Sunday, 11 November 2012

New York

We arrived in a freezing New York, where there was still snow to be seen on the ground a few nights ago.  It was definitely a winter’s night.  The traffic on the way in from the airport was incredible.  It took us over 90 minutes to get from the airport to the hotel, which is 8 blocks from Times Square.
It was so cold that after having a meal and walking round Times Square we decided that the hotel beckoned us.  Next morning we set out to explore.  A bus ticket took us all over Manhattan from north - south, east to west.  When we found ourselves stuck in traffic again around 4.30 enough was enough.

Yesterday we decided to head down to lower Manhattan to take a trip on the Staten Island ferry, see New York from the harbour and visit the new World Trades Centre.  In our innocence we thought that we could could do that in a morning.  We might have managed it if it hadn’t been Veterans‘ weekend here so there was a ceremony at the World Trades Centre all morning.  Off we  went on the Staten Island ferry instead.  Since it was a dreich day the views were not splendid but the mist was beginning to rise as we came back over. 
From Staten Island it is clear to see the damage that Hurricane Sandy has done to the New York area.  Work continues to drain water, restore power, get businesses back to work etc.
The ceremony at the World Trades Centre hadn’t quite finished so we waited in line for a wee while before it reopened.  Then we had to go through security, queue again, wait and finally walk through the site.  I can’t say that I was really keen to go but everyone said that we should.  The new buildings are rising out of the ashes, the memorials are in place but there is something about the place that makes you glad to leave.  Both Kathi and I felt that it is not somewhere that we would be telling folk that it is a “must see”.

We left lower Manhattan just before 4pm.  It had been an exhausting day.  Returning to our hotel it felt as if tourists had been shovelled into New York during the day.  There just seemed to be crowds everywhere.  We had thought about going to the theatre but teh queues for tickets were big so we decided to leave it until today.  Instead we went on a trip round New York by night, which was fun if rather cold.  I do not want to go across the the top deck of the Manhattan bridge in the dark ever again!

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