Thursday, May 14, 2009

New York City: Day One

We left Boston this morning and headed to New York City!  It took us about 5 hours to get into the city.  Now that we are here we are trying to adjust to the big city pace!

We picked up Julie, our New York City tour guide at the Rockefeller Center and took a quick look around.  After that we got back on the bus and headed to Central Park.  We got off of the bus right in front of John Lennon’s apartment building then headed to Strawberry Field.  Once we were there, we opted to come back to that area later because it was so congested.  We toured the rest of the park and saw some beautiful trees, flowers, fountains and statues.  By the time we circled back around to the Strawberry Field area, it was a little less busy so we were able to have the Mayor of Strawberry Field give us a  brief explanation and history of the area.


After leaving Central Park we cruised around the city and saw things like Madison Square Garden & Times Square. 

One of my favorite places we visited today was St. Paul’s church.  This church stands across the street from where the World Trade Center stood.  Amazingly enough, this church was not damaged after the towers collapsed.  Fire fighters would go to the church to rest and eat.  Within the chapel are hundreds, maybe even thousands of flyers and pictures of people that were missing after 9/11.   As I walked around the chapel and looked at these pictures, I thought about all the families that were affected by the attack as well as all of the fire fighters, police officers, and volunteers that helped during the days, weeks, and months after the attack.  Reflecting on these things made me very emotional.  As I tried to keep it together, I came across a pew that had a fireman’s uniform on it along with a plaque.  The plaque explained that during the days after the attack, firemen would come into the church to eat and rest.  These firemen left scratches and scrapes on the pews due to the fact that many of them would lay and/or sit on the pews in their uniform.  Seeing this display made me even more emotional. One of the quotes that I read on the wall brought me to tears, "I remember looking at their faces when they walked in the church...their faces were so blank, almost like a deadened look on their faces.  But after a while, they talk, and eat, and sit, and you'd see them leave smiling."

After leaving the church we drove by the actual site of the Twin Towers, but didn't get to get out and look around due to the construction that is going on.  We might have a chance to look at a couple of memorials around there tomorrow.  So hopefully I'll be able to post some pictures of that tomorrow.

For dinner, we went to a Chinese restaurant called Yogee Restaurant.  This restaurant is located in China town...the food was pretty good.


After dinner we headed to the Empire State Building!  It was exhilarating and scary at the same time.  Each time one of our kids leaned up against the wall my knees would get weak.

So far New York has lived up to one of it's many nicknames: "The City that Never Sleeps" has been very interesting to watch our kids having to adjust (or having a hard time adjusting) to the hustle and bustle of the city.  

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