Exploring South of Manhattan

Trip Start Mar 06, 2011
Trip End Apr 29, 2011

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Flag of United States  , New York
Wednesday, April 6, 2011

We have a slow start this morning starting with some phone calls back to family in Oz.  After the phone calls we open our hotel room curtains and notice there are cameras shooting something in Times Square.  We flick through the channels to see what is going on and the TV program 'Wake up America' is shooting a segment in times square with Jamie Oliver.  Zinije jumps up, slaps on some jeans and is out the door with our camera before I could even say "Where are you going?   The kids and I continue to watch the program and see if we can spot Zinije on TV in the background and we do, many times as the kids giggle and wonder how their mum got on TV.  Once the program is over, Zinije is back in our hotel room telling us how friendly Jamie was off camera, taking pictures, signing autographs which unfortunately Zinije didn't get any, as she forgot to take a paper and a pen and was on her own to ask for photo's.   After the excitement this morning, we get ourselves together and decide to head to South Manhattan by Subway.  We jump onto a subway at 42nd St and head Downtown on the Blue E line towards the World Trade Centre stop.  As we exit the subway from the underground we can here a lot of machinery noise, it's the building construction at the World Trade Centre site, as we get closer you can see the new buildings that are in progress.  I was in the U.S.A when 911 happened and remember how terrible that day was and have always been interested in the progress of the new buildings, so we visited the 911 memorial site.  The Memorial site has the details of the horrific day 911 and the redevelopment plans that are in progress.  We take our time to explain 911 to the kids and then continue south by foot and head for Battery Park where we plan to catch the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty.  A lot has changed since we last saw this green statue in 2002, for starters we had to wait in a line for 40mins just to get through security checks which are just as thorough as the airport.  They also have two lines to queue up in, the very slowline for people that bought tickets on the day and the quick line for people that reserved tickets months in advance, we were in the slow line.   When we get to the statue of liberty, the kids are excited even though they were in the long boring queues and we end up running around on the grass, taking photos of the statue and enjoying the views of the manhattan skyline.  After we head back to Manhattan, we stumble onto a store we've never heard of called Century 21 which claims to be the #1 rated store in NY, so we check it out and wow it really is full on, packed with people,  has many levels and the prices of well known products are lowest I've seen yet.  After some unplanned shopping, it's time for some dinner and we head along Fulton St by foot, until we hit the East River where we reach Pier 17 packed full of restaurants and views of the East river and it's bridges.  As we approach the edge of the river, there is a coast guard with a machine gun in the centre and police boats everywhere. Not sure if it's normal protocol, or if there is someone special they are trying to protect.  As I leave to order our food, Zinije tells me that there were  many black vehicles guarded by police crossing the Brooklyn Bridge and then it hit me, I did see on the news that Obama was coming to New York today, that must have been him.  We enjoy some fish and chips at Pier 17 and the flounder we have ordered is delicious.  After dinner we head back to the subway to head uptown to Times Square and notice the rain has started just in time as our day is over.
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Chris on

Wow those pictures of Brooklyn bridge bring back memories.......sitting on the top deck of an open double decker tourist bus crossing the bridge with no scarf or head gear in winter when it was 26 degrees Fahrenheit (below freezing)!!!

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