Getting A Taste of The Big Apple
Trip Start Sep 12, 2007
20Trip End Sep 29, 2007
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We emerged an hour later out of the underground stairway like two gophers and found ourselves at the corner of Wall & Broad Streets. We were getting our bearings when one of New York's finest, a police officer, got John's attention. He said (in a heavy Brooklyn accent), "Look at that flag. Look at your hat. I ain't gonna tell you no more."
The officer's directions led us right to the park and Castle Clinton where we picked up our Circle Line Ferry tickets at the will call window.
Soon the ferry arrived and we took seats on the top deck as we made our way first to the Statue of Liberty. Once we disembarked, we had to leave my backpack in a locker taking only our cameras. Then we spent an hour standing in another line where we were eventually led into a secured room filled with security personnel. One by one we were led through the same "puffer" machine that's at the airport and any little metal object was scrutinized. Finally, we were allowed to the 2nd level of the observation deck where we could peer up Lady Liberty's skirt, walk through the museum, and of course take photos from all angles.
By now it was 11 o'clock and our day was slipping away so we boarded the ferry and went on to Ellis Island. The building and numerous displays were so impressive.
Reluctantly we boarded the ferry for the trip back to Battery Park. By now the park was filled with tourists, school children on field trips and sidewalk vendors. As we were a little hungry, we did what most New Yorkers do...had a hot dog from a cart vendor. Munching on our hot dogs naturally attracted pigeons hoping for a stray crumb to drop but John made sure they understood they needed to look elsewhere.
We consulted our list of sites to see, checked the GPS and headed for Ground Zero. We sat for a while on benches in front of an office building and silently contemplated the horrific events of 9/11 as we looked over the area where those massive buildings once stood. Construction crews and machinery, meanwhile, were busy with the rebuilding effort.
Next on our list was the Empire State Building. Even though our feet and legs protested at the mere thought of more walking, we set off again. Once there we decided to rest for a bit on a street bench and watched with curiosity at an unknown event unfolding before us. Two motorcycle police officers, two officers in full riot gear and submachine guns as well as undercover officers and squad cars were positioning themselves along the entire block, mainly near the Empire State Building entrance. I had to fight the urge to snap photos and thought it better that I not put myself on their naughty list and get hauled away.
With nothing else happening, we entered the building and once again went through metal detectors and took our place in yet another line. At least we bypassed a large part of the wait by purchasing tickets online before we left home. Soon we were in the special elevator that zipped us up to the 82nd floor observatory. It was packed with tourists but we never had to wait long to get a bird's eye view from all four sides of the famous skyscraper.
We rested again then decided it was time to head to the Angus McIndoe Restaurant in the theater district to meet my friend Jane Wong for dinner.
Then we hailed a cab for what I considered a harrowing ride to Serendipity on East 60th Street for their famous Frozen Hot Chocolate. Unfortunately, the wait was an hour long so we opted to return on another trip. Jane escorted us to the subway station, gave us our directions and we bid farewell to an old/new friend. Thanks Jane!
Our poor feet were so sore and they protested loudly all the way back to the hotel. We arrived around 11:30pm, caught the news that our Diamondbacks will be in the 2007 World Series Play-Offs, and then crashed for the evening.