Then we thought, might as well head off walking to our next destination, Pier 83, where we'll take the Circle Line boat tour around Manhatten... many blocks and a blister or two later, we did indeed arrive at the pier in time for our jaunt.
Yes, we did wander through the craziest few blocks in the city--Times Square...
On our tour a zesty guide named John regaled us with interesting details on both sides of the Hudson as we set off toward the Statue of Liberty. We then dipped around the bottom of the island and headed up the East River, all the while soaking in the sights of so many beautiful architectural details.
What's that last picture, you ask? Why, that's a Costco! I saw the sign from the boat and just had to capture the picture for husband. That is one mega-Costco, fitting for a mega-city.
Crossing under many bridges, we finally found our way back on the Hudson side of the island, listening to "New York New York" sung by Frank Sinatra. Funny guy, that John. Funnier still was the lady who (with a little help from our friend Gallo) thought John surely must be speaking just. to. her, so responded to pretty much everything he said with her own, quite enthusiastic, responses. It was a very entertaining three hours.
Giving our blisters a break, we cabbed it to the World Trade Center Memorial. Quite a security process getting into the area, but completely worth it. The peace and quiet of the two reflecting pools dampen the noise of the city, and the cut-metal nameplates are a beautiful touch. You can search for a name on computer kiosks and they will tell you right where that person's name is located around the pools. And the trees that line paths between the pools are beautiful, creating a very serene environment. A really beautiful outcome, these 11 years later. I thoroughly enjoyed soaking in the sense of remembrance and solemnity, especially so with Corinne, who I spent the original 9/11 day with, 11 years ago, in San Diego...
"Generations do not cease to be born... and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have. The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the moment we break faith with one another, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out."
(From "September Morning," a book of readings from the first 10 years of 9/11 memorial services.)
From the WTC we headed back up town to our hotel, just in time for the rain to start in earnest. We slopped through the rain to dinner with John and Wendy, friends from Walla Walla who relocated to NYC 8 years ago, and put our tired feet up while we phoned our dearests at home.
Wendy and I after a lovely dinner in the MetLife Building just off Grand Central. Pizza! A very fitting ending of our first day in the city.