Skyline from the Ferry
Construction at Ground Zero of the Freedom Tower
What an amazing day. I'm definitely going to run out of adjectives on this one. We went to: Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, Ground Zero, St Paul's church, St Peter's cathedral, Broadway and Times Square. We drove by the United Nations, ST Patrick's Cathedral, Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center, NBC News and the Today Show studio, and the Ed Sullivan Theatre where the David Letterman show is broadcast. We ate lobster rolls on Liberty Island at the base of the Statue of Liberty and New York cheesecake on Broadway.
As a bonus, it is Fleet Week and we got to see part of the parade of ships coming into New York Harbor. They had different Navy ships, a fly over by F-18s and Harrier (sp?) jets. They had the fire boats out in the harbor spraying water up into the air. The tour operator took us over to the New Jersey side to ride out to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty so it wasn't nearly as crowded (although still very busy) . The ferry ride was one of the best parts of the day with a great view of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty as we came around it.
We went to Ellis Island first and it was so interesting. It gave you a whole new respect for our ancestors that came through that place. They had interviews with some of the immigrants that came through and how scary it was. We then caught the ferry again and went on to the Statue of Liberty. The tour had us on a pretty tight schedule but we still got to see a lot.
We then got back in the van and went over to Manhattan through the Holland Tunnel (under the Hudson River). We got to walk around Ground Zero which was interesting. There was a wall of a Firefighter Memorial and a piece of steel from the South Tower that looks like a cross outside of St Peters Cathedral. There is a lot of rescuer memoribilia in St Paul's Church. It was a resting place for the searchers and firefighters working at Ground Zero. They had patches from all of the fire departments that came to assist and pictures of the workers sleeping on cots all over the floor of the sanctuary.
We finished the day at Times Square which is a crazy place. It looks just like it does on tv but there are like gillions of people. Insane. We walked down Broadway, ate some cheese cake (which was delicious) and bought some souvenirs. I could definitely see us coming back some day and flying in and going to some Broadway shows.
It wasn't scary at all. Just a big, big city. It was clean and everyone was nice. The Phildelphia people were very rude but everyone in New York was fantastic.