August 22-29: End of summer road trip to NYC, Rhode Island, and home.
Day One: Friday

Left Arlington in the mid-afternoon, stopped at the Club Diner in Bellmawr, NJ (cheesesteak for me), arrive at the Courtyard Jersey City in time for bed.

Day Two: Saturday

A beautiful, dry day.  Ate breakfast at the Hard Grove Cafe, a Cuban restaurant in Jersey City, then drove to Liberty State Park (southern Jersey City) to see the Statue of Liberty.  It's the closest spot to the island without getting on a boat, but it looks at Lady Liberty's back. 

Back on the road through insane traffic to the Holland Tunnel.  Drove up the west side highway.  Going past Chelsea Piers, where there was an enormous line for a concert, one was reminded of the massive flow of humanity toward the ferries the week before during the blackout. The Javits Center had a long line of American Idol hopefuls waiting with their luggage.  Reached Midtown and cut across to our hotel, the Plaza 50 at 50th and 3rd.  Said goodbye to the car, but were unable to check in (it was maybe 12:30).  Went to the subway.
.
A word about the subway.  The New York subway system has lines going throughout Manhattan, with stations seemingly near everything.  Some of those stations are even open when you need them.  And some of those lines actually stop at the stations that they pass through. 

So our first subway station was closed.  Walked to the next on, fortunately open.  The list of exceptions to the normal operation was absurdly long.  But we got down to...

Greenwich Village.  The Arch was enveloped in scaffolding, so Washington Square was not as picturesque (even on this gorgeous day) as usual.  We passed by and went to Gray's Papaya, where a little over $2 buys you 2 dogs and a papaya drink.  Great deal, great dogs.  Met a couple from Richmond, also taking pictures.

Then on to the Financial District, where we saw Ground Zero (not very interesting, and I'm a sucker for such things) and Wall St. (very neat, with the interesting architecture and the canyon effect).

On to Day 3!
On to Day 3!
Wall Street to Houston Street required some subway legerdemain.  Of course the convenient station was closed, so we went to another station and had to go uptown way past the intended transfer point and come back on the same line to transfer (no local service in the uptown direction on Saturday!).  Eventually got to Houston and walked down to Grand St., the site of the Doughnut Plant.  There we had the best doughnut in existence.  Doughy, slightly chewy, wonderfully flavored.
"More food, please," we cried, and after a short break at a playground, we arrived at Katz' on Houston.  Katz is the archetypal NY deli, and we shared a wet pastrami on rye.  Maddie had an apparently very good hot dog (I stupidly didn't think to try it). 
After that, next door to Pommes Pommes, a Belgian frites place where you get a cone of french fries with a sauce.  We got the Fritesaus, which was basically mayo.  Not that great.
Pastrami at Katz
We subwayed to Rockefeller Center, poked around a bit, then it was a short walk back to the hotel.
1