Saturday, June 1, 2013

New York City!

After viewing the Memorial Site at Ground Zero, it was time to see and enjoy one of the great marvels of this country - New York City.  The terrorists may have set us back some with the 9/11 attack, but there is a love of freedom and perseverance in this country that I hope will never die.  So, we moved on as well - it was our first time in The Big Apple so we were excited.  There is so much to tell and we took so many pictures that it is going to be difficult to narrow it down for the blog.  There's nothing here that you haven't seen or heard of before but that's the point. There is so much history, venues and scenes from so many TV shows and movies, the daily news, etc. that it's exciting to be walking the streets and standing right in the middle of it all.  So, here goes.

After we got off of the Staten Island Ferry and walked to Ground Zero, we hit the subway to get us to one of the other hubs of activity.  The metro system is fascinating with the network of trains, ferries, subways, and buses. And don't forget those taxi cabs and limos - they are everywhere. Here's our first view of the subway.  I was expecting a million people, or a couple of hundred anyway, but it was just us. Rhonda asked a worker if we were in the right place!  He said to stand right there with him and our subway ride would be there in just a minute. Of course, he wanted to know where we are from with our accent. Sure enough, the subway came, and he told us to get on and where to get off.  After we were seated, he got on, smiled, and pointed to the lighted area that showed our stop. We knew we would now survive the subway system.

We got off at 42nd Street and saw our first policemen on horses.

Broadway and Times Square.  New Year's Eve will have a new perspective for me now!

And for those of you that know me well, you know that I am a bit of a FOX News junkie, though I have weaned myself off of it some after being on the boat so long and not having regular cable TV.  Anyhow, it was exciting to be standing in front of "News Corporation" headquarters - Rhonda and I were just standing there taking it all in and all of a sudden Geraldo Rivera walks right by us, only a few feet away, and looked our way.  I said, "Well there's Geraldo."  He looked at us and smiled and continued toward his limo.  I must admit, Geraldo is not my number one favorite at FOX, but to catch one of them in person is still pretty cool.  I didn't want to bother him and ask for a picture or anything, but we did follow him toward his limo to try and get a paparazzi shot.

As we approached his limo with camera drawn, he voluntarily rolled down the window, stuck out his hand for a handshake, and allowed us to get a shot.  Now that's a nice guy and we appreciated it.  

Yes, of course I was hoping for Megyn, Martha, Andrea, Shannon, Julie, Patty Ann, Alisyn, Gretchen, Monica, Uma, Dana, Lis, or Ainsley instead, but hey, it was still kinda cool.  We stopped by the FOX outside bench area the next day and actually did see either Lis Wiehl or Monica Crowley, but it was from about 25 feet away, and we had ice cream sundaes in our hands instead of the camera! Pretty sure it was Lis.  The ticker that day was interesting......

Oh, there's Megyn now!  We can go home now, our trip is complete.

OK, enough of FOX News.  There's a serious lack of plant life in the city, so it was refreshing to see some flowers at BBVA across the street.

Rhonda wanted this shot for her Mom, Guy Fieri's restaurant.

Our niece, Casey, had asked Aunt Rhonda to get her something from 5th Avenue but your contributions into our PayPal account are not quite there yet.  Sorry Casey, but here's a pic anyway.

Cookie Monster was out and about.

Radio City Music Hall 

And of course, all of the major banks, corporations, and businesses have a presence in town - you name it, it's there.

The list goes on and on but you get the idea.

And after our reminder in Cape May of how much I used to like jazz, I had told Rhonda that we should find a nice jazz/dinner combo for an evening.  So, she had googled around a bit and found "Birdland Jazz" which looked promising.  We were in the area and they had dinner starting at 5 PM and the "Louis Armstrong Centennial Band" performing live from 5:30 to 7:15.  Perfect. 

They would not allow pictures during the performance, so the above is the best I could do before the show.  Very talented group, especially the trumpet and trombone players.  There was also a 9-time Grammy winner in the audience that they recognized, never did get the name.  The lady seated with him is apparently a well-known singer as well, and she sang a couple of tunes with the band.  All in all, a very nice evening.  We took the express bus back to the boat and called it a day.  Traffic anyone?

The following day, we decided to give our tired bones a rest from the pavement and move the boat to the north side of NYC about 32 miles up the Hudson River to Half Moon Bay Marina at Croton-on-Hudson, NY.  This would give us a chance to see the waterfront areas up close and personal from the boat.  I must admit that it is pretty cool to take your own boat right through the New York Harbor area.  It's quite busy and again, so much history and so many familiar sights.

There were a couple of ships entering the harbor and one heading outbound.

This guy came by throwing up a pretty good rooster tail only to be stopped by the Coast Guard shortly thereafter.  I can hear him now - "What's the problem officer?"

And this was interesting - just about all of the floating markers have large bells and clang away constantly as the waves rock the buoys and cans.  Just never seen this before.

The Staten Island ferries from a distance at port and up close.  They run constantly.

Folks, I cannot describe how special it is to be able to ride right up to Lady Liberty -  The Statue of Liberty.

Ellis Island is next door of course.  (Both are currently closed for another month or so for repairs from Hurricane Sandy).

Manhattan with  the new WTC building standing tall above the others.

The Empire State Building.

No idea.  It looks like a fenced-in driving range but I think retrieval of the golf balls would make this a losing venture!

Leaving The Big Apple behind by water, continuing up the Hudson.

I'll stop here for now but there is more to come heading upriver to Half Moon Bay Marina.  They have a looper special going also with relatively easy access to the train into NYC.  Tomorrow - The Empire State Building and Central Park!

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