The 8 y.o. has dreamt of New York City for quite some time.

I'm not sure what it is... her mom and I talking about the concrete jungle with buildings that dwarf those in Philly, the only other big city she's ever seen? Pictures in a book? She wrote a story once about a queen who lived in NYC.

Anyway, the time had come. We laid plans, meaning we put a date on the calendar, determined that we'd take the Staten Island Ferry, and beyond that, would meander around Gotham wherever the wind took us. Just the two of us.

The boat was a big hit.

Hopped off the ferry at lunchtime. Where to eat? We were determined to avoid fast food or familiar eating establishments. She saw a menu outside an outdoor cafe, and our search was over. "I want to eat here. I want to eat these." She pointed to raw oysters on the half shell, which she'd never had. She's been trying to be more adventurous with food.

Not her favorite thing, but she got through two of them. The mussels, on the other hand, she tackled like a champ.

A few blocks away was the 9/11 memorial. I tried to explain what had happened here, the Day the Buildings Came Down. One day we'll look at pictures, watch the news footage together.

But by far, the biggest hit of the day was Central Park. Who knew? Climbing on the rocks? Yes, please.

Then off to Bethesda Fountain, one of my favorite spots. Great people watching and big bubbles.

We hoofed it back to Times Square, a place I'm happy to avoid but every kid should see it at least once, and grabbed a New York slice at Michael Scott's favorite pizza joint just because it was close.

Then, back underground to start the journey home. She took to the subway nicely.

My film was too slow to shoot the Brooklyn Bridge at 10pm (you'd think it would be better lit) but no worries. By that time we were beat. At least one of us got to sleep on the 2 hour drive home.

Nikon F100, Nikkor 35/1.4G, Kodak Tri-X 400.