Day 2: We are getting better at this whole subway thing.
Did you know you can only swipe your Metro card 4 times?
Yup, we had to have 2 cards so the other 2 people could get through.
Oh buddy, that tooth has GOT TO GO in a New York minute! Dale says if he gets it out in the next few hours, he can get a special treat.
Sweet Natalia took some days off work to show us around, and has been the most excellent host and city guide! Today, she sent us on ahead to the 9/11 memorial site and the ferry over to Governer's Island.
She was running all over town, gathering her favorite NY treats for our picnic lunch there! HOW THOUGHTFUL!!!!
The memorial is so beautiful, and our emotions were overwhelming. I was physically ill when we left, just taking it all in and feeling the extreme loss of life.
The waves in which it the tragedy happened, people on board gone in an instant, people in offices losing their lives, jumping to their deaths? Rescue workers lost as they tried to save others, their oxygen tanks beeping haungtingly in the wreckage, it's just heart wrenching.
Seeing all those names? The squares were massive towering buildings once stood, people bustling in and out, going about their days.
St Paul's Chapel, and Trinity Church played a major role after 9/11, and usually they have the church open for you to walk through and see some displays, but it was under construction.
We still went in the chapel and enjoyed the courtyard and cemetery paths.
Look whose tooth is OUT! He picked a chocolate milk tea from the street cart. Destiny, of course, picked out a Bubble Tea. Avery and Ty wanted a hot dog to share, because they were starving and were going to pass out if we didn't. Riiiight.
Time to make our ferry over to Governor's Island to explore...
Governors Island is a 172-acre island in New York Harbor.
Governors Island’s fortifications were an integral part of the former harbor defense system of New York, dating back to the War of 1812. Today, the National Monument offers visitors an important look at the area’s military history and impressive period architecture, as well as incredible views of the New York skyline.
From 1776-1996, Governors Island stood as a silent sentinel in New York Harbor, and provided protection of the ideals represented by the Statue of Liberty across the bay. Castle Williams was built between 1807 -1811. Construction of the walls and gate of the existing Fort Jay were completed in 1808 to replace a series of earthen forts built in 1776 and 1794. Castle Williams was designed and erected under Colonel Jonathan Williams, Chief Engineer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the first Superintendent of West Point. Considered by some the Alcatraz of the East Coast, Castle Williams served as a prison for Confederate soldiers from 1862 – 1866.
The U.S. Army ceased operations there in 1966 and turned the island over to the Coast Guard, which closed its facilities on the island in 1997. In 2003, the federal government returned Governors Island to New York State and City. GIPEC now owns 150 acres of the island and the other 22 acres are administered by NPS.
The City’s first project includes creating a 72 to 87 acre mega-park along the southwestern end of the island, giving the public the most direct view by land of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor.
The boat ride over was short and sweet, but what a great way to get around! Once you are on the island, there are restaurants, a bar, a walking path that takes you around the island, and some big hills to explore.
We followed the path over to the big round building that acted as the jail for a while.
We wandered around in awe of the old beautiful dorms, and homes with wide front porches that all sit empty, barring a few art gallery exhibits. Sad that people can't come restore them and make them a home again!
Once we crossed under the arched building, we were in the newest developed part of the island with playground, hammocks, walking paths, a huge observation hill and more. Really neat!
What a great place to see Lady Liberty from. And the kids thought the slide section of the playground was SO COOL! They have the biggest slide in NY there, at 57 feet! Everyone but daddy had a turn.
Natalia called and said she was on the island and ready to meet us for our picnic lunch!
She brought the most AMAZING things! This sandwich is called a banh mi. Oh my heavens! It's sweet, it's smoky. It has fresh flavors of cilantro and cucumber and carrot. The bread is perfectly chewy! Drooling.
The bagel like thing is called a bialy. It has more of a bread texture then bagel, and is very soft. They cram it full of an everything cream cheese and it is FOODIE PARADISE!
And a crazy, cool treat: Pickled Pineapple! Tasted like cinnamon red hots in pineapple with some cayenne pepper heat after. So good and so good for you to eat fermented like this!
Pickled Mango! Tasted just like fresh homemade applesauce, except mangos. Not mushed up. Anyhow, it was lovely!
We wandered around some more after lunch, even finding an old abandaned movie theatre and a gorgeous church
All of a sudden we realized what time it was, there were only 2 ferries left for the day. We barely made it to the 5 ferry and even though we ran like Home Alone movies, and still, they were shutting gate. We JUST made it and they were nice and let us in. The people behind us weren't so lucky.....they have to wait an hour for the 6pm ferry, last of the day.
Day 2 in the city isn't near done yet, but this blog is FULL and it's starting to act up on me. So alas, this post is to be continued another day.......
The city that never sleeps has SO much to offer! Come hang out and read some more next post.