After a very good nights rest (seriously our room was SUPER quiet, if you are ever staying at Park 79 request room 118!) we were up, bright eyed, & bushy tailed by 7:30. J-Bird was of course starving so we got dressed & ready for our only full day in the city.
For breakfast we stopped in at the Amsterdam Diner, (between 82nd & 83rd) for some challah french toast! This is the boys favourite thing ever & they were so excited to see it on the menu. The staff were very friendly, the service quick, & the food was very tasty. Two plates of french toast (four pieces each) and one plate of home fries was more than enough for the three of us to share.
Today we had three stops to make, the Jewish Childrens museum in Brooklyn, F.A.O Schwartz, & the Empire State Building. I used the Hop Stop app to get around the city, between that & my phones compass we never got lost. (it is a free app & can be used in a few other large cities) I had to use the compass because I don't have a built in ability to figure out which direction is SE blah blah blah & will apparently pick the wrong direction to walk every time.
We took the 1 train to Brooklyn, and it let us out right in front of the Childrens Museum, the boys were ecstatic. They kept saying LOOK there is a Jewish person, OH & look there is another Jewish person. I had to tell them several times that they were in Crown Heights, which is a very Jewish area to live. (I am so glad we made the trip because I thought it was very exciting to see as well) They even got to experience a tiny bit of Purim, Matanot l'Evyonim (gifts to the poor) & giving Tzedakah.
Chavi was enjoying the kosher super market.
The museum itself is a very nice size, tons of things for little people to touch & experience. The admission price includes a free art project & putput golf on the roof. They also give you a wrist band so you can leave & re-enter. The museum gift shop is not open yet, but Mendy's deli is in the museum and the food was great. Not cheap but the portions were large so you don't need a meal for everyone pick a few things & share. I had 1/2 a pastrami on rye & a bowl of split pea soup, Chavi had chicken, J-Bird had a hotdog.
After the JCM, we took a little walk around just to look at things we popped into one shop Chavi picked out a new kippah, & J-Bird picked out a small clip picture of the Rebbe. Then it was time to get back on the subway & head to F.A.O Schwartz. This time we took the B train and got to enjoy going over the water instead of under it. Another fun thing that happened was a small group of dancers got on the train & then did some amazing hip hop dancing.
When we got to our next stop, the boys saw the horse drawn carriages, the man called out "carriage ride around central park miss?" & I looked at the boys they had HUGE puppy dog eyes. I sighed, "do you really want a carriage ride?" They did & since they were both being so well behaved I said alright. We were able to enjoy the park scenery & the boys had a street vendor soft pretzel for a snack.
Just before we crossed the street to go into to F.A.O. Schwartz who should we happen to meet? BIG BIRD! Both boys were over the moon & J-Bird kept saying "this is were they MAKE Sesame Street, this is where Big Bird LIVES!!!! "
Finally we made it to F.A.O Schwartz which was remodeled in 2004 & looks nothing like it did when I was a teenager. We spent over an hour in there just looking at everything Chavi loved the Lego section, & the books the most. J-Bird's favourite things were the dollhouses, Playmobile, & the Calico Critters. I loved the Tonner Doll Company dolls & the Barbies, they were so pretty.
After F.A.O Schwartz we went into the Apple store because my phone was dying! This Apple store was so cool its a glass square you go in & then you go down a glass staircase into the store. They saved the day because we would have been lost without the phone!
Our last stop of the evening was the Empire State building, because it is winter there was no line to deal with! We got in & right to the top, spent about four minutes outside on the observation deck but between the wind & the cold we had to go back in right away. The boys got to see the view though & it was long enough to snap a few pictures.
We grabbed some McDonalds (the boys picked dinner) and then hopped on the subway to go back to our hotel room, day 2 was done!
The Jewish Childrens Museum of Brooklyn
Mendy's Kosher Deli
F.A.O Schwartz NYC
Empire State Building