The second day of our trip – really only a half-day, due to flight schedules – dawned hot and muggy, but we had a plan to see only one thing: Cleopatra’s Needle in Central Park–because we had seen its twin in London (left, below) in early 2015.
After a quick breakfast at the restaurant next to our hotel, we took the 6 train to the Upper East Side and walked a few blocks to Central Park. Cleopatra’s Needle is behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art (which is still on a “future trip-must visit” list). It was a gorgeous day in the park, and I love how New Yorkers make use of the space: walking their dogs, bicycling, jogging, pushing their babies in strollers…
We found the Needle, took pics, and started wandering south along 5th Avenue toward Times Square. I know, I know – Times Square is kitschy/overrated/horrible/crowded/whatever, but I always have to go and sit on the TKTS red steps so I can people-watch for a bit. I also have to shop in possibly the most tourist-trappy store in the world: Grand Slam. I bought a shirt. 🙂 I did not buy a license plate, key chain, ash tray, tote bag, or magnet – this time.
New shirt in hand, we headed back to our hotel to check out and stored our bags at the bellstand. We headed back across 51st street, and finally got to see the inside of St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church (St. Bart’s). We had seen it two previous times, but it had always been closed when we were there. It’s a gorgeous place, and a far cry from St. Patrick’s in terms of light and size, but it’s a stunning place nonetheless.
Since our vacation had been shortened, we were looking forward to lunch with our friend, Tony. He picked a restaurant near his office and we met him there for some delicious pub grub and jam-packed catching-up. After lunch, we walked with him to his office building, said our goodbyes, and figured we should head to the hotel to retrieve our bags. Once out of the hotel for the last time, we took the subway to Penn Station and then rode the train to the airport in Newark.
Security at the section of the terminal where Southwest has two gates was backed wayyyy up, but we got lucky when they opened a third screening area and we were shuttled into the new line. We ate at our favorite airport Mexican restaurant (we always eat there before flying home). Our flight home was uneventful and we arrived in St. Louis early, despite a short delay leaving Newark.
Next up: a couple of Arkansas roadtrips.