Sailing round Manhattan

Another lovely morning in the Big Apple. Had pancakes and bacon (Mirinda) and Ham (me) at Tom’s Restaurant. Amazing value and interesting combination! They have Seinfeld-abilia on the walls including an autographed last photo – wonder if Jerry tried to change it?

After breaky we wandered up to Columbia University which is only a couple of blocks uptown from us. Spent a bit of time in the (brilliant) bookshop then onto campus. A lovely uni. The main building (used to be the library but is now the administrative centre) stands high upon a steep set of steps, imposing and strong. We went in for a look see. Lots of marble and very high ceilings.

Admin block, Columbia University

Walked round the corner and looked in the round church, which was a bit gloomy but very tranquil inside, which is great in the middle of a uni. We walked across to the Law Library where I stayed outside while Mirinda blagged her way in by saying she was a visiting lecturer!

Suitably nourished on collections of legal tomes, we started our way downtown for the Circle Line Cruise. It wasn’t the most pleasant of walks down to the pier but once there, the boat was great.

We sailed all the way around Manhattan Island and for the whole three hours this guy talked and talked and talked. He was brilliant. Lots of great NY facts. For instance,

  • There’s a suburb of Brooklyn called Dumbo. It stands for Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass, which is where it is.
  • When you buy an apartment in most NY buildings, you have to be accepted by the building’s co-operative board. In some places they even interview your dog and there are now places you can take your dog to be trained on how to qualify. It’s only $150/hour for 10 hours of training.
  • The Bronx was originally the property of the Broncks family and whenever people went to see them they would “go visit the Broncks“. Eventually the spelling changed to the Bronx but, unlike everywhere else, it has always been THE Bronx.
  • Vanderbilt started his vast fortune by rowing people from Staten Island to Manhattan (and back again). This was the beginning of the Staten Island Ferry which is now free. Can’t remember how much he charged but he was eventually very wealthy.
  • The Island of Manhattan uses 1.5 billion gallons of water/day. That’s a scary one. Are they just very clean? Or do they drink a lot?

It really was an excellent tour and well worth the $24 each. Afterwards we caught a crosstown bus to Times Square and went to half-tix. Managed to get a couple of tickets for the American Ballet for only $15 each. From here we walked down to the City Center Theatre – it’s not far.

Had dinner in a diner – nothing could be finer. I had buffalo burger – tasted like bland cow – and Mirinda had spaghetti and meatballs – so American!

The ballet was ok. Theatre was packed and we were about 8 miles from the stage. In our original seats we couldn’t see much so, at the first interval we moved a couple of miles further up the back. The stage was microscopic from here but at least we could see it.

After the show we walked to the bus stop and caught a bus home – they run all night. Both very tired and we have an early start tomorrow for the Harlem Tour. The Yankees finally won a game tonight. World Series score now 2-1.

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