Central Park Zoo, Boathouse, and Times Square - Friday, July 24, 2009
We woke up early and tried to get out by 9:30 a.m., but really didn't leave until 10:15 a.m. We took the bus super easily from Bleeker and LaFayette to Madison Ave & 58 ST. We walked to Central park and went to the zoo. Central Park Zoo is one of our favorite places to visit in New York City. It is a small manageable zoo with animals that are exciting to watch. We always go there every time we go to NYC. They have penguins, polar bears, sea lions, reptiles, a large aviary with many birds, a red panda and a snow leopard. We had a delightful morning just the kids and I. We also went to the Tisch Children's Zoo and had lunch there as usual. They have a nice petting zoo and things for the children to climb and explore.
We walked through the park a bit. The kids climbed the rocks and we got balloons in the shape of swords. We walked to the Apple Store on 5th Ave and then went to FAO Schwartz. The kids were diasppointed with the selection of toys there. There were no electronics, mostly nice and educational toys, which they don't appreciate. They have a "make your own muppet" area. They wanted to make one, but I refused as it was $130.00 for each muppet.
We walked more on 5th Avenue and went to the Disney store and the NBA store. The kids bought some team school supplies there, the girl that helped us was named "Toasty." That's one of our catch phrases for the trip. We even named our GPS woman Toasty, because she's toasted, and makes many mistakes. Another catchword is "Chaser" because Chaser had to chase us and save us while we were rowing on the Mystic River. "Satellite" is another. The kids were quoting Ti, because he calls ditsy people "satellites." They get a kick out of that one and its variations. They use it interchangeably with "remote," "Direct TV," and "Comcast."
Anyways, I digress. From the NBA store, we went on the bus back to the house to meet Daddy. The bus took us to Bleeker and Broadway and then Dad was waiting for us at the NYU sports center. We went to the house and the kids showed Al what they bought and we got ready. Alex spoke to Hugo and we decided to meet at Central Park at the Loeb Boat House, which is a nice restaurant. We took forever to get there because we went to the wrong subway entrance. Then, we had to walk to the park and then to the restaurant. In retrospect, we should have just taken the car.
The restaurant was gorgeous. It's amazing that I had never seen nor heard of this place. We've been to the lake where they race the remote controlled boats a million times and this is just steps away from there. They have used this restaurant in many films such as "When Harry Met Sally." Hugo was there already. We had drinks and hung out a bit. Then, we walked through the park awhile and then to 5th Ave. We took a cab to dinner at a nice Italian restaurant called John's Pizza in the theater district one block from Times Square. Later, we walked through Times Square and had ice cream cones from a Mr. Softee truck.
Suddenly, we witnessed a bust of illegal purse vendors. These guys were carrying the handbags in huge bundles behind their backs and they all looked like Santa Claus. All of a sudden, some of them yelled something and all of them took off running with their bags on their backs. Their were about 50 of them. It was an impressive sight to see them all running and scampering about like rats. The police officers ran after them, but they didn't get caught. One undercover officer came back to the area with one sack he was able to get, but no guys. I'm glad the kids saw that, because after doing the wrong thing and going with them to the secret rooms of Chinatown, they were able to see that it's dangerous to do illegal things and that the police are always after criminals.
We walked more on Times Square and went to the M & M store. We shopped there for awhile and then called it a night. We took a cab home and arrived around 12:30 a.m. I stayed awake packing until 3:30 a.m. We are heading back home first thing in the morning. It was a bittersweet feeling as we knew the trip was coming to an end, but we had the best along, family time anyone could ask for.