Tuesday dawned cloudy and cold, so we bundled up and headed to Amelia’s for breakfast – Kipp and his daughter Sarah had prior commitments and could not provide us breakfast themselves, but treated us to breakfast at Amelia’s. We walked down there for a delicious and somewhat filling breakfast, and Jenny walked the whole way flawlessly without her Halti!
After breakfast, we met up with Cory – our tour guide – at Penn Station for the Food on Foot Tour, which is unlike any other tour we have been on since arriving here. The group was large, with attendees from Canada (Vancouver and Edmonton), USA, Australia, England, Germany, Scotland, South Africa, Japan, Taiwan, and Costa Rica. This tour was designed both to be an eating tour and a mingling tour, and we did much of both! Cory was a bit of a drill sergeant, demanding a “New York pace”, describing how things were going to be, but under that gruff exterior was a man who loves his city and wants to share it with others. He told us that the current Penn Station was a new building, but there was an old station that acted as a hub until it fell into disrepair, and then Pennsylvania Railroad company bought the air rights to where Penn Station now stands. We even found a Tim Hortons at Penn Station!
We started at a pizza place, where Ben and I split a slice of fresh mushroom pizza. It was quite tasty, especially in comparison to generic pizzas back home. While eating, we chatted with two travelers from Germany, who explained that from Munich, they could drive 3 hours, be through another country, and be halfway through Italy, while from Edmonton, we would still be in Alberta if we drove 3 hours in any direction.
After that, we headed to a Mexican grocery, where I enjoyed a fruit punch Mexican soda. It was delicioso! While waiting for the others’ tacos to arrive, we chatted with a couple from South Africa who happened to be at the Rangers game we were at earlier in the week.
Leaving that stop, we headed toward City Sandwich, where Ben and I split a “Todd”, which was like a BLT, except the Portuguese bacon was a bit thinner and not crispy, but it was so delicious. We chatted with a couple from Scotland who were both teachers, and we stood outside shivering in the cold chatting about Scottish independence, traveling, and our love of NYC.
From there we went to a Greek bakery, where I went in and brought out an apple strudel for Ben and a honey cookie for me. While I was inside, Jenny got to play Doggie for Mayor while hanging out outside with Ben, which made her and fellow travelers very happy.
After that point, we took a bit of a detour through a park, and then on to Papaya Go, where I enjoyed a kinesh (think fried potato cake) and Ben got a hot dog. We ate outside while the line kept moving, but many other tourists – perhaps even us – found it very very cold!
Our last stop on this tour was the Little Pie Company, where I had (arguably) the best apple pie in the City – the sour cream apple walnut pie – and Ben had cheesecake. We were both in foodie heaven, and believe it was the perfect way to end our tour.
Jenny did almost all of the guide work herself, in some places leaving Ben at the back of the group while heading up to the front, being only mildly distracted by other dogs, but loving the few minutes when she could say hi to the other travelers. I was so impressed, and think that she has really grown during this trip.
We planned on going to Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, but the lineup was so long that we decided that it wasn’t a make-or-break place to go during our trip. We caught the Subway back to the B&B, then relaxed for a couple of hours and then headed back out toward the theater district.
Upon exiting the train station, we found a cute little souvenir stand where we nearly completed our souvenir shopping. Then we tried to find a particular Italian restaurant, but were unable to locate it due to the crowds. Instead, we found a pub where we ordered sandwiches – which we enjoyed – and ate them with a background of very loud music – which we did not. Then we made our way to Broadway, where we located the Longacre Theater.
“You Can’t Take it With You” stars James Earl Jones, which brings out the inner nerd in Ben, and all the reviews say the play was supposed to be hilarious. It lived up to all our expectations, and more! Once we entered the theater, we were guided to our seats, and offered water for $5 a bottle (“Welcome to Broadway!” – we declined. The usher was very polite once we were seated and asked other theater-goers to go around the long way so as not to disturb Jenny, but it was done in such a way as to be both respectful and discrete.
The play is hilarious; I do believe there’s a movie, but I can’t say if it models the play well. We spent 80% of the play laughing at the antics of the characters, and the rest just smiling. Jenny scrunched herself under my seat, and did fantastic with all scenes – including those with fireworks – except the end of the second act, where there was a mass explosion of fireworks, where she wriggled out and tried to sit up. Thankfully, this was literally the last part of the act, so we were able to get up, stretch, resettle, and thoroughly enjoy the rest of the play. If you are ever in New York and get a chance to see it, DO IT! It was such a unique experience, where all of the cast fed off each other’s energy, performed extremely well, and – most importantly – engaged the audience.
Tomorrow is a busy day, because it is our last full day in New York. We are doing a tour of the High Line, Chelsea and Meatpacking District, then visiting Carnegie Hall, and enjoying a lovely New Year’s Eve dinner. Even as I love New York, home is calling me back; it will be nice to go home, but I feel like I have seen what I wanted to, and still will have more to see when we come back again – and make no mistake… we WILL be back!