Friday, July 11, 2014

A Somber, Solemn Morning in New York City...

 Stayed at a nice Marriott in downtown New York.

Not too far from a subway stop.

Had just taken Amtrak down from Boston and connected at Penn Station with the right line to get over to the Financial District.

Did not realize the new nearly-completed One World Trade Center was almost next door.

In the morning, I walked over to revisit "Ground Zero."

The footprints for the twin towers now were reflecting pools with waterfall fountains surrounded by the engraved names of the almost 3,000 people who perished on 9-11.

A respectful single white rose had been tucked next to a person's name.

It was early and overcast.

Fitting for such a somberly impressive scene.

Only a few people at this hour. Very little conversation. No loud voices. No laughter.

It was quiet and serene.

All around this peaceful oasis the buildings stood tall, disappearing in the morning mist.

I am glad I came here.

A few of us with cameras were trying to capture the feeling, the look, of this beautiful, but sad, reminder of a horrible time.

Because of the cloudy conditions - and intermittent rain - I had cancelled my plan to go up to Top Of The Rock at Rockefeller Center.

An Observation Deck on a day with clouds and a low ceiling was not a great idea.

Instead, I was thinking, maybe this would be a good day to walk the Brooklyn Bridge.

And have lunch somewhere in Chelsea by the West Side's elevated city park & garden called High Line.

But, first, pause, and take in the good intentions and hard work that had turned a scene of carnage into a soothing vista.

The soaring 1,776 feet tall new single memorial tower can be seen from many vantage points all around the area.

Later, from the midway point on the Brooklyn Bridge, I saw it and snapped a photo.

As well as the Statue of Liberty (miles away in the harbor) and the skyline centered around the iconic Empire State building.

New York is a great place for gawking, rubber-necking and seeing the sights.

"We're not in Kansas anymore," said Dorothy to her dog Toto as she toured Oz.

I have lived in Kansas - and its bordering state Missouri - so I can personally verify that Ms. Dorothy was very correct.
Later in the day, the sky cleared a bit and, as I wandered around Washington Square Park, I could see One WTC towering in the distance.

In the park itself was the beautiful Soldiers' and Sailors' Arch and the Bailey Fountain.

I didn't see a sign saying to keep out of the fountain so people ventured in. And got wet.

I dodged two small children with massive water guns who were running through the crowd, squirting each other, as their mom tried to calm things down.

Our  two fountains at Waterfront Park draw crowds of young "bathers," and I'm not sure if these were locals or out-of-towners.

Guess it doesn't matter. People were having a good time in a pretty, but small,  "pocket park."

It was very easy to tell who got wet.

I made sure that before I left New York, I went to the huge, full square block, Mecca for serious photographers...B & H.

My credit cards were itching to leap from my wallet but I kept my head as I perused the Canon Camera section on the 2nd floor.

Of course there was a Nikon area as well as other zones dedicated to particular popular brand of cameras and accessories.

Hey, that large bag contains only two small memory cards.
The young saleslady told me they were the last two 2GB cards in stock.

I can believe it. Cards now have a capacity starting at 4GB or 8GB and go up to 32GB...and even larger.

She suggested I buy a 4GB card for $5 instead of buying two smaller ones at $5 each.

She finally smiled and probably thought "IS the customer always right?"

Here are two of  my favorite pictures taken at High Line, the park-in-the-sky built on the former setting for an elevated train.

Trees, flowers and bushes in the midst of a huge city with traffic flowing all around.

And beneath the park.

More condos are rising on all sides, offering the "If you lived here, you'd be home now" concept.

I mean MANY, MANY condos are springing up ...well, like weeds...since the urban greenspace opened about two years ago.

Latecomers will pay the price but I'm sure it's worth it to them.

A sense of country in the city.

(Click on the photos for more details.)

The day started with a reverent visit to a site that will forever live in American history.

It ended with stops and tours to several green and vibrant living parks scattered around a remarkable city.

With some great pizza.

Thanks for joining me for a day of vacation.

I wonder if people still buy - and mail - picture postcards?




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