Monday was our big playing-tourist-in-New-York day. We had a short list of things to see, and all day to go see them. Since Gordon is effectively retired, he was able to come along for the sightseeing.
We started off with a ferry ride across the river from Hoboken. That was actually the first time I’ve ever taken a ferry across the Hudson, despite having grown up in New Jersey and gone into the city countless times. We stopped off at the World Financial Center to admire the palm trees in the atrium. We’re used to seeing palm trees growing like weeds everywhere, but it must be quite a sight to go there on a winter’s day in New York.
Our first stop was the 9/11 Memorial. I’d gone to the World Trade Center back in 1976 when the observation deck first opened up. And I’d been there a few times more over the years. So it was more than a bit jarring to go back to the site and see the memorial. They did do a good job with it. It was nicely done, and it really seemed appropriate. They had the names of all the people who died in the attacks written around the two waterfall pits that took up the spaces where the towers had been. Just like the Vietnam War Memorial, it was just wrenching to see all the names of all the people whose lives were cut short. I saw the Luis Eduardo Torres, and I recognized his name from having read his story not long ago. I also saw Todd Beamer, the “let’s roll” guy from United Flight 93. The edges of his name were polished just a bit more than all the others. I think that because he’s become something of an American hero, people must be taking rubbings of his name at the memorial.
Moving on in our tourist quest, we walked over to the Brooklyn Bridge, only stopping to get some iced tea at a Starbuck’s. The ice was a wonderful thing, since it was hot and muggy, and I find it hard to believe that when I was growing up, I just thought that feeling like that was just normal. Yick.
We got to the Brooklyn Bridge and walked about 1/3 of the way across. We read the plaques telling the story of the bridge, and it was pretty interesting.
Our next stop was the Museum of Sex. This was up at 27th St, so we took the subway. I was always fascinated by the beavers on the wall of the Astor Place subway station. I know that they’re there because the Astor family started out as fur trappers, but it’s still weird to think that there used to be woods and beavers living in Manhattan.
The museum was pretty fun to see, although the air conditioning wasn’t working in some of the rooms. So it was a bit of a steam bath in most of the galleries. But it was still fun. And it was kind of odd to see some people we know in some of the exhibits.
After the museum, we walked up 5th Avenue to 34th Street and the Empire State Building. I’d been there once when I was about eight years old. I remember that they took us up to the observatory to look at the view, and I thought that there must be a staircase going up there, and I wondered what it would be like to climb it. Maybe someday I’ll get the chance to try it.
Our last stop was for pizza. By then it was raining, and we were very tired. But the pizza was good, and after that, we headed home to Gordon’s house. It was a fun time, even if we were tired, hot, and sweaty at the end.