My family and I have finally arrived and we are about to take a bite out of the Big Apple. We left Sunday, July 30, about a half hour ahead of schedule, around 7:30am. Definitely not the earliest we’ve been up before, but after I worked last night’s Jimmy Buffett concert at Comerica Park, sleep was definitely needed.
The drive wasn’t horrible, as we took turns driving the 10 hours from Detroit to New York City. A few stops in between for gas and food put us here around 5:30pm. Definitely way ahead of schedule.
We didn’t really have a tentative plan on what to do, except to go to a Yankees game on Tuesday, and leaving on Friday morning.
As soon as we arrived in New York City, by way of the Lincoln Tunnel, the traffic wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I volunteered myself to drive into NYC, which I was very excited to do. We drove around the western side of Manhattan, checking out the buildings, driving toward Chinatown, which was where our hotel was.
The first thing that struck me as amazing was One World Trade Center. After 9/11, you see, hear and read what is going on in Manhattan, but until you really get here, and see it for yourself, it’s completely different. I was awestruck when I saw One World Trade Center being built. It made me proud to be an American. It shows our resilience and our determination to never back down.
We soon arrived to our hotel in Chinatown, Best Western Bowery Hanbee Hotel. Yes, that is indeed a mouthful, but it is a very unique hotel. Located just a couple of blocks away from Little Italy and on the edge of Chinatown, we were surrounded by shops and markets, one being a fish market. After getting settled in, it was time to get something to eat. We hadn’t really had much to eat all day so we really needed some filling food.
Little Italy was the choice. After wandering around for what seemed like five minutes, but was literally like 20, we picked a spot. Da Nico’s Ristorante, an authentic italian restaurant, with homemade pastas as their specialty. We didn’t know that when we sat down, our day was going to be made.
I was hoping for some great pasta, and I ordered spaghetti, with just meat sauce. My mom, dad, and sister ordered something different. We had some excellent service, right on the side of the street, sitting outside, and it was the best spaghetti I have ever eaten in my entire life. My sister, Jessica, had wanted Gelato, and mentioned it at dinner. Our waiter overheard and asked for one too, Pistachio to be exact, but he knew he was joking.
We decided to take him up on his offer, and after walking through Little Italy, we bought some Gelato, one for my dad, Mark, and for our friendly waiter. Unfortunately, we don’t remember his name, but his face lit up with a giant smile as we walked toward him with a Gelato. The owner was sitting outside and said “on the house, on the house, take a seat.” So we were able to get a drink, on the house, for just bringing him a Gelato.
So we sat there, talking for about a half hour, being friendly, figuring out what we were going to do for the next four days. So, for the four days, here are our plans:
Monday: Ride bikes along the river, from the Brooklyn Bridge and South Seaport all the way to the western side of Manhattan. Sight-seeing as well going to Times Square.
Tuesday: Subway to Brooklyn, and the Yankees-Orioles game on Tuesday night.
Wednesday: Sight-seeing, lots of buildings and landmarks, shopping too, and possibly a Broadway show
Thursday: NO IDEA
Friday: Head home
So, after a long 10 hour drive, New York City has already been wonderful to us. We encountered a wonderful waiter and a magnificent restaurant in a small ethnic part of the city. I can’t wait to get started on Day 2!
Ta-ta for now,
To read the original piece, go to The Michigan Journal.