Thursday, July 26. After a long, glorious night of sleep, I showered, dressed in Royals garb, and went out to the Starbucks in the next block that I had scoped out from the bus. It's amazing when I say that I'm going to Starbucks for a "cheap" breakfast, but that's NYC.
I met up with two tour buds and we headed for the subway to take us to the 9/11 Memorial. After successfully navigating the subway ticket purchase, we boarded, rode south to our stop, then used our phones to navigate to the Memorial. Along the way, I got to touch the big Wall Street bull. They went off to use their pre-purchased museum tickets, and I stayed outside to tour the Memorial. It's pretty amazing, two huge square pools with perfect waterfalls on all sides, and ledges on all sides with the names of the folks who died in association with the attack.
Next, I made my way toward the subway, and with the help of a NY subway official and my phone, took a train that got me near McSorley's Old Ale House, the pub that has NY's longest-continuous-open claim to fame. My Wichita friend, Deb Goin, has been there MANY times, and raves about it, so how could I pass up the chance to go there for a beer?!?! I arrived right at 11am when they open (beer for breakfast, why not?!?!), and had fun talking with the bartenders who in fact know Deb quite well. Beer choices are dark or light ale. I chose dark, a fine brew. I also had the lentil soup--very good, and at $4 a bowl, a steal in NYC. A local couple sitting next to me kindly guided me to the subway station I needed to get back to the hotel. I made a stop for a to-go salad, and went back to the Hyatt to relax and watch the Cubs, prior to the evening's Royals-Yankees game.
Thank God for bus drivers who can handle big city traffic. The drive to Yankee Stadium was both crazy and interesting. We drove most of the way up Madison Avenue, going from the la-dee-dah of ultra-expensive designer stores to the grodiness of Harlem. We passed the magnificent St. Patrick's Cathedral. At times I think we were going at least 40 mph on the city street. The bus squeezed thru the stadium traffic with inches to spare. I roamed around two full levels of Yankee Stadium. I watched the Royals lose in an embarrassing way. For a relatively new stadium, there is nothing impressive about it. It's like they took the worst features of old stadiums and put them in the new one. I'll grant you, I'm not a Yankee fan, to put it mildly, so maybe I'm prejudiced. Actually, the best part of the evening was a conversation with a fellow solo traveler about how much we dislike NYC. It was a lovely serendipity that sat us together, because our conversation relieved a lot of city-based stress for both of us. Meanwhile, the Cubs came from behind (again!!!) and won with a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 9th.