Sunday, September 10, 2006

Taking a Bite Out of the Big Apple

My day in New York, NY...

I had a great day in NYC. I would not have chosen Sept 10th or 11th or 12th to visit NYC - but I'm thankful that God gave me the opportunity anyhow. Here I was on Sept 10th, when everyone is remembering Sept 11th - the 5th year anniversary. The President, Mr. George Bush, was here laying a wreath in commemoration of 9/11. They had Time Square closed for a massive memorial celebration of some sort (not exactly sure what it was). There were police everwhere, a coast guard cutter in the harbor, numerous police boats patrolling, and thousands of police officers patroling. (I'm not exaggerating when I say thousands. Take a look at how many there were just standing around in Time Square after the celebration.

[insert photo here]

I'm going to come along after I've blogged and insert some cleaner photos. The photos below were posted from my camera phone using the moblog method, and really aren't that great a resolution.

I arrived in the morning at Penn Station by train from Trenton NJ. (I drove to Trenton once I figured out it was the same distance from where I'm staying as Philladelphia).

From there I wanted around for a whole with my mouth hanging open, and took a few photos of the Empire State Building (which isn't too far away) and took a peek at Time Square which was closed for the memorial celebration.

Then I went in the general direction toward the Empire State building, got something to eat, and embarrased - asked some guy at a bus stop where the Empire State building was ("It's right here, he said, touching the building behind him.")

And sure enough it was. The entrance was just around the corner.

The sign said it was only a 15 minute wait to get to the top, so I figured that was a pretty good deal and headded up.

I spent maybe half an hour on the top enjoying the view.

Then I went back down to the world below, and went out to flag down a cab to take me to Battery Park.

Battery Park, for those who don't know, is on the tip of Manhattan Island facing the Atlantic Ocean (although it really doesn't reach the Atlantic, I think it only reaches the confluence of the East and Hudson Rivers). The main thing about Battery Park is that it is the closest point in Manhattan to the Statue of Liberty - and departure point for the Staton Island Ferry that takes you out there.

I spent maybe half an hour wandering around Battery Park and taking photos. Maybe it was an hour. Not sure.

I bought an ice cream from a guy that thought I looked like ZZTop - I got the "Hey, it's ZZ Top" thing twice while I was there. And I got the Santa Clause thing twice while I was there. New York seems to be a hyper-encapsulated segment of LIFE. Life in general takes place there. Every kind of life imaginable. And it takes place much more rapidly than it does in the ordinary world. In the ordinary world, for example, I only get the Santa Clause thing once or twice a year (usually near Christmas) and the ZZ Top thing only about 4 or 5 times per year.

In New York City, I got each of them twice in one day (really, only half a day if you consider...)

The guy went on and on about the good old days of music (when music meant ZZ Top and not this darn rap stuff they ahve now!)

After chatting for a while, I headded back up Broadway from Battery Park: destination Wall Street and then (if I had time and found it correctly) Ground Zero.

Well, I found Wall Street. Unfortunately both photos of me in front of the New York Stock Exchange didn't turn out. This photo here has me in front of the NYSE. If my camera phone was a little better you'd read "New York Stock Exchange" in stone over the door, and you'd see the name of the street is "Wall".

From Wall Street I headed back over to Broadway and up Broadway, knowing I would pass close enought to Ground Zero (GZ) to go over and see it. Well, I figured out where it was, easy enough and headed over. Just as I was arriving this huge motorcycle group arrives. I think there were at least 200 maybe 300 motorcycles. I don't know if they were all friends of some 9/11 victims, or what. It was definitely a planned thing, as the police had them all fill up one of the two remaining (out of three total) lanes of the street.

We'll it was really hard to keep back the tears at the site, so I didn't linger, but I got a few photos, and was very fortunate enought to find a cap unloading some folks at a hotel across the street from GZ.

I took the cab back up to Time Square and got some good directions on making a straight shot from Time Square down to the Penn Station, so I could leave shortly.

I spent about an hour or two wandering around Time Square. It's 7 or 8 blocks long, with the main point being where Broadway joins with 7th Avenue. All of the businesses in the district are required to have neon signs. The more flashy, the better. This requirement seems to go about 7 blocks long, and 2 blocks wide. It would be amazing to see at night - I hope I get the chance to some day. But I don't think I'd want to unless I was staying at a hotel in NYC over night.

From there I headed down 7th to Penn Station, and happened along at the exact right moment to catch the train to Trinton.

After I left Trinton I stopped at a viewpoint on the Deleware river and took a couple of photos. This is about 10 miles downstream from where George Washington crossed the Deleware, so the picture gets the same idea across. That's what it looks like.


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