Sunday, February 8, 2009
My youngest son and baby was 21 in 2007 and we went to NY for a few days.It really is the city that never sleeps and impossible to see in the time we had, but we fitted in as much as we could.We did the uptown bus tour, the downtown bus tour and took the ferry out to the statue of Liberty and visited Ellis Island and of course shopped.We stayed on 7th Ave just a few minutes walk from Times Sq and found it very easy to navigate around the way the streets are numbered.We got off the tour bus at Central Pk and went into the Natural History Museum mainly because we were frozen on the bus! We could have spent hours in there,B. has long red hair which drew comments a few times.People asked was he Scottish or Irish and we saw the only other red haired person we encountered in NY, because it was Thanksgiving lots of schoolchildren were queueing to go in to the museum and one little girl there had a head of curly red hair! Central park is an oasis in the hustle and bustle of the city and the autumn (fall) colours of the trees were fantastic.
We got a taxi down to the Twin Towers site.It was an eerie feeling standing where as we had watched on TV so many perished that fateful day.It was a railed off building site when we were there and I am not sure if any permanent memorial has risen since then. There is a tiny church to the side almost unnoticed among the skyscrapers, I cannot think of the name of it now. The church is there since about 1740 surrounded by a churchyard where overgrown headstones bear testimony to its long history.It was unscathed in the events of 911 and it was where exhausted firefighters,police and helpers lay down to get a few minutes sleep and volunteers brought food and drink for them.The interior is quiet and peaceful and this photo is of one altar where just a fraction of the missing people photos have been brought for safe keeping. There is another one piled high with badges of visiting firemen and police from all over the world who have left them as a symbol of sympathy and solidarity with their colleagues who perished that day.It was the only place where there was a sense of reverance to pray for all who died and lost friends and family in 911.
We waited in Battery park for the ferry to Ellis Island and this Jamaican was entertaining the crowd with songs and banter. When he spotted B. he started on him about his red hair and when he discovered he was Irish he launched in to a selection of Irish songs to great applause from the crowd.We got the ferry around the Statue of Liberty and visited Ellis Island through which thousands of Irish people entered the US. It fell into disrepair in the 50's but is now a heritage site.If you have the name of relation who went through there they may be able to find it in the archives and give you a certificate, showing their passage details and ship.
This is the naked cowboy who busks on Times Sq, the film was not the only thing over exposed!Imagine my surprise a couple of weeks ago sitting down to watch our local TV talk show when who walked on in all his glory only the same naked cowboy! He was visiting Ireland at the invitation of a company promoting enterprenurship!!
It was Thanksgiving when we were in NY.The thousands of people on the streets were amazing, I read they estimated an extra 3 million people were in NY for the day.I woke around 5.00am and looked out the window, the streets were full of families going to get a position to watch the famous Macy's parade.We went up to the top of the Empire State building and saw some of the parade from there.The next day was called black Thursday for some reason and sales started at 5.00am, again the streets were full of people at 6.00am laden down with shopping bags!There were street sellers lining the streets selling handbags and the litter that was strewn all over the place was unbelievable but had mysteriously disappeared early the next morning.We did not get to see a show on Broadway as the screen writers strike was going on at the time.The lights were on but the doors were shut.
It was amazing to see all the places we had seen on TV or on the news and actually be there,it was definitely an experience in terms of sound and crowds and I could do 10 posts or more on what we saw, maybe some day B. will go back but for me it was a once in a lifetime experience.