Momboisse Family Adventures New York City - Day Two - Afternoon & Evening - Brooklyn Bridge & Little Italy

Saturday, September 23, 2017
Day Two, New York City
Afternoon & Evening
Brooklyn Bridge and Little Italy 

Gray Line Downtown Tour

After refueling at AOA Bar & Grill with grilled cheese sandwiches and beer we were ready to begin using our 48 hour Gray Line bus tickets.

This tour, and many others in NYC, are advertised as Hop On Hop Off.  This would have been a great feature, if it worked.  The majority of ticket holders get on at the beginning of one of three loop tours and do not get off until the end. So what we found was that there were  limited or no seats for ticket holders wanting to Hop On in the middle of the tour route. 

We managed to get on the Downtown Tour at stop #8 Broadway and Walker Street. 

From the open top of the double decker bus we viewed "Fearless Girl," 

 "Charging Bull," 

Manhattan Bridge, 

City Hall,

 Manhattan Municipal Building
exiting at stop #9 to walk the Brooklyn Bridge.
Or at least half of it.  

Brooklyn Bridge 

Constructed between 1869 and 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge spans the East River between the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn.   

It was conceived by John Augustus Roebling, who had previously constructed shorter suspension bridges.   

There is a pedestrian walkway in the center of the bridge above the automobile lanes.  We were just two of the approximately 4,000 pedestrians and 3,100 cyclists that cross the bridge each day. 
A bit over 1.1 miles long, this is one of the most exciting free activities to do in New York City. At least we thought so.    

With limited amount of time for our tour, we walked to the first tower 

turned around and headed back to Manhattan.  

Freedom Tower and 

skyline of lower Manhattan 

Back on the Gray Line bus we hop off at stop #12 to tour the Lower East Side and take in the San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy on Mulberry.   

Banca Malzone 88 1/2 Mulberry Street 
turn of the 20th Century

Lower East Side

Once an overcrowded unsanitary slum (read How the Other Half Lives), the Lower East Side is now a very "hip" place with lots of restaurants, shopping and Italian signs. 

Originally we had planned on spending the evening touring the Lower East Side, seeing China Town, Little Italy, and the Jewish neighborhood.  But with our first evening cut short due to our plane being delayed out of San Jose because of a fuel leak,  we moved the Lower East Side to a short afternoon tour.

Our Google Map  describes a planned three mile walking tour where we would have visited Katz's Deli (Where Harry Met Sally), Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery, Ten Ren's Tea, The Pickle Guys, and Most Precious Blood Church. 

Instead our abbreviated tour began at Allen Street  then west down Grand through China Town.  

Grand China Bakery - 280 Grand 

Borkee Food Market - 241 Grand

Live crab escaping 

At Mott and Grand the area changed from China Town to Little Italy with - Di Palo's (200 Grand)

Ferrara Bakery 195 Grand (since 1892)

Alleva 188 Grand
(Oldest Cheese Shop in America)
We met Tony Danza here, but no pictures.

Right onto Mulberry and the

91st Annual
Feast of San Gennaro 
 Mulberry Street

After our short tour we tried to hop back on our Gray Line Down Town Tour, but all the buses that came by were full!  The large group that had gathered over the course of one hour all hailed cabs. 
Gray Line Night Tour 

This tour departs from the Olive Garden Times Square and runs nightly every 1/2 hour starting at 6pm. Arrive 1/2 hour early to make sure you get on the bus. 

It was difficult to take pictures with our phones during the night tour, but here is a video of a few of them.  

Our tour guide suggested Bella Vita Brick Oven Pizza at 211 West 43rd Street for a great dinner option. 

We took him up on that as it was around the corner from our hotel. 

We certainly packed a lot into this day.  Now it is time to rest. 

Tomorrow our Up Town Tour 

For an interactive map and guided walking tour covering many of our tours please be sure to download the GPSmyCity App from the iTunes store. The App covers an extensive library of articles and walking tours from over 470 cities worldwide, and now features articles from Adventures of a Home Town Tourist covering Carmel and Monterey (with more cities on the way).
Photography (with iphone 5s) and video by L.A. Momboisse and R.M. Momboisse unless otherwise listed below: 

Colorized photo of  Banca Malzone 88 1/2 Mulberry Street in the Italian ghetto at turn of the 20th Century taken from a photograph in a storefront on Mulberry Street.  I tracked down the picture in Images of America The Italian-American Immigrant Theatre of New York City page 12. 

Black and white photo "Men Asleep" by Charles C. Ebbets 
(or Thomas Kelley, William Leftwich).