Have I mentioned that it's a good idea to plan your NYC trip in advance? We got up early hoping to hurry down to the ferry for stand-by tickets for a Statue of Liberty trip. We got there about an hour later than we planned but because the weather was so rainy and lousy we didn't have much competition - bought tickets and practically walked onto the ferry. Of course, it was wet and cold the whole trip, but we got to see it. (Tickets to the crown are sold out 5 months in advance, so we were only able to go up in the pedestal, but that was cool enough - you can look right up into the inside of the statue.)
The second stop is Ellis Island. I think my grandmother might have come through there when she was about 3 or 4 years old, but I'll have to check another time. Pretty cool, though.
Afterward we went to the financial district and found Federal Hall where George Washington took the oath of office when he was sworn in as our first president. We also found the Wall Street Bull, which has been moved down to Bowling Green and is surprisingly popular among tourists - even in the rain.
We also found the site (which was right across the street from George and the NY Stock Exchange) where a huge explosion killed 33 people and injured over 400 in 1920. You can still see all the pockmarks from the blast - kind of an unusual landmark (although there's no plaque or anything, and only a few people stopped to see it - see The Day Wall Street Exploded: A Story of America in Its First Age of Terror if you're interested, but I thought the book was pretty boring).
Afterward we went back uptown and visited the American Museum of Natural History. We only had about an hour before it closed so we had to hurry through as many rooms as we could. Afterward, we had dinner at the Shake Shack and ate it on a bench by the museum.
Have I mentioned how convenient the NY Subway system is? Sure, it's sometimes filthy and smells like a poorly-maintained public restroom, but it's huge and a pretty cheap way to get practically anywhere. Sometimes it's confusing and it's disorienting when you come out, but I usually figure out we're going in the wrong direction after a block or two.
Since we weren't able to get canoli's at Carlo's Bakery on Day 2 (well, we didn't want to wait 3 hours) we went down to Little Italy and found a street vendor. (They're not too bad.) We also walked through Chinatown and Nolita, but that's a pretty sketchy place late at night.
Not sure who or what this fountain was, but it was very pretty as we walked back to the hotel.