A Travellerspoint blog

New York - Day 3

The New York Greeter

Last night we really enjoyed Stomp. If I had known in advance it had 8 performers who used percussion involving everyday objects such as brooms, garbage cans and paper and not a single word was spoken I would have been reluctant to attend. In fact, it was all these things but was energetic, humorous, clever and very entertaining.
Stomp

Stomp

Cast members from Stomp

Cast members from Stomp

Returning home late on the subway was not a problem. It was safe and there were crowds of people around. They say it is a city that never shuts down. We were amazed by the piles of black garbage bags and rubbish stockpiled on the footpaths for later collection. Where does all this rubbish go?

After a wonderful performance of Stomp last night at the Orpheum Theatre, this morning we met up with our Big Apple Greeter. Big Apple Greeter is a non-profit organization that matches visitors with friendly and enthusiastic New Yorkers who are happy to share the city they love with families, friends, and individuals traveling solo. A visit with a Greeter leaves a lasting impression of the city, the warmth of its people, and the energy and diversity of its neighborhoods, which each visitor carries forever and communicates to others.

The New Yorkers who serve as Greeters are all volunteers, come from varied backgrounds and can welcome visitors in over 20 languages. Greeters and visitors are matched according to language, neighborhoods requested, and interests, when possible.
We were extremely fortunate to be allocated Gordon Suber a New Yorker of 25 years. What Gordon doesn't know about New York isn't worth knowing. Gordon said he has a choice of who he greets so he exercises this option.
Big Apple Greeter Gordon Suber and Colleen

Big Apple Greeter Gordon Suber and Colleen

Gordon met us at our hotel and from there we went to Columbia University at Upper West Side then downtown to East Village. We took the subway Uptown to 116th Street where we walked around the village and walked though the grounds of Columbia University.
Subway 42nd Street

Subway 42nd Street


Street scene 116th street outside Columbia University

Street scene 116th street outside Columbia University


Columbia University Library

Columbia University Library

High ground near Columbia University used by George Washington as headquarters against the British Army

High ground near Columbia University used by George Washington as headquarters against the British Army

Along the way, we came across the restaurant made famous through the Seinfeld series.
street scene Greenwich West Village

street scene Greenwich West Village

street scene Greenwich West Village

street scene Greenwich West Village

Gordon and Colleen admiring two of the oldest houses in Greenwich Village

Gordon and Colleen admiring two of the oldest houses in Greenwich Village

old off Broadway theatre in west village of Greenwich Village

old off Broadway theatre in west village of Greenwich Village


Smallest house in NY - 9 feet wide sold for more than 2.2 million

Smallest house in NY - 9 feet wide sold for more than 2.2 million

After lunch in a small pizza place which has won best pizza in New York for the last three years we went to Chinatown and Little Italy. This Pizerria has been voted the best pizza for the last three years in New York. The walls inside were adorned with many celebrities who had eaten there.
Bleecker street Pizerria - best Pizza in New York

Bleecker street Pizerria - best Pizza in New York


Scene that greets the visitor leaving the subway for Chinatown

Scene that greets the visitor leaving the subway for Chinatown

Chinese supermarket fresh fish

Chinese supermarket fresh fish

Chinese supermarket - the tubs in the foreground hold whole frogs which are soon to be seperated from their legs

Chinese supermarket - the tubs in the foreground hold whole frogs which are soon to be seperated from their legs

Chinese Pharmacy complete with abacus and scales

Chinese Pharmacy complete with abacus and scales


It seems people do drink tea here in Manhattan

It seems people do drink tea here in Manhattan

Empire State Building seen from Chinatown

Empire State Building seen from Chinatown

We then went to Ground Zero and the near completed One World Trade Centre Building.

