World Trade Centre, Statue of Lib, St Patricks Day parade and a Show
16.03.2013 - 16.03.2013 30 °C
A relatively early start saw us brave the cold. An over cast sky and prediction of snow later in the day was leading us to the view that it was going to be a long day.
The subway is right out the front of our hotel so we caught it downtown to Battery Park. This park overlooks the Statue of L across the water and is near to the site of the world trade centre before it's demise. The subway is pretty good running every couple of minutes. If you know the difference between uptown and downtown, you can't go wrong. The ticket machines are a bit of a challenge but we stayed with the single trip option at $2.75 per trip. This lasts up to 3 hours and is good value depending on the distance that you ride.
The weather is getting colder by the minute and whilst it started off at -1 downtown has wind coming off the water and it's more like -4. Out of the subway and down to the 9/11 Memorial. Glad that we started early, it was 10am and the crowd was starting to form. Passed through the ever present security check, not sure why given the memorial is in open area and anyone could blow the shit out of the public areas in a subway or street. Only the yanks could think of this. There were so many NYPD police standing around and the cost must be extreme.
The 9/11 memorial opened on the 10th anniversary of the attacks. It consists of two pools set in the footprints of the original twin towers. The names of the nearly 3,000 victims are inscribed in bronze parapets around the pools. When its all complete there will be a museum incorporated into the site and this will chronicle the events of the day. The site still has two steel columns and part of an escalator kept as part of the museum. Like everywhere in the US donations are sought.....
Enough morbidity for the day so off we go to play "avoid the vagrants and tour operators". So many seeking donations, hand outs and trying to get you onto a tour. The best strategy is to walk fast and look like locals. Not easy when I'm dressed for summer........
Battery Park was next on our agenda to have a closer look at the Statue and Ellis Island. Not enough time on this visit to actually go to the island and its also undergoing renovation.
Overlooking the Statue it was amazing to me as a 20 year old some 35 years ago to find out that it's actually green. Mandy wasn't so amazed; only freezing.
Our next stop from our to do list is the National Museum of the American Indian which is located just up from Wall Street 15 minutes from Battery Park. The museum opened in 1994 in the old US Customs House. It features all native peoples of the Americas from as far south as brazil to the Alaskian Eskimos.
Extremely interesting exhibition and really makes our Aborigines look untalented in terms of artistry. After again passing through security, remind me to get a check for radiation when I get back.
Before hitting the theatre, we had just enough time to have a look at the St Patricks Day parade. We shared this experience with about 2 million other spectators of which 1,999,998 were drunk......and it was only 1pm.
The parade was well spaced and this allowed traffic to cross 5th Avenue between each segment of the parade.
Time to head off to our Broadway show. Wicked.
I had booked the seats three months ago and selected what I thought would be memorable for Mandy. She loves live theatre and I probably hold her back as being less enthusiastic.
The Gershwin Theatre was in 51st street a few blocks up from our hotel. It needed to be; as we left the theatre the snow hit us and the temperature had dropped to -5 at a minimum. We initially thought it was rain but were quick to realise it was snow and getting heavier. Time to get pizza, red wine and back to our room. The locals weren't feeling a thing by this stage of St Patricks day.
And so ended our Day 3; what a day, a bit of culture and just a little cold.