May 25, 2009
Day Two began with a stroll over to the piers where we heard a battleship or something like that was docked. Since it was Memorial Day, lots of other people thought they'd check it out too. We got as far as the USS Intrepid museum, an old aircraft carrier. There was a service being held on deck and rumors of an impressive flyby were going around. We never saw anything though, and eventually we headed off to see what else there was to see.
Taking the subway all the way downtown, our first stop was the sight of the World Trade Center, now a big construction sight. Next we visited the Trinity Church, where Ben Gates found the treasure in National Treasure. I was expecting a beautiful old church, but the awe and reverence I couldn't help but feel as I walked through the doors took me by surprise.
I love it when architects take the time to put detail and beauty everywhere you look. Even the foyer was gorgeously constructed.
There were security guards in impressive black suits on duty to insure that all of us gawking tourists kept the proper ambiance, but I'm not sure they were necessary. Guys removed their hats and several people took a seat as they gazed around them.
Impressive statue carved into the side of the building.
Most of the graves here were from the late 1700's and early 1800's. I found these two especially interesting. The one on the right reads: "In memory of Elisabeth Rose adopted child of James and Hannah Welsh who departed this life Nov. 7th, 1795, aged 9 years and 3 months." The one on the right is her adopted mother who died about a month earlier: "Here lies, in expectation of a joyful rising, the body of Hannah, wife of James Welsh, who died 15th Oct, 1795, aged 40 years, 10 mon, 12 d."
We were most intrested to find William Bradford's grave, though we discovered afterwards that it was not the grave of the pilgrim.
Walking down Wall Street, we saw the New York Stock Exchange, well protected from terrorists by sturdy barriers in the street. At the end we could look back up and see the Trinity Church, tall and regal amidst many sky scrapers. We had to walk furthur down Broadway to find the Bull. We knew we had arrived when we saw a crowd of camera-happy tourists ahead of us. I had to time my shot just right to get a picture without some stranger posing in it. There were people posing at the other end too!
After dinner on the West Side, we went to the Empire State Building. Allowing ourselves plenty of time, we were very happy to cruise right through the ticket line and the security line. Then we got to the elevator line. . . My throbbing feet were not very happy, but soon enough we were on top looking down as the lights of New York came on.
A view towards the northeast including the Crystler Building.
The weather was perfect and it felt like half the city had joined us. You could almost feel the building leaning as we all gathered on the west side to watch the sun set. We got our spots next to the edge early and stayed put for half an hour or more as people piled up behind us.
Do sunset pictures ever do the real thing justice?
A view towards the southeast. I think that one of those bridges is the Brooklyn Bridge. I wish we could have gone around once during the daylight and then again after dark but there was way too many people. It was a beautiful experience anyway, though, by the time we made it through the elevator lines going back down and took the subway back to our hotel, I was exhausted. Even though we saw lots of great sites, I could only think of subways and my hurting feet as we fell asleep that night.
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