Saturday, August 30, 2008

NYC - Day Six

So HOT! Still Deaf! Feet Ache!
Still we are off again on the tourist trail to get METRO all day bus passes - a bargain at 7 dollars, so we can jump on and off buses and tubes as much as we like all day.
Had to get them from hellish hot muggy underground station at Columbus Circle from a machine.
Had a nice relaxed breakfast in the hotel - fried egg sandwiches and real english tea. Real cups and saucers not these plastic pint pots they give you everywhere else.
Got bus to Grand Central station to see the huge space inside.

Another bus to Lower Manhatten . Some helpful locals showed us what bus to catch. We explained we were going to Battery park. "Where?" To Battery Park we said in our plummy english accents. We pointed to the map. "Oh, The BAYYTERREEEEE!"
Eventually the bus seems to stop so we get a tube the rest of the way which isn't as bad as we imagined. The stations are hot but the trains are relatively cool and not that crowded. Got out at one stop before the park just incase we vanished down some branch line and ended up in some weird suburb.

Battery park is packed full of tourists all queuing up for tickets or for the ferry. The line must have been a mile long! Our hearts sank but we joined the Q anyway as we were determined to see Liberty and Ellis Island.
Thankfully the Q's were moving along at a steady pace as people fainted and were dragged away by relatives- more room was made. Also we were enteratined by some amusing buskers, mostly playing steel drums or ukulele's. One actually made up a song about me as I licked my ice-cream. The very colourful jamaican explained he would be in England soon and the Queen needed some black poeple in the Royal family.
Have to endure the metal detectors and the searching of hats and bags etc. Crazy!
Liberty island seems a bit ironic after all this. It's packed and you can't go up into the statue anyway- not even into the base and museum unless you book online three days in advance! I ask you!
Still, we take the obligatory silly photo with silly hat and have a drink under a shadey tree and look out at the panorama before us.

Get ferry back to Ellis Island but too hot and knackered to go ashore so stay onboard with all the teeming huddled masses.
Walk to Ground Zero which is nearby - a sobering hole in the ground that they are still filling with scaffolding and concrete. Ready by 2012 it says. Even the postcards of Manhatten have ghosts of the twin towers on them. I don't suppose they will go until something is built in their place.
Get bus all the way back to Central Park for picnic with pizza and quiche bought at friendly deli. nearby. Yum! Sat by rocks watching joggers drinking our iced de-caff coffee and iced tea. Chocolate cake for pudding.
Amazing buskers again. Two black guys doing break dancing and acrobatics with a fine line in patter. "The more you give - the more we get!"

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