Thursday, 15 May 2014

New York NY (Day 3)

So, once again we were out of the park by 9 am and on the NY Waterway taxi boat. We landed at Pier 11 at the foot of Wall Street and to what did our eye behold.....

The Presidential helicopter is here. In fact, we saw it land..... 

So we walked around, looking important and waited and waited.... 

...and waited some more.
So, I will cheat a bit here since I am writing this after the fact. We found out that Mr. President was actually in town the night before and staying at the Waldorf Astoria (where all the presidents stay). Remember how I told you that there was gridlock right at the end of our tour day yesterday? Well, that is why. I guess he was moving from the dock up to the hotel, pretty much right across our path (and we didn't even know about it). He was also giving a speech at the 9/11 Memorial to the families of the victims. What we saw was the helicopter landing and waiting to pick him up. It was funny because after all this time standing there, we finally got shooed away. The policeman told us that he wasn't there and had already left. We found out later that he was just pulling our legs...such top secret stuff anyway!! I believe he called it a pedestrian freeze zone......Still, we were excited to even have gotten this close to the chopper (that's what Barack & I call it).
You will take note that the weather on this Thursday morning is not very cooperative. Very low clouds/fog everywhere. Hmmm.....
Gloomy outlook on Wall Street today.....but we had the quintessential business meeting over a coffee at Starbucks here anyway...  

Being from Vancouver I thought I was used to the big high buildings of downtown
being close together but you've not seen anything until you are here!!

Someone protesting asbestos usage. I am
not sure why a rat would have been used....
Today was really spent walking, walking and more walking. The good thing for us about the tour buses was that it "sort of" showed us the lay of a small piece of this end of the city so we bravely trudged forward, always hoping that we were looking at that damn map right side up.....
George Washington.....I found it incredible how old these types of
buildings were, right up against all the newer ones.....
On every street corner, this is what you see!!
Way down that road is Trinity Church. The original Trinity Church construction was finished in 1698. This first church was destroyed in 1776 by a fire caused by an American Revolution battle. The church was rebuilt 1790, but it did not stay standing long as heavy snows from the harsh winters of 1838-1839 weakened the church's structure and it was inevitably torn down. This third building of Trinity Church was completed in 1846.  
I mean, it just stands there with all this hustle & bustle around it. Not to
mention the subway entrances right at the foot of the cemetery.
Wouldn't those people love to see it now?? Maybe, maybe not.....

I just couldn't get over it.....

This person died in 1774.....
We continued on walking (I told you to wear comfy shoes.....) We were heading for the 9/11 Memorial and a view of the Freedom Tower.

Still all that fog....darn it!!

And then we saw this. Apparently, Mr. President was still there. the memorial was closed to everyone but dignitaries and the families of those lost. We were told it would re-open at 3:30 pm to the public. No problem we would come back later. Onward and upward......

Right, with that off the list for a little while, now what to do? Well, the Brooklyn Bridge was next on our list. You can walk over it. There is a pedestrian area raised above the traffic. Great spot to see everything.....IF, IF, IF it doesn't start to rain on your approach to the bridge. No, I will correct that. It absolutely poured so hard and we got soaked. Put a bit of a damper (no pun intended) on it but we went anyway..... 

One of us put on our rain poncho (remember this ghastly thing from
our NASCAR race in Richmond VA?) but one of us wouldn't......

Down, just past those masts you see is where the little ferry comes in that we catch
from the RV park. We have walked a very long way by this point. Probably about 4 miles. We had by this time gone way up into the financial district and looped back around
 to the bridge. It was just funny to see the little ferry dock from here again!



People put locks on the bridge to signify their love for
someone. I didn't have a lock so I left Doug a zip lock baggie....




Coming back over you can see the rain had begun to let up a bit.
About 10 minutes after I took this shot, it absolutely poured again..... 

Oh well...Note: comfy shoes!!
One more "to do" off our list. Next was the Staten Island Ferry. This will take you past the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Great, 3 things off the list actually. Now, interesting story about Staten Island. A while back, like just a few years ago, they actually wanted to secede from New York State. Mr. Guilliani (the then Mayor) threw them a tidbit and told them that they couldn't leave and he would let them ride the ferry for free. So, voila, we all get to ride the famous Staten Island ferry for free now!!
Of course, this meant we had to walk back towards where we started this morning, by our ferry dock, by where the Presidential chopper (which was gone by the way) was and around the point to the Staten Island Ferry terminal (sorry I got no picture of the building - what WAS I thinking anyway!!) . But, on route, I got some other snazzy pictures of randomness. 


