Thursday, May 19, 2016

NYC - day 2

After staying up so late on our first night in NYC, we slept in and then took an uber ride down to the Staten Island Ferry.  The ferry is free and provides great views of the city and especially the Statue of Liberty.  I think I've only been on a ferry a couple of times in my life and it was a ferry that carried cars.  I'm not sure what I was expecting for a ferry carrying only people, but this was new to me.  I also wasn't expecting a "terminal" that looked like an airport or bus station waiting/seating area.  We stood near the door for the next available ferry and then walked on with everyone else.  We found seats on the outer seating area, but once we started moving we stood up to be by the window since a lot of other tourists were also doing that. ;)  We didn't want to miss our photo opportunity.  It was still a little cold outside, so I had to take pictures behind the plexiglass, but it was still pretty cool.

This is actually a skyline of Jersey City (I think), across the Hudson River from NYC.  You hear so much about NYC, that I forgot there would be other city skylines around NYC.

The Governor's Mansion...
And the star of the ride...The Statue of Liberty!

After the 25 minute ride to Staten Island, we got off, looped around in the terminal and got right back on the same ferry back to NYC!  It was much more crowded on the Staten Island side with all of the people headed to the St. Patrick's Day parade - the thing we were trying to avoid! Ha!

For lunch we found a little deli and I had a really good meatball sandwich.  Every restaurant we went to, Brandon and I were amazed at the lack of concern for ADA.  A wheel chair couldn't have fit in the door ways or between the tables.  It's so crazy to see places like that when our careers are a constant concern for meeting ADA guidelines.  Even on vacation we still think about our professions (or former professions in my case). ;)

After lunch we visited the World Trade Center Memorial and Museum.  The last time I was in NYC 10 years ago, they were still sifting/sorting through the rubble or maybe they were preparing for construction.  The waterfalls were huge and it's hard to believe that their were buildings once there.

Of course, I'm going to pay attention to the details and I love how they assured uniform distribution of water.

I do not know anyone personally involved in the WTC attacks, but seeing all of the names along the waterfalls was sad.

This is the new tower with the museum below it.

The museum was very somber.  The lighting set the mood and I thought they did a great job.  I don't think anyone would be in there that wasn't aware of the sadness involved and the respect needed, but the lighting definitely helped.  One of the basement walls was left intact.

Steel remains - bent, buckled and crushed.  The force and heat it takes to do this is amazing.

An original stair case next to the museum stair case...
An art wall of different shades of blue representing the color of the sky on the day of the attacks.

There is a section of the museum where you aren't allowed to take pictures.  It has pictures of everyone who died, as well as biographies of their life, including audio from friends and family.  I have to say that this was the most emotional portion of the museum for me.  It's one thing to hear of those killed and see photos of the building, but when you see photos of the people who died, it makes it way too real.  I was so sad for these people and to be honest I made my way out of this area pretty quickly.

This is the flag that hung on a building across from the WTC site and eventually was repaired.

Pilings and foundations still remaining from the buildings.
Again, with mine and Brandon's careers, we were intrigued with these sections.

Below is the remains of a fire truck that responded to the initial call of attacks.  They parked on the street but obviously did not expect the building to collapse.

The basement wall again at the lower level.

Steel completely buckled and broken.

After this somber afternoon, we headed back to the hotel for a nap before our dinner and theater evening. This is one of the 3 entrances to our hotel (the one we used most often).
The gate for this courtyard entrance.

And this is the tower of rooms.  I think we were on floor 31, if I remember correctly.

That evening we dressed up and went to dinner at Patsy's - a cute little Italian restaurant recommended by one of Brandon's coworkers.  We were going to walk there, but it started raining just as we walked out the door, so we got an uber car. ;)  Dinner was wonderful and afterwards we walked to the theater to see Wicked.  Such a great show!  Brandon and I both really liked it.  I loved it so much that I'm going to see it with my mom this summer, here in Houston.  I wish I could have seen it years ago with Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenowith.  Anyways, we had great seats and had a good time.  So much fun to have dinner and a show all to ourselves and again to be out and about without worrying about the time and having to get back home.

And that's a wrap on day 2 - we are halfway through the trip! ;)

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