Day 2: Tips for Visiting The Big Apple, New York City for the first time

Tips for Visiting The Big Apple, New York City for the first time: Day 2

Day two in New York City consisted of a tour by foot with Real New York Tours. I found them on tripadvisor.com. Trip Advisor is a great resource, and I use it often when we travel. There's nothing more accurate than customer reviews in their own words.
Let me start out by saying that a tour on foot in NYC is not for the weary. It is a full on tour to see as much as you can in 6-7 hours while walking and hopping the subway to get from place to place. Our tour guide was Trey, and he was a wealth of information. There are several different tours to choose from, so you can custom tailor your experience with this company. Check out their website at RealNewYorkTours. We started out at Paramount Plaza around 10am and proceeded to cover most of Manhattan in a day. We did this tour early in our trip, so we could familiarize ourselves with the city layout and make notes of places we wanted to return to later in the week. One of the sites was Ground Zero. You could still feel the somber aura in the air as Trey explained that seven of the buildings at Ground Zero were destroyed and ALL other buildings in the immediate vicinity sustained damage except for one that was directly across the street from the twin towers. It was St. Paul's Chapel. It would be the place to feed three thousand rescue workers every day immediately following the disaster. The chapel did not sustain any damage, not even a broken window. A miracle for sure. We plan on returning to the chapel in the coming days for pictures and more of it's stories. We walked through Chinatown and Little Italy where you can see how Chinatown is taking over the area.
There aren't many Italian immigrants coming to the U.S. anymore, but there are still plenty of Chinese coming. After walking though Chinatown, I didn't want to eat Chinese food for a long time. They had markets lining the streets and the smell of dead fish and other things was gagging. We even saw a bucket of live frogs for sale. Rumor has it that they don't just eat the legs! A walk through the financial district showed us where they closed off Wall Street to traffic after 9/11. The protesters of recent weeks had disbanded. They are no longer allowed to camp out in the park near Wall Street. Central Park was a brief break from the crowds, even though there were alot of people in the park, it didn't feel as congested as the streets. Strawberry Fields is an area of the park dedicated to the late John Lennon. His apartment building is adjacent to the park where Yoko still lives. Soho is a happening place where there are many well known stores for shopping. The artists are dwindling in that area, because the rent keeps going up as the area increases in popularity. We had lunch on Bleeker Street in Greenwich Village where I ate the best Italian sub I ever had.

Get the Italian Special at Faicco's, you can't go wrong! Across the street is a little Italian bakery called Rocco's. They have the best cannolis! Get the chocolate covered shell. They make the cannolis on the spot for you. It's a real treat.

 There were other areas that we explored off the beaten path. We walked about ten miles, and yes you will be exhausted, and yes your feet will hurt, but it IS worth it!