So we stood around outside doing that for a while, and watching for celebrities. No one I really cared about, but it was funny to watch my mom and aunt get all excited about the GMA personalities. We actually stood for a while in the little fenced-off area for the paparazzi, next to the door where GMA guests enter and exit--I snapped this photo of Trista and Ryan from The Bachelorette.
Then we ate breakfast at a little diner called Evergreen before heading to Grand Central Terminal.
Aunt Judy had never been there, and we needed to pass through it via subway anyway, so we came up into the terminal to gawk a bit. Sadly, I had all kinds of camera issues this trip. First, I forgot that my 50mm lens really isn't ideal for tourist photography. Not a huge issue since I had my pocket point-and-shoot which has a wide angle lens...until the battery died. Then I filled up the memory card on my Nikon. Then I killed the battery on my mom's camera!
Anyway, at Grand Central we caught a train down to the Brooklyn Bridge,
then walked across the East River to Brooklyn.
From there we returned to the Flatiron District to finish our walking tour. Here are my mom and aunt completing a photo challenge--this picture cracks me up! :)
The last few clues took us to Gramercy Park, another fascinating historical neighborhood I'd never visited. The park looked so enticing, and we needed a place to sit and rest--we were startled to find it gated and locked! Turns out it is the only remaining private park in the city; only residents of the adjacent homes have keys.
For lunch, we ended up at Pete's Tavern, the oldest continually operating restaurant and bar in NYC. During Prohibition, it was disguised as a flower shop.
It's also known as the tavern where O. Henry wrote "The Gift of the Magi"--and a hotspot for celebrities, apparently. The food wasn't anything spectacular, but the atmosphere and the history were really fun.
Our tour concluded back at Union Square with a recommendation to treat ourselves at Max Brenner's "Chocolate by the Bald Man". So we did. The service was kind of terrible and the prices steep, but there's nothing like dipping an "OMG Cookie with dark chocolate" into melted milk chocolate.
A little bit of heaven in my mouth. Plus my aunt and I split a piece of s'mores pizza. You'd have to have a ridiculous sweet tooth to enjoy it, but since I do, we were in the right place.
With our tour over, we were only a couple of blocks from Strand Book Store, "New York's legendary home of 18 miles of new, used and rare books." I took the opportunity to browse the New York history section and pick up a couple of bargains.
Then I realized that we were just a short walk from Everyman Espresso in the East Village, recommended by my favorite food blogger. Deb at Smitten Kitchen says of their latte with faintly spiced Mexican chocolate, "I’m pretty sure I wept the first time I tried it." So I left Mom and Aunt Judy to sit and rest while I ran over a few blocks to try one for myself. I can't say I really tasted the spices, and I didn't cry, but holy cow, was that an amazing latte. So incredibly smooth and rich and creamy. I don't think I've ever had a coffee that smooth.
After all that, we were spent. We returned to the hotel and crashed for a while before going back out to grab a late bite at Junior's.
[Day 4: NoLita brunch, the Met, Old Manhattan tour and dumplings in Chinatown]