Day 89 – 6th October (New York)

At last! Sunshine! Blue skies! Warm temperatures! Hooray!

Ironically, we spent most of our time indoors today. 🙄

I’d booked tickets for the OneWorld Observatory which you know, as you’ve been religiously following my ramblings, is at the top of One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western hemisphere, a half-mile walk away from our hotel.

One thing we’ve found is that, generally, museums and other visitor delights are often not well signposted or explained. This was certainly the case here. It took us at least 15 minutes to find the entrance to the Observatory, and then, even after that, it took another 5 minutes to get to the high-speed elevators to take us up to the top of this hugely impressive tower, through, of course, concourses of retail opportunities.

1 World Trade Center

When we finally got up to the 102nd floor, we were given a tablet which purported to provide loads of information about what we were seeing on looking out on these fantastic views. Just the odd clip here and there was all. Flash, but not particularly useful.

But wow! Look at the views!

Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty
New Jersey, a different state on the other side of the Hudson River
Uptown Manhattan
Jean woz ‘ere
Looking along the Hudson River
Empire State Building
Looking towards Queens, the largest New York borough, home to 2.3 million people and the most ethnically diverse in the city
Brooklyn Bridge
We think the Queen Mary 2 will dock in this area. Surprised that she wasn’t already here, as she is scheduled to sail back to Southampton with us on board tomorrow. Hopefully. Still on her way to New York, apparently

Pictures simply do not do this justice. I got a real sense of how this city is laid out, with a huge variety of architecture. Absolutely incredible.

All good things come to an end, so we descended in the high-speed lift.

Finding our way out into the plaza again proved much harder than it should have been, but we emerged to warm sunshine and a chance to see the two pools placed at the exact spots where the base of the North and South Towers of the original World Trade Center were built before the 9/11 tragedy destroyed them.

Main concourse
Like no train station you have ever seen
The 9/11 Memorial
Window cleaners. I hope they’re well paid

Next port of call was the actual 9/11 Museum. Shame we had to visit it on a lovely sunny day, but it was very close to the Observatory, and we just felt we had to. Besides, I’d bought tickets…..

I’ll spare you the more harrowing descriptions of that appalling day – God knows, there’s enough coverage out there – and just include a few pictures of bits and pieces which brought it home to me. It’s been attacked more than once – I do remember vaguely the car bomb in 1993.

A slurry wall, built to stop the inflow of water from the Hudson River. It survived the blast – if it hadn’t, the rescue operation would have been even more difficult
Tribute to those who helped build the original Twin Towers
Panic stricken exit down the Vesey Steet steps
A piece of the original Vesey Street steps – the Survivors’ Stairs
A fibreglass model of the Statue of Liberty outside of one of the fire stations involved in the rescue effort, which got covered in tributes of all sorts. Such heroism that day
This really got to me. Dogs were so important to the rescue effort as they could detect life in the ruins, and the sight of this dog being taken across on a breeches buoy rig brought tears to my eyes
Sorry about the orientation. See below
One of the high speed motors operating the lifts

All extremely moving, but it’s a huge exhibition and we were getting properly museumed out. We needed some sunshine on our last full day here.

Busy plaza
Another view of the memorial
Couldn’t resist more skyscrapers

Took a short walk to the City Hall park in the hope of finding a café and a place to sit to enjoy the sunshine. Nope. Nice enough, but small, crowded and noisy.

We were very taken with Central Park yesterday, so even though time was short, and armed with my now encyclopaedic knowledge of the New York subway 🤣, we headed for 96th Street.

A shortish walk took us back into Central Park, but a good deal further north than yesterday. It’s pretty big.

Some interesting architecture on the way.

Anyway, we got to see the Jackie Onassis Reservoir and the associated skyline. Amazing. Lots of clear water reflections on a lovely day.

Unfortunately, time was short, as I’d booked a posh meal for our final night in New York, and one had to get back to prepare, didn’t one? Well, I changed my shoes and trousers….

Cracked the subway once again (admittedly, we’ve only done Manhattan), got back to the hotel and had to exit around 20 minutes later for dinner.

Found the restaurant, the oddly named Crown Shy, not without difficulty.

The meal was indeed excellent, but very, very expensive. Prices comparable with top restaurants in the U.K. such as Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, but the service level was nowhere near comparable. Oh, and the muzak was crap….

Still buzzing on a Thursday night, though, and a perfectly decent way to end our last night here, although my credit card might feel differently.

A leisurely start awaits us tomorrow, as we can’t board the ship until after 12.30. I still need a haircut….

One of my bucket-list items starts tomorrow – the New York to Southampton sailing on one of the Cunard liners. Can’t wait, but I will have to, and so will you if you’re following me. Will keep you posted.

9 responses to “Day 89 – 6th October (New York)”

  1. how lucky you had lovely sunny weather for your last day in NY
    when i was there with Geoff in 1979 we actually went up the twin towers and had a meal at the top in a restarant called windows of the world i would also find it very moving seeing the memorial
    you have had an amazing holiday and seen some fantastic sights and now what a great way to end your travels on the Queen Mary

    1. Thanks, Adele. It’s been brilliant so far. One last adventure to come.

  2. Thank you Chris and Jean for your excellent Big Adventure commentaries – now enjoy your (hopefully) calm and relaxing trip back across the pond , you and your credit card deserve a rest!

    1. Thanks, Wendy. It’s always a bit of a mission to write these posts, but I’ve enjoyed doing so, and glad you’ve liked reading them.

  3. ps/ after 3 months of amazing places and pictures the New York experience and especially the rescue dog one have hit the spot – what is it about animals? One of our sons was due to be in the twin towers

  4. Sorry – hit the wrong button – one of our sons was due to be at the Twin Towers on 9/11 but his boss changed the date at the last minute thank goodness.

    1. Wow! Really? What was he supposed to be going there for? What a lucky break.

  5. I do love a good reflection in a photo 🙂

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