New York 1

On my quick hit and run visit to New York City, I started with a visit to the 911 memorial. I arrived with my preprinted visitor pass which needed to be shown to inspectors multiple times. There was also an airport style security inspection. Security will be a recurring theme with a big street presence of guards and police.

Since I have no concept of what it looked like before, I could only imagine the buildings that once stood where the pools are now. Water falls from the sides into smaller and smaller squares. Surrounding the waterfalls are walls with the names of all the victims written in groups. Some one the names had flowers tucked into the letters. The museum is still under construction but I was able to take a peek through the glass to see some of the beams.

Next was a walk to Battery Park to catch the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. My family did not come through the New York port but I think that the conditions and feelings were probably universal. The displays and audio guide were extremely informative. From the luggage hall with its display of the baggage brought by those able to carry some belongings to the staircase leading to the evaluation center, I could imagine the disorientation felt by the people coming to a foreign place with no language skills and having traveled up to a month in horrible crowded conditions. Those poor people who didn’t pass the initial examinations had one more chance in the hearing room. The eye exams using a button hook would have had me screaming.

Returned as it was getting dark so a trip through Times Square, Rockefeller Center, and a visit to the 5th Ave store lights was in order. Of course, I had to pass by MY mother ship, the Apple Store.

Day 2 was scheduled for the Cloisters, a purpose built museum in the style of 13th century European castles. Doorways, arches, windows, and other treasures from France, Spain, and Italy were used in the construction. Next was a walk through Central Park to see Belvedere Castle before getting ready for a musical which in the end was a bad choice.

Day 3

The Central Synagogue gives tours on Wednesdays and that was my primary focus. In addition, I hit several stores including Barneys for the Lady Gaga tribute, the American Girl Store, and a couple of churches, St. Bart’s and St. Patrick’s, just in time for a youth concert. It doesn’t sound like much but it was hours and hours of walking.

Day 4

I returned to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and did a quick (3hr !) run through the first floor. There’s lots of amazing stuff in place that would take a lifetime to examine. I focused on Egypt, Greece, and of course, my favorite Etruscans. I had that wing all to myself most of the time. Afterwards, I was headed to Little Italy and SoHo but got as far as Eataly  and ran out of steam. I brought a chocolate chip panettone home for Christmas morning French toast.

That evening was the fabulous Hugh Jackman one man show. That was worth the whole trip and I wished I had gone two nights and not gone to the other musical. He is the ultimate performer and if you get a chance to see him in a live show, GO GO GO.

There was still time after the show before I turned into a pumpkin to visit the World Trade Center area one more time. Supposedly there were Christmas lights but all I saw were the red, white, and blue lights that I was told are normal lighting.

Day 5

Just had a few hours before the trip to the airport, so I walked over to the river near the hotel but there was a large busy street to cross to get to the actual riverside. I enjoyed the views from a little park area and then some side streets before heading home. It was just enough time to get a feel and a taste of the city for future trips.

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