Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New York, Monday, Day 2, 10/24/2011

Jeff had to wake up at 7 AM this morning.  Poor guy.  I slept until about 8:30.   Iwas due to meet my dads cousin Mary at 10AM.  I wanted to make sure I had plenty of time to get where I needed to be.  I knew that I needed to take the PATH train to 33rd and then meet Mary in front of JCPenneys across from the PATH.  It seemed easy enough.  But with all the people that were there yesterday, I thought I should give myself plenty of time.  I left at 10:15 and made it to the 33rd st. station at 10:45.  I got out and walked over to the JCPenneys sign.  It was only a sign though, there wasn't actaully a JCPenneys there, so I started to panic.  Thank goodnes Jeff had given me his Android, so I could call her if I needed to.  I walked around the buidling though, just to be sure...but I ended up back at the JCPenny sign.  I didn't have to wait long at all before I heard "Tonya?"  It was Mary!  We sat down and talked a little bit first.  I had only met her one time when I was 10...I didn't really remember her.  We made a game plan of the day then we headed to the subway to head down to the Southern tip of Manhattan to ride the Staten Island Ferry.  It is a free ferry.  We all boarded and we headed over to Staten Island.  We got a fantastic view of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.  GREAT pictures.  Once we got to Staten Island we had to get off then get in line again.  The whole process probably only took 30-45 minutes or so. 

After, we went through Battery Park and then ate at UNO on the pier.  It was yummy.  We then walked up to the World Trade Center to catch the train to Central Park.  I was snapping pictures the whole time.  We got to this church across the street from the Trade Centers.  It was OLD!  It had a cemetary in it and the headstones were SO old you couldn't even read half of them.  The ones you could read though they had death dates of like 1786 or some time like that.  One had a mother and two of her children buried together.  It was incredible.  Inside they had a little memorial museum for 9/11.  Since it was effected also by the fall of the trade ceneters.  Inside was also the pew that George Washington used while he was in New York.  He was innaugerated near this church and it is where he attended church for the 2 years that NYC was the nations capital.  The church is called St. Pauls Chapel.  BEAUTIFUL!  We saw where they were building the new trade centers and then we caught the B train to Central Park.  Central Park is huge and really pretty.  There was hot dog vendors everywhere and not only in Central Park  We sat by the pond with a really pretty bridge and took lots of pictures.  There were horses and carriages, and here the people seemed much nicer, not near as rude.  When in the concrete city it is dog eat dog.  Everyone seemed to look out for only themselves.  They push and shove, its terrible.  But in Central Park, suddenly everyone was super nice.  It was weird to be in such a beatiful, wooded area with hills, etc, and then look above the trees and see skyrises!  After central park we walked down 5th ave. where all the ritzy shops are.  This is also where the richest of the rich live.  We saw Prada, Versace, you name it.  LOADS of rich people and quite a few gay men holding hands and kissing...VERY wrong and VERY gross!  We saw a few more beautiful, old churches that had been there since the 1700's and 1800's and churches that people like Jackie Onasis went to. We saw some paparazzi, but I didn't recognize anyone.  They'd have to be in my face and tell me who they are for my to open my eyes.  If I'm not looking for them, I won't notice them.  I wasn't looking at faces much either, just the beautiful buildings.  After 5th ave., we headed to Rockefellar Plaza.  We saw the famous ice rink.  It is a lot smaller then the movies make it seem.  We saw NBC and where the Today Show tapes.  I would LOVE to go to a Today Show taping...but I don't want to get up that early!  :-)  After Rockefellar Plaza we caught the train to 33rd st., so I could get back to New Jersey.  It was about 4:45 by this time.  Mary helped me from the subway station to the PATH train.

I made it back to the hotel by 5:30.  The subway was packed.  Jeff was already there.  We had free tickets to see the 9/11 Memorial at 7.  We headed BACK over to the city.  The PATH train also takes you to the World Trade Center.  There are 2 different NYC stops....33rd st and WTC.  Anyway, we thought we'd go early and eat afterward, but they wouldn't let anyone in early.  We had no idea where to eat, so I asked a couple policemen that were there.  They gave us a couple of suggestions.  They were super nice and total New Yorkers.  We kinda wanted New York pizza, but they said we needed to go to Brooklyn for authentic New York Pizza which they say is better than Chicago pizza.  We ended up walking down Wall St. and stoping at a little store to get some sode pops.  By the time we made our way back to the Memorial it was almost 7.  We got in line and they took us through metal detectors (Just like the Empire State Building and the Airport), we had to put our things through an X-RAY machine, there were tons of cops and security around.  Once we finally got in, it was absolutely beautiful.  There are two square pools that are roughly the same size as the 2 towers were.  They are pools that go down deep and there is a waterfall going all the way around to the the pool some 50 ft below and then a smaller square where the water drains.  I am sure my description does no justice at all.  It is all sparkly and just absolutely beautiful.  Along the sides there are names of everyone who died and/or are missing from the attacks.  The names are etched in the metal, then under the metal there are lights so their names shine. They kept the names together in relaion to where they died.  Both pools are enormous and just beautiful.  They also have some of the original metal from the original towers behind glass.  They are currently building more towers.  One of them is already super tall and shaped like it is beginning to twist.  It's really neat.  Once we were done there, we got back on the PATH.  We decided to eat at Azucar, the Cuban restaurant next to the hotel, but it was closed so we just ate at the hotel restaurant.  Its been nice because Jeff has been able to put everything on his TDAmeritrade credit card, well, when we're together anyway.  I actually haven't been spending much money, of course I plan on shoppping tomorrow!  After a wonderful dinner, we retired upstairs.  My feet and legs hurt so bad from walking around all day, so I took a bath.  Another big day tomorrow!

 The above picture is the new World Trade Center going up.

 Above is the Brooklyn Bridge.

 George Washingtons Pew!

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