Friday, June 16, 2017

New York, NY

The morning started with a 4 block walk west to the High Line.  We missed the start by a quarter mile but headed south and walked the rest of the mile and a half elevated walkway..  It is a fantastic traffic-free walk along a reclaimed rail line and a great view of the city throughout.

W 23rd St from the High Line, New York, NY

We kept going south, through Greenwich Village and Lower Manhattan until we got to the 9/11 Memorial Pools - where the 2 World Trade Center Towers once stood.  Wow what a feeling!  Here you are in the middle of New York, and the quietness is deafening.  You can't not be saddened reading the names of those who were killed in 2001 along the wall that marks where both the towers once stood.  In August of 2000 I went to the observation deck and roof of one of the World Trade Center.  As someone who does not like heights, it was one of the most harrowing experiences of my life.  Now standing in the shadow of the new One World Trade Center, I can barely bring myself to look up at it, let alone go inside the building and go to it's viewing deck.  Mum and I spent about an hour here, reflecting on life and how lucky we have been with ours and our family.

When Amy & were here in 2003, you were still unable to get near this site, so it was overwhelmingly humbling to be able to come and pay respects to so many unfortunate heroes.

Mum at September 11 North Memorial Pool, New York, NY

The disappearing-in-the-fog One World Trade Center, New York, NY

There were so many people lined up for the 9/11 Museum, we decided to continue on instead of wait the 2 hours.  I had hoped we could've had some sanctuary in Trinity Church (between World Trade Center and Wall Street) but I felt weird walking into the small church during a service.   Instead we forged on to Wall Street and saw the NYSE from the outside and walked through Founders Hall.  I was unaware that this was the first capital building for the US and the National Parks Service has a great display in there.

A short walk saw us get on the Staten Island Ferry for a free ride beyond the Statue of Liberty.  I had been on the island before, but Mum was content to see it from a distance.  It still amazes me that I get to see something as iconic as the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline.  It makes me very grateful for the life I have and the decision I made to travel. 

At Staten Island, we got off the ferry but didn't realize that the one returning was leaving so soon.  Needless to say, these 2 tourists missed it.  Time enough for a Subway sandwich and a cup of coffee before the 45 minuted ride back.

Manhattan from the Staten Island Ferry, New York, NY

Statue of Liberty, New York, NY

Back in Manhattan the rain had set in so we jumped on a train up to Times Square to see if we could find a show to see.  This was a lot more difficult than I thought.  So many attempts (Hello Dolly, Alladin, Dear Evan Hansen and The Lion King all sold out).  Unbelievably we got tickets for A Dolls House Part 2.  I say unbelievably because last weekend it had been nominated for 8 Tony Awards. with Laurie Metcalf winning Best Actress.  

We walked back to the hotel, got caught in a storm that soaked us through, and spent the afternoon recovering from the day's adventures.  Then back out for the walk back to the John Golden Theater (17 blocks) for the show.  We picked a winner.  With only 4 performers this play was amazing.  It's easy to understand all the nominations.  The story picks up from an American classic (the I've never read, A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen) and tells the story of a wife/mother who left her family to find her own life, only to find she wasn't legally divorced and everything she has done since is illegal, in an age where women's rights were near non-existent.  As with most dramas, miscommunication and different interpretations of the same matter create conflict and spur the story.  It's been years since I've been to a play, but Mum and I picked a special one.  I know she wanted a musical on Broadway, but I think she enjoyed herself.

A Doll's House Part 2, John Golden Theatre, New York, NY

One last walk back to the hotel through the New York Night, including Times Square, was the icing on a wonderful day.  We covered nearly 13 miles on foot (Fitbit says 26,230 steps) and have one last day of exploring the city tomorrow.

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