So. . .four Moms and six teenage friends get up at the crack of dawn and drive to the PATH station at Newport Center for a day of wandering and shopping. Everyone is tired and sore, but it was definitely a trip we’ll do again (only with more time sitting on the subway. . .even the kids were worn out from walking!)
The original plan was to hit Madame Tussaud’s, then head downtown to the Village/Soho and general vicinity. We had gathered up discount tickets, because the place is pricey, but AAA offers a 15% discount, Entertainment books have coupons (some printable extras for people who bought books, too) and I found a site with a nice assortment of discount coupons just by googling, too.
I also went searching for the location of a clothes store called Uniqlo, because some friends had recommended it as a place the girls might enjoy (more on this later) and it led me to a very useful site called yelp. Woohoo! Rather than have to do an advanced search, you can go from general to specific, and navigating around was incredibly easy. I would ask for clothes, select women’s, and then specify the neighborhood by clicking on a navbar that stayed up all the time – no going back each time to pick a different area. Some things weren’t categorized 100%, not all of the stores/restaurants had all information, but there were addresses, phone numbers, map locations, and reviews from people who had actually been to the places. I printed up a bunch of pages of ideas. (one caveat – if you select the printable version of a business’ page, and don’t specify how many pages, you can print all the pages and pages and pages of reviews as well. Oops!)
Anyway. The PATH let us off at the World Trade Center Station. When I lived up North, I had seen it only from the vantage points of Eagle Rock Reservation and the Circle Line. Before that, I had seen and been in the towers pre-9/11 many times. The first look was. . .well, I won’t say a shock, because it’s not something fresh in my mind anymore. . .humbling. If the towers were impressively huge when they were standing, their absence is equally impressively huge.