Travel, USA

New York City – Downtown and Brooklyn

July 14, 2015

Every other day we had headed north from our hotel so today it was time to explore Downtown. As it was a little further away we hopped on the subway to the Flat Iron building.

From there we wandered through SoHo on our way to the site of the World Trade Center. Unfortunately as we were rushing to try fit everything in we didn’t get to explore SoHo much as I would have liked. We did wander in a few stores and had a stroll past Dash (store of the Kardashians, I have now crossed two of my list having visited Calabasas, California a couple of years ago).

We headed further Downtown to the site of the 9/11 memorial. When we were there (May 2014) the museum was still under construction. However we were able to visit the memorial. It was now lunchtime so before we wait to the memorial we tried to find somewhere for a bite to eat. I sort of assumed that given the amount of office buildings near by we would be able to find a restaurant pretty easy, those Wall Street types need to dine out somewhere right? But after wandering for what seemed like an eternity (and really wishing we had stayed in SoHo for longer) we could not find anything. Eventually settling on a little pizza place that is definitely not worth the mention we headed back to the 9/11 memorial.

The memorial is free to enter however there is a charge for entering the museum.

I have previously visited New York, in 2004, and we went to the site of Ground Zero. I remember thinking it was really surreal that you could see through the construction curtain to men working, but there was an eerie silence. Silence is a noise not often experienced in New York.

The memorial garden is very beautiful, and similar to visiting a church it’s a nice place to reflect and just take in the atmosphere.

There are two memorials, one standing where each of the previous towers once stood. The names of all the victims are engraved. Each day a white rose is placed in the name to commemorate the birthday of the victims.

We left the memorial and headed in the direction of the Brooklyn Bridge. I will mention that since we arrived in the area we felt like something was going on. There were police everywhere and there were also TV crews setting up. Figuring this was a regular occurance in New York we just dismissed it.

Walking along the Brooklyn Bridge was definitely on my New York bucket list (which mainly consisted of eating lots of things pizza, hot dog, canolli, cupcake…). The bridge is on two levels with the cars passing below the pedestrian suspended above.

As well as the bridge I had one other thing I wanted to do during our short time in Brooklyn and that was to capture one of the most icon images of New York. Located at the corner of Water Street and Washington Street you can look back towards the city and see the Empire State building right in the middle of the Manhattan Bridge. It wasn’t the clearest of days but you can just see the Empire State Building.

Either way, the image is quite striking.

We headed down on to the boardwalk and walked along the water, grabbing an ice cream on the way. Hey we had walked pretty far since we landed in New York!

Now remember when I said there was a bit of a buzz near the 9/11 memorial. Well we were standing on the boardwalk when we heard loads of helicopters fly right over us towards Manhattan. Now CB, as well as been a bit of a car geek, is also a big aircraft geek. So he was convinced one was Marine One, i.e. the President’s helicopter.

We could hear sirens everywhere now and there was a police officer on the boardwalk so I took my chances, played the tourist card, and asked him what was going on.

Now I have a terrible memory, especially when it comes to conversations, but I can remember his response clear as day “Ma’am the President came to town” (obviously make sure you speak it in a New York accent to get the maximum effect).

It was only after I walked past him that I saw his department on the back of his uniform.

Luckily I didn’t get ambused by a SWAT team from speaking to him.

We later found out that it definitely was Obama (not that I ever doubted the big, scary cop) and that he was in town to open the 9/11 museum.

We caught the subway back to our hotel and spoke the whole way back about our awesome experience.

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