But we put the extra hour to good use. The night before, I purchased tickets for the noon time slot at the 9/11 Museum. Arriving early allowed us to go up to the top observation deck of the rebuilt One World Trade Center before visiting the Museum.
I have been to observation decks in Seattle, Auckland, Paris, and Chicago. This view surpassed them all, perhaps because the things on the ground were more interesting.
Next we went to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. I wouldn't say it was "fun", and "interesting" is not the right word either. There have been events that have shocked me, frightened me, and changed my outlook on life. September 11, 2001 was one of them.
Walking through the exhibits was different from any other museum. Everyone was very quiet. Sad, respectful, and quiet. It's a place to remember the thousands of civilians who died that day, and to honor the 343 firemen who lost their lives trying to save the lives of others.
The ladder on this fire engine was completely melted when the buildings came down. We know there had to be firemen working it at that moment.
Coming out of the museum, back up to the chattering crowds and bright sunshine was a return to the world of today.
Looking up at the new One World Trade building, reminded me we were not beaten. Wounded, yes, but not beaten.
This inscription, that survived on a section of wall from one of the Twin Towers, touched me:
In the current volatile election cycle, I hope our people are not hoodwinked by anyone who clamors for isolationism and calls for dismantling negotiated trade agreements.
Enough said ...
Because we had grabbed a bite to eat at the train station, we did not stop for lunch. We had to walk a few blocks to get to one of our bus stops, but were soon back aboard and on our way to see the UN building.
When the General Assembly is in session, the flags are all up.
We hoped to be able to take a tour, but unfortunately all the day's tickets were sold out by the time we got there at 3 .
We noticed there were a lot of people wearing their native dress. We assumed they were mostly delegates or members of their staff.
Onward! Back on a bus and taking in more features of this huge city.
In big cities all over the world, old buildings are being torn down and replaced by tall glass skyscrapers. For some this is an improvement.
For others, such as the ornate facade of this one, it would be a great loss. Many of the old buildings have decorative elements, but this one was amazing in its level of detail.
Seeing Central Park was on our mutual bucket list. We got off the bus on Park Avenue, which of course is one edge of the park. A traditional way of seeing the park is by taking a horse-drawn carriage ride.
To see the whole park in this way would take several hours and be a bit pricey. True to my penny pinching ways, we choose to take a $50 twenty minute ride around just one small loop. It is truly a beautiful place, and thousands of people were making use of it on a nice spring afternoon. Walkers, bikers, mothers and nannies pushing strollers filled the walkways. Numerous people were having picnics, or just lying about on the grass catching a bit of sun. I don't know the story behind the designation of this large park area, but it surely was a brilliant measure. All people need to walk on the grass from time to time. Even New Yorkers.
Onward. We were going to walk the mile or so to the Penn Station area, but decided to catch another bus.
As the afternoon grew later, the crowds and traffic once again increased. I was really tired and very glad we were not walking.
|Afternoon street scene on 7th Avenue approaching Times Square|
We wrapped up our day with a nice dinner at Seven Bistro, a quiet, peaceful place just a short way from Penn Station. To quote a Google comment, it was "Comfortable, Chic, Upscale Cozy". A perfect addition to our Manhattan experience.
Home Again, Home Again
Commuter train ride,
Then back to the rig.