Josh, Melissa and Kathy met us for our 4-hour NYC tour provided by Tour by Locals. Our driver, Raul, picked us up on time but said our guide went to the same address in Brooklyn! The two had worked together for years so Raul entertained/informed us in general for about an hour until we picked up Ibraham, a Muslim from Senegal. Ibraham was a character from the moment we met him. He joked with Raul and had clever insights into each of us very quickly. Has been in the US for 17 years, a tour guide for 8 and speaks 5 languages. We have had many, many tours of NYC but this was the BEST because he knew so many unknown (but should be so obvious) facts. At our first stop we asked if he could take a picture of us and I handed him my camera (vs iPhone) and asked if he was comfortable with it. Turns out he is a very good amateur photographer winning many contests and giving us tips on how to use iPhone cameras and point/shoot cameras!
There was so much to assimilate and as I write this two days later it is hard for me to recall some of the more interesting facts. In general, Grand Central has gone through a major restoration. The time schedules are set one minute ahead of actual departure schedules. Most developments in NYC occurred in 1931 so if quizzed about an event in NYC year pick 1931!
We asked to be dropped off in EatItaly which we though would be in the Flatiron. Ibraham took us to the one in Brookfield as it would be less crowded and near the WTC. Did not realize there was one living thing after 9/11 but there is a tree that has survived! Ibraham was very reverent when we got to the memorial and we had a good farewell.
Now very hungry we went to the other EatItaly as it was bigger, we thought had better eating venues and near the highline for walking. Not so and they were in the process of closing. Had some very good pizza and the kids found very nice Italian glasses for $10 if we spent $50 on food which was not hard. We would have wine glasses for the hotel patio for wine tonight!
Walked back to the other Kweller hotel so they could do some work. Had some wine and chatted which is always fun! Dinner at a Mexican take out nearby called Moe’s. Filled the bill. Bob and I walked home after hugs and kisses to all. Will see them again on 10/12!