Ok, now that I have exorcised the Livejournal friends from my truck, I am having time to reflect and compose thoughts for journal entries. So the next couple of posts will be recaps, complete with lotsa pictures. My thanks to draysha68 and janietrain for the companionship, converstaion, and camaraderie. It was fun spending time with both of you. I have a blast on the road in general, but it's fun to have someone to do stuff with, too.
On the other hand, after three straight weeks of it, I'm looking forward to having the truck to myself for a while ;-)
Today I'm going to recap my adventures with draysha68. As you may recall, dipshit that I am, I deleted a good deal of pictures on the first day we were in New York by accident. This sucks because a good deal of those pictures were of The Cloisters branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in upper Manhattan. We took a train up there to a park on the banks of the Hudson. It was cold but a beautiful walk through the park. When you enter the museum, it's like walking into a medieval castle. It was interesting because it was museum not only because of the artifacts in glass cases, but the very architecture of the building was comprised of archways, glass windows, ceilings, and flooring from 16th century European cathedrals and monasteries. The main attraction from which the museum draws its name are the cloistered gardens in the center of the complex. The gardens are enclosed by beautiful marble and granite columns and arches shipped here from ancient European sites. The main attraction for draysha68 however were the 500 year old unicorn tapestries. They were hanging in a dimly lit room where we managed to snap a quick picture before being told that no flash photography was allowed. This was to protect the tapestries from further fading due to light, we were informed. draysha68 and I estimated that we probably deprived some little girl in the year 2250 of seeing these tapestries by our photography, then to make matters worse, I deleted it later that evening. Fine I say, if we don't get to keep the picture then future girl from 2250 doesn't get to see it either. Actually, it's probably some sort of cosmic retribution for taking the picture in the first place that the picture was lost. As a friend of mine later commented, wryly and succinctly: "Philistines!"
The next day, we went to Battery Park for a day of ferry riding, island hopping and statue seeing.
From the park it's hard to appreciate just how magnificent the main building on Ellis Island is. As you ride the ferry out to Liberty Island, you get a better appreciation of the architecture.
And then there's Miss Liberty herself. Her familiar figure is beautiful, even from a distance.
But as you move closer to the island, she begins to loom over you and there is a certain amount of awe which moves through the ferry passengers. It's tangibile and you can feel it, see it, and hear it all around you. Even the most cynical of Americans can't help but feel just a little bit of pride gazing upon her that close.
draysha68 is a little camera-shy but I managed to get a this nice picture of her on the ferry.
And then I got another one once on the island....
...and then I think she started to get cocky, which was great, because the next picture I took of her turned out the best.
It was really cold, so we didn't stay there very long. On the way back to the ferry, draysh68 decided to take a picture of the ferry. It ended up being the best picture of the day. It's such a beautiful picture with the choppy waves and the seagull flying through the shot.
We tooled around Ellis Island for a while next, taking in all of the exhibits, then headed back for Battery Park on the last ferry. We took a stroll up Broadway through the financial district. This is one of my favorite walks in this part of town. This is the stretch of Broadway where they threw all the old ticker-tape parades. The stroll takes you past Trinity Church as well, an old colonial-era church with impressive, gothic architecture.
draysha68 was particularly fascinated with the graveyard with its wrought iron fence and old tombstones.
We continued up Broadway, then over a block to the site of the World Trade Center.
Like the Statue of Liberty, there is a tangibile change in the people as you approach it. The closer you come to ground zero, the more you notice an audible hush that comes over the pedestrians on the street. No one is yelling, or even talking. Everyone whispers in muted voices out of respect and for the sake of reverence. I assume this will change one day, when a new building stands here; when there is no longer a gaping hole in the ground and in the skyline and in the hearts of the people who walk by here. Until then, not unlike Trinity Church up the street, it feels more like a place of worship and a graveyard.