One World Trade Centre nearly complete with St Paul's Church on left

One World Trade Centre nearly complete with St Paul's Church on left


One World Trade Centre nearly complete

One World Trade Centre nearly complete


St Paul's Church

St Paul's Church

St Paul's Church

St Paul's Church

St Paul's Church

St Paul's Church

St Paul's Church Graveyard

St Paul's Church Graveyard


Dark building was under construction in Sept 2001 beside Twin Towers

Dark building was under construction in Sept 2001 beside Twin Towers

We visited the Financial District also known as Wall Street.
Wall Street, Financial District

Wall Street, Financial District

narrow streets around Wall Street

narrow streets around Wall Street

New York Stock Exchange, Wall Street

New York Stock Exchange, Wall Street

George Washington was inaugurated here on Wall Street

George Washington was inaugurated here on Wall Street

Generator trailers still used in buildings being restored after Super Storm Sandy

Generator trailers still used in buildings being restored after Super Storm Sandy


Garden area on Broadway

Garden area on Broadway


Colleen and Gordon jay walking in Financial District

Colleen and Gordon jay walking in Financial District

After stopping for a beer/coke at Fraunces Tavern we then caught the subway back to Times Square.
Fraunces Tavern scene of George Washington's farewell to his army after war with British

Fraunces Tavern scene of George Washington's farewell to his army after war with British

Fraunces Tavern scene of George Washington's farewell to his army after war with British

Fraunces Tavern scene of George Washington's farewell to his army after war with British

The Whisky Bar at Fraunces Tavern

The Whisky Bar at Fraunces Tavern

We can't wait until the hop on hop off buses tomorrow so we can explore these neighbourhoods in more depth. Thanks, Gordon for a wonderful day of sightseeing in New York.

Posted by Kangatraveller 18:23 Comments (0)

New York, New York

Ground Zero Workshop Museum and Broadway

New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world. The city is referred to as New York City or the City of New York to distinguish it from the State of New York, of which it is a part.

Located on one of the world's largest natural harbors, New York City consists of five boroughs, each of which is a county of New York State. The five boroughs—The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island—were consolidated into a single city in 1898. With a Census-estimated 2012 population of 8,336,697 distributed over a land area of just 302.64 square miles (783.8 km2), New York is the most densely populated major city in the United States. As many as 800 languages are spoken in New York, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world. The New York City Metropolitan area contains 22.1 million people.

Last night we met up with our friends Julie and Phillip Kornmann who are taking the same trip as us next Friday week. we will cross the US by coach from New York to Los Angeles in 23 days.
Julie in our unit at Candlewood Suites

Julie in our unit at Candlewood Suites

We didn't know what hotel Julie and Phillip were staying at so when we rang last night it was a real surprise to find they are in the Marriott in the next street and virtually behind our hotel.

Today we are to learn about the subway (experience can be a good teacher). Our first experience for the day is the Ground Zero Workshop Museum. This is rated the third most popular experience in New York by Tripadvisor. The Ground Zero Museum Workshop, known as the "Biggest LITTLE Museum in New York" gives visitors the opportunity to view 80 "Rare Photos" (NY Times) taken during the recovery efforts at Ground Zero and to view select artifacts collected during the recovery period.
Ground Zero Museum Workshop

Ground Zero Museum Workshop

Gary Marlon Suson, the Official Photographer at Ground Zero for the Uniformed Firefighters Association and founder of the Ground Zero Museum Workshop, was the only person authorized to take photographs at Ground Zero during the 11 month long recovery effort. GZMW is non-graphic in nature and very suitable for children. On display are images of the famed "Bible Page" - the "Frozen Clock" - K-9 Recovery Dogs - FDNY Honor Guard images and more.
Ground Zero Museum Workshop

Ground Zero Museum Workshop

Ground Zero Museum Workshop

Ground Zero Museum Workshop

Ground Zero Museum Workshop

Ground Zero Museum Workshop

Ground Zero Museum Workshop

Ground Zero Museum Workshop

This whole experience was very sobering and solemn.

