I figured it was time to figure out the subway system and to check out the financial district. I hopped on the N from Times Square over to some scary station in Brooklyn with lots of cops. After realizing that I didn’t want to stay on the N past Canal, I took the R back to Whitehall St.
I took some photos of the Statue of Liberty from around the Staten Island Ferry Terminal before taking a stroll down Water St. towards South Street Seaport. I was going to check out the TKTS booth there as it was rumored to have shorter lines than the Times Square location. While that might have been true, the lines were still really long and the shows they had tickets for didn’t really excite me. I called my hotel concierge and had them get me seats for "Wicked." I don’t know the first thing about Broadway shows, but I’m told this is The show to see right now.
At this point I’m pretty hungry and decide that I’ll go eat at MarkJoseph Steakhouse recommended by Frommer’s. I arrived only to find out that it was close for lunch on weekends. My guide has no good restaurants listed nearby, so I just walk for a bit.
Eventually I hit City Hall park and sit for a little while absorbing the atmosphere. My map showed that Ground Zero of the World Trade Center was near by, so I walked over there. Tons of people were around the fences surrounding the area. Being there brought back feelings of sadness that I hadn’t really felt since the attacks happened. There were lots of photos of what had been there and how things looked before and after the attacks. I’m sad that I never got to see the giant buildings. I walked around 3 sides of the site and headed north to TriBeCa.
My guidebook recommended a place called Buddy’s in TriBeCa for brunch. It was super crowded and they claimed 30-45 minutes for a table, but said I could eat at the bar — so I did. I had brunch: eggs, bacon, grits, toast! Mmm, grits. They were the best grits I’ve ever had and I’m from Georgia. The place had a nice atmosphere and I was very pleased with the food. It was nice finding a place that didn’t seem to be filled with tourists so I could get a glimpse of real New Yorkers.
After brunch, I headed over to Chinatown. All I saw was a lot of signs and people I couldn’t understand, so I headed up to Little Italy. It was about this point that I realized my my feet could use a break. I hopped on the subway to Canal where I transfered to the 6 and headed to Grand Central Station. The trip didn’t take as long as my feet would have liked. I looked around the station a bit and headed out to a nearby Starbucks. I enjoyed some hot chocolate and sat for a good 30 minutes.
Spending more time with my map, I saw that I was at 41st St. and Madison Ave. and that 49th St. and 5th Ave. wasn’t far away. I walked down 41st to the New York Public Library at 5th Ave. and watched some street dancers do some dancing to Michael Jackson music. I headed down 5th to 49th where Saks 5th Avenue is and continued down to 59th where Central Park is. Lots of neat stuff on 5th Ave. between 49th and 59th like the The Trump Tower. I was impressed, but my feet were killing me. I headed over to Broadway and back to my hotel to pick up my ticket for the show and to rest my feet for a little while.
I headed over to the Gershwin Theater for the 8pm show of “Wicked”. The show is a prequel to “The Wizard of Oz” based on the book “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of The West” by Gregory Maguire. It was completely sold out and I didn’t see any empty seats. The role of Elphaba (one of the two leads) was being played by Shoshana Bean, the standby for Idina Menzel. This had me a little worried at first, but it didn’t take long to see that she was amazing. The whole show was wonderful. I was blown away by the voices of both Shoshana Bean and Jennifer Laura Thompson (Glinda) and the rest of the cast. The story was fun and fit in well with the Wizard of Oz. The tickets were well worth the money.
After the show, I headed back to Times Square for a bite to eat. I wandered around a bit and then finally went to bed.