to stand.....

This is the new Freedom Tower, which is next to the North and South pools of Ground Zero.

We also visited the 9/11 Tribute Center (entry tickets under New York Pass) to see the artifacts and memorial pieces from the tragedy. I will reserve Saliheen's and my opinions about the September 11 attacks because it is a very sensitive and controversial matter after all, but when we were in the 9/11 Tribute Center, all I wanted to do was remember that there were real human lives lost to such horrible and senseless attacks on that unfortunate day :(

I think I was the most affected when I saw the memorial corner (the one with tissue boxes!!!) where there were pictures of all the innocent victims who died during the September 11 attacks. Took the time to look at every single picture and wondered about their hopes and dreams, their aspirations, and their families and friends who they didn't get to go home to..... I imagined packing Saliheen off to work in the morning and then receiving a phone-call telling me that his office building has collapsed after getting hit by a plane a few hours later and my eyes just started watering OKAY.

After about an hour in the memorial centre, we went on to a guided tour which was pretty nearby - a Wall Street walking tour by Wall Street Walks this time because we wanted to learn more about the workings of Wall Street, the New York Stock Exchange and the financial district in New York. This is more for Saliheen than me actually, since my mind turns into sludge when it comes to numbers, mathematics and finance hahaha WHAT

Graveyard is not part of the guided tour la haha but we saw a plot of land with gravestones next to all the office buildings and modern skyscrapers while we were making our way to the meeting point. It was pretty cool to see something from 1700s against a 21st century setting! And as always, I start thinking about all the possibilities, the way of living, the occupations, the faces and styles, the cause of deaths of all the names that I saw engraved on each tombstone and how the surroundings must have been like between 1700s to just before the current buildings took over...... FASCINATING!

Anyway. We ended the guided walking tour at the Charging Bull, which is pretty iconic la and I wanted to see it for myself in real life. Turns out this is how it looks like during mid week at 3.00pm:

Lahabao betul. Ni dah macam ape tau, macam Expectation versus Reality.


TENKZ.

Didn't bother to get close to touch or take picture with the Charging Bull because at the end of the day kan, INI SEMUA BERHALA! Hahahahaha abeh bitter eh. Okay la bulls made of bronze frightens me a little anyway, I mean, have you guys heard of the brazen bull torture method????? THAT SHIT NASTY.

Once the tour was over, we went to Brooklyn Bridge next! I was exhausted gila after the Wall Street walking tour but how can I not step foot onto Brooklyn Bridge while in NYC kan?! Terpaksa semangatkan diri. Had to walk quite a fair bit before we were really, truly standing on the Brooklyn Bridge but don't worry, there wasn't any epic meltdown, just a really satisfying feeling of accomplishment hahahaha

Went to makan at City Kitchen at ROW NYC after that, the concept is something like our local food courts...? The whole place is air-conditioned, and has about 9 to 10 F&B stalls with popular brand names in NYC.

I mention this because this is one of the makan places that I would return to if I ever patah balek NYC. No halal certified stores though, so if you was was then this makan place is not for you. But if you don't mind checking it out, I recommend the lobster roll set from Luke's Lobster! Much yums. Doughnuts were from Dough, and they were one of the food items I wanted to eat so badly in NYC so - ting ting ting - achievement unlocked! Hehe.

The doughnuts were pretty delish by the way, but I think it might have been better if I had chosen a conventional flavour like chocolate instead of my poppy seed lemon doughnut. Chose it just because poppy seeds are banned in Singapore so kirakan macam mana punya badass ah makan benda yang ada poppy seeds HAHAHAHAHA BYE LA

Went back to the hotel to wash up then we went out to borong the last bits of souveniers to bring home, grabbed a tub of our favourite Magnolia Bakery's banana pudding and takeaway platters from The Halal Guys food-cart then sat down on the famous red steps in Times Square, just eating, chatting, people watching and taking everything in.


We must have spent at least 2 hours on the steps, watching the world go by and enjoying Times Square as it pulsated with its bright lights and loud sounds and almost bursting from its colourful stream of wide-eyed tourists, eager business peddlers and shady characters haha. We left Times Square at around midnight, buzzing from the crazy energy that Times Square fed us with, but also feeling sad knowing that this was the last night we'd be able to that... for now.

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