I've said before that New York City is one of my most favorite places -- I visited my cousin there in college and I was immediately smitten with everything the city has to offer. I love that you can get lost in a sea of people -- the hustle and bustle and the sheer size of it all just makes me happy. James had never been before, and I couldn't wait to show him around (albeit quickly, because we arrived a little before lunchtime and had to leave that night).
We drove the New Jersey turnpike and it spit us out on a bridge overlooking the city skyline, causing me to squeal at the sight of the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. We stopped at Liberty Park, overlooking the Hudson River and the city, then ventured back into the Mini to take on the city by car. I joked that James was a New York City cab driver in a past life -- he was driving his car through the traffic, the crazy cab drivers and pedestrians like it was the Batmobile, and while I gripped my seat and cringed, he loved it. What happened to my husband, the small town boy from Union Point, Georgia? It only took him 30 seconds to fall in love with New York, too.
We took a stroll through Central Park in the afternoon, and it was the perfect day -- breezy, not too cold and not too hot. We drove past major landmarks in the car on the way to dinner -- Rockefeller Center, Madison Square Garden, Grand Central Station and the Empire State Building (thank goodness for the sun roof, or I don't know if we would've "seen" much of it). Dinner was in Little Italy, one of my favorite New York City neighborhoods. Since it was a nice night, little bistro tables spilled out into the sidewalks, and the area was alive with the buzz of tourists and locals eating hearty Italian meals. We stuffed ourselves full of delicious, authentic Italian food (and the best gnocci I've ever had), good wine, and made our way back to the car, headed for the Brooklyn Bride and Milford, Connecticut, where we stayed for the night.
We waved goodbye to the city lights from Brooklyn, and made a promise to come back when we could stay a little longer. But for a 10 hour stay in New York, we had a full day and a fantastic time.