Monday, March 16, 2009

NYC: Day 7

This was it — the last day in New York. What do you do on you last day in the City? Mandi and I didn't know either, so we just stuck to what we hadn't done yet.

Thinking we would be staying up late that night, we slept in and started the day late. Once up, our goal was Grand Central Station and The United Nations. It's said that to go through Grand Central is to enter Manhattan like a king. I was on my way out but still thought the king part should apply well.

However, on the way there we got distracted. I wanted to walk by Bryant Park and Mandi saw that the New York Library was on the way too, so we got of the subway early and walked east through Midtown. Bryant park was pretty but cold, so our stay remained brief. The library, however, was spectacular. The architecture belongs more to a cathedral than public library, with murals, marble, and mosaics. It was beautiful. It would make a great arena in which to be locked in epic battle with a paper.

Just down the street, we got to Grand Central Station. The building was gigantic, but instead of exploring first, we went downstairs to the food court in search of breakfast/lunch. The food court was crowded but good, particularly the chili Mandi discovered. Then, we took turns photo-oping in the main hall, then left for the United Nations (also just down the street—42nd is an important street).

Getting in took a while because in front of security, a giant line for the metal detectors had formed and everyone had tons of coats and scarves to remove. Once we were in, we walked around and toured through a Holocaust exhibit. We could have signed up for a tour of the inner halls, but the next available group was too late that afternoon, so we decided to head back.

Mandi had mock that night, but after mentioning it was my last night in the city, she was able to escape early. We went to Think Coffee again and talked for a long time. That night, we decided to take it easy and order pizza again (again from Patsy's, and again SO tasty—I love basil leaves).

That morning, about 4:30 a.m., we woke up and said our goodbyes. I was worried about finding a taxi that early in the morning, but not two steps out the dorm door, one immediately drove by—the magic of New York, I guess. The ride out seemed considerably less wild, perhaps a product of my acclimating to city life or just because the cabbie was less enthusiastic.

I can't wait to go back. The City is a singularly exciting place—intimidating at first, but in part because of my great guide, also very intimate and manageable. For me the smells and feelings of the City brought back memories of Moscow. But, New York is unique, more optimistic, more uplifting and flashy. Leaving was bitter-sweet because, although I faced returning to school, work and ordinary life, I knew I would visit again. Cliché as it might seem, in-love is undeniably the best way to see the city.

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