All this area is right across from where the nice waterway walkway
is so it isn't as bad as it looks. I just like the quirkiness of it....
Many, many people take this ferry, probably for the same reason we did. It's FREE!! and pretty much nothing in New York is by the way so you better take a ride on it!! 
Hope you aren't claustrophobic....Everyone wants on the ferry.
There she is!! Imagine how many immigrants to this country saw this
vision upon entering this harbour so many years ago. A new beginning.....
Ellis Island where they actually went to be "processed".
It's right beside the statue....

Ferry and subway terminal on Staten Island....

So, we walked a few blocks just looking at everything. Not much around but checking on the scenery. Plus, it's neat to look back at NYC (if you could see it). One of the most serendipitous things happened next. We stumbled upon another 9/11 Memorial made for all those that died that were from Staten Island. Pretty mind boggling to see it.   

Each name has that person's silhouette on the end of the marker. There are way too
many markers on these two walls and many of them were first responders.


Very moving to see.....very sad.
Motoring back to NYC we can "see" it hasn't cleared up still...
Well, time to walk back up to the 9/11 Memorial and see if it has opened yet...Nope. Turns out it will not open when we are there. We were stunned to see the huge area that was destroyed and felt better by all the reconstruction that was going on. Still, such a waste of good people's lives.
...and you know what??
Just for a brief time, the clouds lifted and we could see that
glorious top. Did you know that the Freedom Tower will be the tallest of 5 towers
that will fill this area and it's height is 1,776 feet. Recognize that number anyone?
The year that the Declaration of Independence was signed. How fitting.
All kinds of memorial things left by the fire station that is right across the street.
This little flag says "I Love You"
But this was the most meaningful I believe.
Written in chalk on the ground....
Well, after our lunch we continued walking. Saw so many neat buildings our heads were swimming and we decided that, for the first time that day, we would get back on the bus and ride a bit. Plus, we still had those tickets for the bike ride in Central Park.
The Federal Reserve Building. Pretty impressive looking!

A bit of history for you. Written on the outside of the building.
Is it wise to let all the bad guys know how you guard the world's wealth....
just sayin'???


Well, here is what happened to the bike rides. By the time the bus got us back up to Central Park, it was nearly ready to rain again....oh and it was too late!! It was now about 5:45 pm. We had no choice but to ride the bus back to Time Square to reconnect with the last bus of the day that would take us back down towards the financial district and Pier 11 to get our ferry home.....

Well, yes, that "last" bus. The one that the tour guide said would wait for us. Yup, it was gone and they said, "oh well....". So, here you are in Time Square and really with no idea of exactly "where" that is in relation to where you need to go!!

 Well, at least we know there is food here - who knew??

...and company if you get lonely!

Lots of company..... 
And this is how Doug spent most of the day too...reading the map!!

Oh, and Elvis is here too!!

So, we figured out the subway. Well by "we" I mean mostly Doug. Granted, I asked a guy on the sidewalk who worked for another tour company and he sort of told us the thing to do. Oh well, $5 total and we were getting off back at our end of the island and we had a 1/2 mile walk to our ferry.


"R" train - that's ours!!

And with that, we left New York City behind. We loved it!!
We never for a moment thought that 2 days of touring would even scratch the surface and we were right. Many people will ask, "Oh, but did you see this or that" and we may have to say no. But we can say we did lots of things. We saw an amazing tribute to 9/11 on Staten Island, we saw the skies open up and shine on that beautiful Freedom Tower. We had coffee on Wall Street, caught a NY Waterway Taxi across the bay. We had pizza right across from the Freedom Tower and were able to marvel at all the other people marvelling at it as well. Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Trinity Church and everywhere taxis and cars honking!!!
What a ride, what a memory.
Thanks New York City!!!
Thought for the Day: No day shall erase you from the memory of time....Virgil Honschar.


  1. So when are you guys going to stop following the bad weather around? It is so cool seeing places in my own country we have never been. Keep it up and may sunny skies follow. Love yas.

    1. That weather has been really something else hasn't it?! Proud to have had the privilege to see this amazing country of yours!!

  2. Hi Doug and Nancy:
    My dad was stationed on Ellis Island in the late 40s. I learned from an early age to have great respect for the Lady with the Lamp:
    Emma Lazarus wrote this and my chorale group in high school sang it . . .
    “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”