A picnic in the park

Trip Start Apr 01, 2008
Trip End Jun 30, 2008

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Flag of United States  , New York
Thursday, April 10, 2008

He says:

After commenting on how few 9/11 memorials there
seemed to be we had subsequently been told of a couple of places that
we had missed, including a tribute centre run by the 9/11 foundation
and a memorial erected by American Express to their employees who lost
their lives. So the day before yesterday we decided to re-visit ground
zero.  The tribute center was hidden down a side street near the site
and after eventually finding it we both found it a fantastic museum,
very moving and thankfully very apolitical...  After spending an hour
or so there and feeling fairly shattered for the experience we went to
try and find the AE memorial.  This proved extremely difficult but
after many wrong turns, getting turned away at security checkpoints and
getting many confused looks we were rewarded with being the only
tourists within cooee of what is an incredibly beautiful memorial.  If
anyone ever goes to Manhattan they owe it to themselves to find the AE
memorial as it is one of the only places where you can look over the
ground zero site with no people around and the memorial itself is
incredibly moving.

After the 9/11 memorials we decided to
continue our tour of geopolitical events by going to the UN. So we
traveled uptown, went through yet another security checkpoint and went
on a guided tour of the building... Now this probably would have been a
far more interesting experience except for the fact that 2 of the 4
assembly rooms were inaccesible and we were ushered through the
remaining 2 with no pictures allowed due to meetings being held about
Lebanon and the events in Tibet... So in the end we didn't get to see
much other then the different gifts given to the UN by member
countries, including the most intricate and large ivory sculpture
by China (took 13 artists 3 years to produce) and the most densely
rug in the world gifted by Belgium (the thread apparently would go
around the equator 4 times).  The other abiding lesson from the tour
was that America really needs to start paying their UN bills as even
the public spaces within the place are looking extremely tatty and
faded. It was also very amusing listening to the tour gide trying to
diplomatically answer questions about America's and China's stance on
the land mine convention and America's funding contribution to the UN
(BTW the UN's budget equates to of the NYPD annual budget). All in
all it was a b it of a depressing end to a depressing day...

After such a depressing and solemn afternoon we needed a drink so
retired to our favorite new local for some $3 pints and $4 Mojitos
(gotta love happy hour)...  After a few drinks and complimentary pop
corn (Gaynor loves this place...) Simone joined us and we went for more
wine and a fantastic French meal at a local restaurant. 

Waking up the next morning the weather had finally warmed up (well to a
maximum of 13 degrees) and as we were feeling a little sorry for
ourselves after drinking a little too much the night before it was
finally time for a quiet day in Central Park.  So after meeting up with
Simone at Dean and Deluca's we stocked up on supplies for a picnic (my
god I love that store!) and headed off to the park.  While looking for a
nice spot to have our picnic a local decided to take it upon himself to
become our tour guide and single-handedly change the general perception
of New York hospitality.  After being dragged around for a good half
an hour  we finally managed to extricate ourselves from his overbearing
friendliness and settled down for the best picnic in the best location
one could imagine.  While we were having our picnic one of Simone's
friends bumped into us and we all spent the afternoon lying around
talking and generally relaxing in the sun. After the park Gaynor and
Simone went ice skating at the Rockefeller center, which was also
pretty magical.

Today was the warmest day since we have been
here (nudging 20 degrees!) so we could think of nothing better to do
then head back to Central Park... So we got some more supplies from
Dean and Deluca and spent the day exploring Central Park. We hired a
row boat and rowed around one of the many lakes, hired bikes and rode
the 6 mile bike path around the park and lazed around in the sun
watching little league games and the many characters who congregate in
and around the park. We have fallen in love with that place and I have
decided that every city needs a park like this, where you can escape
the city and where extremely rich 5th avenue folk mingle with homeless
people and Australian tourists. 

After a fantastic day in the
park we headed back to our local for a well earned rink and then,
stupidly, we decided to go and have American Ribs while we are here. 
What can I say other then we feel bloody sick...  I have never been so
disgusted in my life...  Soooo much deep fried food...  Never again!
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angelasusan on

Picnics and blossom and ice-skating and...
You two are like the Energizer bunnies - so I was pleased to see Tom managing to get a bit of shut-eye in the Park. And isn't it interesting that you have eaten French and Cuban and Japanese and Italian and... a random sample of UN cuisine (not to mention the cast of 'Bambi') but the one meal that really pulls you up is a heaped plate of American ribs (and what is the enormous lump of white sponge on the LH side of the plate? Tell me it's not bread!). And you're leaving NY today for Washington - can you bear to tear yourselves away? In your other few days back in NY try to get along to the Frick if you can - just a small sample of what US money can requisition and cart home from Europe!
So envious and keep the blogs coming...
All love

tomngaynor on

Re: Picnics and blossom and ice-skating and...
It was what you would loosely term 'Corn bread'... Tasted like cake to me...

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