Big Doings! Sun-Mon, 6/12-13/16
Near Noon on Sunday, Jimmy and I rolled into New Jersey unscathed, me at the wheel, only partially terrified of driving so close to The Big City. And we found our way to our friend, "Ibby's" house in Watchung, where we parked Tergel for our short stay in New Jersey. Packing a few things for the next couple of days, we drove to Bernice's town home in Scotch Plains. It was grand to see them again, knowing full well that we'd have great fun, whatever we did. The last time we were together was on our trip to the Himalayas last October. Bernice and Ibby had quite an itinerary planned for us (all optional, of course), and as it turned out, we'd walk our little feet off.
First on the agenda was a 3pm Sunday Rachmaninoff and Ravel concert with the New Jersey Symphony in Newark. The four of us had to hustle to get there in time, but we made it with time to spare. Gone are the days of Loretta Young's dress code for the symphony, and we saw all manner of dress, including shorts and sneakers. Happily we were somewhere in between a gown and sneakers, and it was very nice to see such a large turnout on a Sunday afternoon.
The next morning (Monday), we were all up fairly early and after Bernice's good breakfast, we hopped on the train to Penn Station in New York. We were READY for NYC. Look out world -- it's Jimmy's first time in the Big Apple.
From the station, we made our way to the High Line Trail, still on foot. This well-used public park is built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan's West Side, and it's a wonderful place to walk and gawk. The trail is roughly a mile-and-a-half, but we didn't go all the way. Seeing the high rise buildings from 30 feet above the ground added to the magic. When I initially spotted the guy above, I could NOT tell if it was a human or a sculpture. I had to get up close and personal (and didn't much like it) to see that it was not alive, but I still didn't want to touch it. Jimmy and Bernice and Ibby had no such compunction!
The entire city is under construction! Love the new-meets-old touches!
I can't even remember which came first, lunch or Washington Square (possibly lunch in Greenwich Village), but we did make our way here, and the park had a lively energy about it, active people on their way or milling around or lounging on benches, or singing, playing chess, even feeding the birds.
Did I mention feeding the pigeons?
This guy has them all, including one on top of his head.
On our way downtown, we stopped in an All-English shop, where Ibby (whose real name is Irwin) bought a Cadbury bar, which he shared. I promise you, the chocolate didn't last long!
Jimmy said, "Ohh, look at the old Studebaker taxi; take a picture."
In the distance is the Freedom Tower, our next objective.
One World Trade Center
We didn't go up and we didn't even make it into the museum, but we did see the tower and a Reflecting Pool, a moving Memorial. There are twin pools, nearly an acre in size, that sit within the footprints where the Twin Towers once stood. The names of every person who died in the 2001 attacks are inscribed into bronze edging the pools ... a tribute in remembrance and to honor their lives. Below, you see wall-to-wall people lining the pool's edge. Just so ... I have no words.
Before crossing to the tower, we stopped at Trinity Church, an Episcopal Parish that has been an integral part of New York City's history for more than 300 years. George Washington worshiped here. The church featured several poignant displays from the 2001 attack. I had to leave the building.
Footsore by now, we made our way to the Seaport area on the East Side, with the Brooklyn Bridge behind us. We were desperate for a cuppa coffee and a rest, and soon found both. Rejuvenated, we walked back to Penn Station and caught the train back to New Jersey. This was such a remarkable day for us, full and fun and sort of fast. I accidentally left my fitbit at home in my bathrobe pocket, so I had no true idea of steps, but I know we put many miles on our feet today. Loved it all, too!
Tomorrow? More NYC!