Sunday, July 10, 2005

Going round and round

My uncle came to visit NYC this weekend -- from Singapore no less -- so I took him on a short tour of NYC.

First, we went to Chinatown and ate at NY Noodletown. This place has delicious and inexpensive noodle soups and rice porridges. We also had their "famous" fried soft-shell crab.

Then, we proceeded to Times Square where we got on one of those double-decker red buses... I've always hated the Times Square area because it's full of tourists, but walking around, seeing it as a tourist would kind of made me feel differently. I sort of felt likte I was on vacation in my own city. (Pretend you're in Vegas or something.)

Anyway, so we paid $37 per person to ride around on the bus. I thought it would be cheesy, but it was actually really interesting seeing hearing about all the sights of the city and being taken there on the bus.

I sort of felt like $37 would be a total rip-off (hehe, as you can see, I had a lot of doubts about taking this tour), and I guess it sort of was, but its convenient and "easy". No thinking about how to get on the subway, where to get off, how to find the sight, etc. etc. The bus takes you right there and you can get off and get on any place you please along the route. The ticket is valid for 24 hours and there's a "guide" on the bus who talks you through history, building architecture, etc. The guides didn't seem all that professional, but again, the easy factor comes into play. It's nice just to have someone tell you about something without having to do all the legwork to find out.

It started pouring rain in the middle of the tour, right around when the bus go to Ground Zero. My uncle wanted to take a closer look there, so we'd gotten off at that stop. Well, then we sprinted into a Staples store and I ended up buying a giant umbrella so we could walk around. Then, we tried to get back on the red bus, but just imagine crowds of wet tourists and just one bus full of hoards of wet tourists (carrying American Girl Place dolls) -- not very fun. They did provide giant white plastic "ponchos" to shield us from the rain though.

Anyway, we did somehow manage to get back on the bus and the rest of the trip was uneventful.

Now that I've done this, I feel like I should check out more "touristy" sights in NYC.. I mean, I know I've been here for a few years, but I still haven't walked across the Brooklyn Bridge!