Our good friends Elizabeth and Brian were kind enough to let us stay at their place while we were in town. We went to dinner together the first night we were in town (although we never managed to take a photo with them!). The second night Mike and I went out on our own, leaving Elizabeth and Brian time to pack for their Saturday morning departure to Hawaii. We headed uptown to South Harlem, our old neighbourhood. The business association has gone all out with Christmas lights this year, making it look very festive.
As is typical of being in New York, we spent most days just wandering, covering a good 5 to six miles every day. We lucked out with the weather, too - about 9*C and sunny every day (a good 5 or more degrees warmer than Vancouver than weekend), so there wasn't much motivation to seek out more sedentary, indoor activities.
On Sunday we got adventurous and took the tramway across to Roosevelt Island - that long skinny island in the middle of the East River. We didn't have too much time to explore (we had to be at the airport at 4, and had other errands in the city to accomplish), so contented ourselves with a walk down the west side to the southern tip of the island. We found an abandoned (though well supported) ruin down there - turns out its a smallpox hospital that was built in 1856.
The Queensboro Bridge, as seen from the tram
Manhattan, as seen from the Island
There's the tram! (We opted to take the subway back)
We really enjoyed being back in the big city - I'll have to make sure that Mike takes another business trip there soon so I can tag along again. The only part that wasn't great was when I dragged Mike down 5th Avenue on Saturday afternoon so I could check out the sweaters at Abercrombie & Fitch (I get one every few years - check the content labels, though, their quality is slipping fast!). Picture a slightly wider than normal downtown sidewalk of about 5 blocks long, crammed with thousands of people and about a hundred cars. Nobody was getting anywhere fast! But at least I got a cute sweater out of it!* :)
*In my defense, there were only 2 A&F stores marked on google maps, and the other one was way downtown. And shopping in the states save me money too - sure, A&F and JCrew now ship to Canada, but the markup on the Canadian prices is ridiculous! Almost makes it worth it to shop exclusively in the US for certain goods, provided you can find a time when the border crossings aren't ridiculous!