Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Big Apple

After two nights in Delaware, we hopped over to New York City by way of AMTRAK. I had never taken the train before (even though I see one every morning when I wake up), so it was a bit of an adventure. We rescheduled our original departure time from Penn Station from 5PM to 1PM, but we missed our new train by minutes. Not to worry however, because it was a breeze to change it to an hour later and it gave us a chance to have a bite to eat. Once we were finally on the train it was nice to just relax. I've never ridden on AMTRAK before, even though I wake up to the train every single morning. The New York bound trains also apparently don't have conductors full of piss and vinegar either because they know the proper way to blow their horns when approaching crossings.

View of NYC from the train
Anyway, back to the trip. We arrived in NYC and instead of taking a taxi to the hotel, I suggested we walk instead. It was only a little over a mile away and I was eager to see as much as I could. Besides, walking through the hustle and bustle of the city was really exciting and I couldn't wait to be a part of it all.

A single blooming tulip
A glimpse of the Chrysler Building
The Roosevelt Hotel
We quickly dropped our things off at the Roosevelt Hotel, put on another layer of clothing, and set out to see the 9/11 Tribute Center. It was the top thing on my list and I knew I would regret not seeing it. I figured out how to get us there by using the subway, but then let Ken take over because he seemed to think he knew what he was doing. I'm pretty directionally impaired most of the time, so I figured I'd let him take the reins. Turns out, I was the better equipped out of the two of us because after switching trains not once, but twice, he let me take over.

I'm a master at the subway system
Tickets to the memorial are in a building several blocks away and once we had them in hand I found our way to the site. Once you make your way through the long winding maze to get there, it takes your breath away. Before we had even fully entered the area, I felt a heaviness in my chest. I know part of it was the sheer knowledge that so many people had lost their lives there, but it felt even stronger than that, like there was still energy lingering there from the departed. Call me crazy, but I've never felt something quite so physically overwhelming before and I did shed tears. Emotions aside, the memorial was beautiful. The sounds of water falling drowned out the noise of the busy city and created a peaceful atmosphere despite the somber reminder of what the memorial is for. There were so many names and I wanted to walk around and remember each and every one of them. It's definitely something I will return back to see.

Reflection shot at the memorial
Afterward, we trekked on over toward Chinatown, saw the Brooklyn Bridge, walked by Central Park (it was already dark so we didn't walk through it), and then we went to Time Square before going back to our room. We didn't stay out late because we already had a night of drinking behind us and an early morning in front of us, so we didn't stay out and party, but I did see many of the things I wanted to see. I even broke down and ate a hotdog from a street vendor. My vegetarian side cringed a little, but it was one hotdog.
Red Cube by Isamu Noguchi
One of the new towers from afar

In Times Square...I wish this weren't so grainy.
I knew I should have brought my good camera because the photos would be ridiculously more clear, but I was trying to pack light. I accomplished that mission, but some of these photos could be so much better. I guess there's always next time! 


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