Monday was our last full day in New York, and once again the weather was looking pretty good for us. Originally it was supposed to get cloudy and maybe even rain, but for the most part, we had sun. It was a little cooler, but not too bad.
We slept in a little late, I think as a result of a few days with a lot of walking around. Our plan for Monday was pretty wide open, but I did want tot do one more thing that I have never done in New York - skate in Central Park.
We walked up to Central Park from the hotel, cutting over from Park Avenue at 62nd Street, and making our way into the Park through the entrance at the Zoo. We watched the sea lions for a bit, then made our way over to the rink. For a warm, spring day, the rink was actually pretty busy, and as you might expect, full of kids. Class trips I think.
We made our way over to the concession area and rented skates and a locker. It ended up being pretty expensive, but I figured this would be a one time thing. Sadly, the skates they rent are figure skates, even for the guys, and I was seriously worried about my ability to skate on the damn things.
Oh, and did I mention that they were probably the most uncomfortable skates I have ever worn, and that's saying something! Try old goalie skates some time.
So Justine and I went out and skated around for a bit, and it was every bit as bad as I expected. The damn things were killing my feet (Justine too), and trying to relearn to skate on the damn things just wasn't fun. Give me my hockey skates and it would have been a whole different story!
So all told, we lasted about 15-20 minutes tops, skating around, trying not to run over small children. Then we gave up. It just wasn't worth the pain. But for the record, I was getting the hang of the skates.
After skating, we wandered around Central Park for a little while. The sun was shining, and it was a really nice day. Justine had arranged for us to have dinner down on the Lower East Side with an old friend of the family, who she hadn't seen in a while. But that was at 7ish, so we had quite a bit of time.
After wandering the Park, we headed back to the hotel and got changed for more of a night out. Justine wanted to check out SoHo, but we needed some lunch first. One of Justine's co-workers had suggested a more casual spot S'Mac, that made variants of mac and cheese, so we hopped in a cab and headed down to 33rd Street.
Lunch was excellent - good comfort food - and afterwards we grabbed another taxi and headed for SoHo. I had the taxi drop us off at Washington Square Park, and we walked down from there, through the NYU campus.
As we were walking from Washington Square Park to SoHo, I made one stop just off Bleeker Street, at the Makerbot store. Markerbot makes the Makerbot 2 3-D printer. This is probably the most "consumer"-oriented of the 3-D printers on the market. I've been facinated by 3-D printing for a long time now, and it was pretty cool to see their store. They were giving away these colourful bracelets, so Justine grabbed a couple for the kids. They have all kinds of little things you could buy at the store, but I'd really like one of the printers. But not that day, sadly.
We spent the afternoon wandering around the shops and galleries of SoHo. It was a pretty casual and uneventful afternoon. As the afternoon wore on, we went over to the James hotel, and went up to their roof-top lounge, Jimmy, for a couple of drinks.
The views were pretty nice, and the drinks were good, if expensive. We stayed for a couple, watched the sunset, then headed over to the Lower East Side to meet Justine's friend Katherine (I hope I got the spelling right!).
Katherine had booked us a table at this French bistro, Lucien, one of her favourite spots. It was down at 1st and 1st, in the Lower East Side. Justine and I were familiar with the area, so it was easy to find, and it ended up being a pretty great little spot. Justine and Katherine had not seen each other in quite a long time, so it was nice that they had a chance to catch up. We had a great meal, and the conversation was fun.
After dinner, we wandered for a bit, and tried to find something going on, but even in New York City, that's a tough call on a Monday night. We ended up at some random bar talking for a couple more hours, before it was time to call it a night. We had a really fun night, and it was a perfect end to an excellent trip.
Tuesday morning was pretty much a bust - packing, checking out of the hotel, and getting back down to Grand Central to catch buses to our respective airports. Justine was off to Atlanta (via Newark) for a couple of weeks, while I was heading home from LaGuardia. The flight home was uneventful, and it was a great trip.