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Published: August 17th 2011
Not really an early start today. I had booked a Food on Foot Tour that started at 11:15AM from Penn Station. I went a bit early so I could walk around that area. There is a huge post office across the street (see previous entry for photo) and lots of shopping and restaurants and a Borders that is going out of business, as they all are, but I didn't buy anything because I didn't want to carry it. My tour met inside Penn Station and there was one other 'single' so we were paired together and everyone was told to share, otherwise we wouldn't have room to taste everything.
Food on Foot was started by Cory who lost his job three years ago. He is the CEO, the tour guide, the scheduler, the secretary, the janitor, he is everything. A one man show. He created Food on Foot because he is a foodie and he couldn't find a job, so he created one. It seems to be very successful. His website is informative and user friendly, and he gives a great tour. In my opinion anyway. We made six stops, all in the Hell's Kitchen area of Manhattan, most along
9th Ave. First stop was falafel, then shrimp dumplings, and third was Amy's Bakery where I had the best red velvet cupcake ever. Next we were on to Lazzara's Pizza, Little Pie Company (I tried key lime and it was outstanding) and lastly, we stopped at Papaya Dog, but I was too full. I couldn't order anything. From Penn Station we hopped on the subway, went two stops, and then the rest was walking. He makes it very clear on his website that we ride the subway and walk, which I loved. I got to talk to a lot of people and try a lot of food while walking it off a bit in between stops. Works for me. And I wore my Tevas today, so my blisters didn't hurt too bad. We finished the tour around 2:30, and he had another one at 3:00. I think we were slower than some groups. Group size is limited, so make sure to make a reservation in advance. The NY Pass does include the Food on Foot tours, but you pay for your own food at each stop. We didn't visit any expensive places and my food was probably about $15 total.
I loved it and would have done another one the next day if I'd had time.
Afterwards, I took the subway to the Seaport Museum to see the Bodies Exhibit (27.50 and worth it) which is also included in the NY Pass. I'd heard about this exhibit and was very curious about it. The bodies used in the exhibit were Chinese prisoners and there was a plague explaining that they couldn't guarantee the prisoners were not tortured or executed. I guess there's been some controversy. I don't know how the bodies were acquired or who gave permission or money or what. I just know that it was a fascinating exhibit. Every body system is shown in full detail. The skin is removed, for the most part, and the bodies are permanently preserved with some type of polymer that replaces the water in the body. The look kind of rubberized. They showed muscles, organs, cancers, healty tissue, fetuses, embryos, arteries, veins, cappilaries. Astounding. And the explainations were interesting and easy to read. I highly recommened this one.
The Seaport Museum is close to the financial district, Chinatown, and the Brooklyn Bridge, but I decided to return north to the
Empire State Building and 9th Ave for some Thai food. I ate at Pam's Real Thai, and it was real. Real delicious. I made the trek over to the Empire State Building and got in line, not realizing that there were two more levels of lines above me. I was in line over an hour. The Empire State Building is also included in the NY Pass, but I think the entry fee is $21. By the time I got to the 86th floor and got outside, it was dark. Fine. Still have great views. But it was so crowded up there and I was so tired, I couldn't enjoy it. I snapped a few photos and headed back down, which took about 20 minutes because I took the stairs down to the 80th floor. I was disappointed in the Empire, frankly, and was wishing I had listened to my food tour buddy when she said the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center was better. The view was amazing, but hard to see through all the people.
By this time, I was exhausted and my feet were starting to hurt again. I hopped on the subway and went back
to the apartment to shower and go to bed.
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