I woke up this morning feeling exhausted. And that was after getting to bed at a very reasonable hour. You see, this is a funky hotel; cool rooms, restaurant, rooftop bar, cocktail bar/disco up top too. The downside of that is that it's popular and I've discovered the cocktail bar/disco upstairs 3-4 floors above me is a place to be Thu-Sun. Which is great ... if you're there. Not so great if you want to sleep through the dull duff-duff sounds cascading down. This isn't a complaint though; I knew what this hotel was like and you take it all as a package. But last night it just wasn't that easy getting to sleep. Earplugs didn't help. I had to put some calming music on the iPod player just loud enought to muffle the duff-duff but not so loud as to also keep me awake. So I didn't really sleep until the disco shut down. Luckily on Sunday that was around midnight.
Anyway, each morning I wake up I expect my good run of great weather to have come to an end so I can switch to indoor activities. But no. It was another superbly clear blue sky morning. Hmm. Dilemma. What to do?
The Statue of Liberty was on my to do list so I investigated tickets. If I wanted to get to the pedestal viewing area I couldn't get a ticket until Thursday. Oh well, I thought. I really only want to see it and the ferry ride over would be just as good. So I bought a ticket just to visit the Island. Then it dawned on me. If I was happy with that, why not investigate cruises around Manhattan as some friends had suggested? So I did and there was one that would take you all the way around the Island. I know I could have done both but the weather today was so perfect I didn't want to squander it. So I ditched my Statue of Liberty ticket in favour of the cruise. Only a small $ loss but a big sightseeing gain.
I made my way to Pier 83 through a combination of subway and power walking, stopping for a bite to eat and a coffee on the way. I was worried that I might be out walked by the New Yorkers. But no. I think many of them would struggle to keep up with me.
The ship was packed; over 600 people. And it was gently rocking even while docked. I did wonder for a moment wether it was going to get rough and how I might react. In the end, it was only the cold that was a problem. I sat down inside until they opened up the front, then spent the rest of the trip on the bow snapping frames from each side as we passed views.
It was a great idea and a perfect way to really see the bigger picture of Manhattan and its incredible diversity. And the tour guide/announcer Chris was fantastic.
At the start of the journey they did warn us that it was a very high tide. That meant we might not make it under some of the smaller bridges (and there are many). Luckily we did; but with only a little room to spare.
Afterwards, I made my way back to the hotel along the High Line. By now it was about 3:00. I wanted to regroup for a while. Tonight I plan to go back to the Empire State Building to try and take some evening photos.