Let's Walk - The Downtown Edition

Let's go downtown, way way way downtown.

It's funny to be a near life-long resident of New York and never get to do some of the fun things tourists get to do in droves.  On a bright and hot Sunday, we went for a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.
 This is one of the plaques on the bridge which states that the cities of New York and Brooklyn erected it.  Brooklyn was its own independent city.  New York City grew over time to be the giant metropolis it is today eating up Brooklyn, eating up Flushing (now a part of the Borough of Queens) and Staten Island.  Staten Island rebels talk darkly of a separatist movement.  Not sure the Brooklyn hipsters can organize themselves to make such a movement when they are so busy spinning their own wool fibers, and growing organic indigo to dye their Japanese denim... tending to the bees.  Drinking from mason jars.  Maybe Staten Island might make it.
The view from Brooklyn Bridge of the surrounding water and lands is pretty spectacular on a bright clear day.  I imagine the nighttime views of Manhattan would be pretty amazing as well.
Little little little Statue of Liberty in the distance
I found this to be an incredibly moving reminder of the Lower Manhattan skyline prior to the terrorist attacks of 9-11.  This plaque on the bridge still has the World Trade Center towers on it.
Of course now, the skyline is so very different.  The Freedom Tower is now erected, with its spire piercing the blue sky.  The tower rises 1776 feet, a symbolic celebration of American freedom.  I was rambling off this numeric fact to my children and found myself becoming overwhelmed with emotion and found it hard to keep on talking.  It was nice being here, right before the July 4th Independence day holiday.

 The immediate area by the bridge is full of various governmental buildings (criminal court houses, NY Supreme Court, DMV, etc).  The ornate facades on the buildings are always a treat to look at.  Look, New Amsterdam!

 This small kiosk is the recording operations of StoryCorps of NPR (National Public Radio).  Thousands of personal narratives are shared in small clips on the public radio.  Some of the most touching, funniest, saddest, and real stories to be heard and enjoyed.
 The non-Grid layout of Manhattan's downtown endlessly confuses me.  Thank goodness Mr. Belly has a memory built for convoluted street layouts and we eventually made it over to Chinatown for lunch.
I saw this cool looking fire truck (Engine 9 I think) in Chinatown.  There is a golden dragon in the front and the truck (or maybe the fighters) are called "Chinatown Dragonfighters."
 There is something steaming hot and crazy crowded about summer time in Chinatown.
 These pictures are horrible with reflections on the window.  But Cantonese roast meats!

 After lunch of meats and noodles, we waddled over and took a good long whiff of durian hanging at a local market... which we quickly bypassed to head on over to the real dessert location.

 Chinatown Ice Cream Factory sells all manner of delicious unusual and usual flavors.  The kids had chocolate and I had lychee with mochi topping.  Next time, I think I will have the black sesame.

What are some of your favorite local (or non-local) tourist destinations?

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