We walked down a block to the Chelsea Markets. This old warehouse in the Meatpacking District has been converted to some excellent boutique shops and huge variety of eating places. I thought I had gone to heaven when I walked into the Lobster Place with a wondrous display of fresh seafood and bars where you could choose your dishes and eat them there. The oysters alone numbered the hundreds in at least 20 different varieties of in the shell oysters waiting to be freshly opened for you. From Oyster Po'Boy Soup to fish being filleted on the counter, there was everything seafood.
Chelsea Markets in Meatpacking District

Chelsea Markets in Meatpacking District

Chelsea Markets in Meatpacking District

Chelsea Markets in Meatpacking District

We caught the subway to East Village to get tickets for Stomp tonight. This is an off Broadway Show. On the way back we walked past this school in East Village. Schools here in Manhattan are not as easily recognisable as at home.
East Village school

East Village school

Posted by Kangatraveller 13:37 Comments (0)

Amtrak to New York

A not so slow train day

It is wonderful having a sleep in today. A leisurely breakfast and then the Regional Train to NY. The Regional Train has five stops, arrives 20 minutes after the Express and costs half as much.

We arrived at Pennsylvania Station, New York at 2.20 pm today (Wednesday, we are 21hours behind AEST). The journey took us through rolling Maryland countryside and some very large urban areas. The train snakes around Baltimore and Newark Airports.
Pennsylvania Station, New York

Pennsylvania Station, New York

Our first impressions of New York are: people everywhere, yellow taxis as seen in the movies and a large range of cultures.
Taxis outside Madison Square Garden

Taxis outside Madison Square Garden

We took a taxi to our accommodation at The Candlewood Suites at Hell's Kitchen.
Home Sweet home for the next ten days - 29th floor

Home Sweet home for the next ten days - 29th floor

Hell's Kitchen, also known as Clinton and Midtown West, is a neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City between 34th Street and 59th Street, from Eighth Avenue to the Hudson River. The area provides transportation, hospital and warehouse infrastructure support to the Midtown Manhattan business district. Its gritty reputation kept real estate prices below those of most other areas of Manhattan until the early 1990s; rents have increased dramatically since and are currently above the Manhattan average.

Once a bastion of poor and working-class Irish Americans, Hell's Kitchen's proximity to Midtown has changed it over the last three decades of the 20th century and into the new millennium. The 1969 edition of the City Planning Commission's Plan for New York City reported that development pressures related to its Midtown location were driving people of modest means from the area. Today, the area is gentrifying.

The rough-and-tumble days on the West Side figure prominently in Damon Runyon's stories and the childhood home of Marvel Comics' Daredevil. Being near to both Broadway theatres and Actors Studio training school the area has long been a home to actors learning and practicing their craft.

We set off to explore our new neighbourhood. Noting that there was an Irish Pub two doors down with a sign outside saying, "Guiness and oysters -$15".

Times Square is a five minute walk away from our accommodation. Here are a few scenes in this area.
Times Square

Times Square

The New York Times Building

The New York Times Building

Times Square

Times Square

There is Father Francis Duffy Square right in Times Square (Times Square isn't a square as it has a triangular shape and refers to the area.). I thought it was rather unusual to name the Square after a cleric who had a whole swag of military awards including Distinguished Service Medal, Croix De Guerre, Prix D'Honneur etc etc.
Father Francis Duffy Square in Times Square

Father Francis Duffy Square in Times Square

Francis Patrick Duffy (May 2, 1871 - June 27, 1932) was a Canadian American soldier, Roman Catholic priest and military chaplain.
Duffy served as chaplain for the 69th Infantry Regiment (known as the "Fighting 69th"), a unit of the New York Army National Guard from New York City whose soldiers were largely drawn from the city's Irish-American and immigrant population. He served in the Spanish-American War (1898), but it is his service on the Western Front in France during World War I (1917-1918) for which he is best known. Duffy, who typically was involved in combat and accompanied litter bearers into the thick of battle to recover wounded soldiers, became the most highly decorated cleric in the history of the United States Army.
Duffy Square—the northern half of New York City's Times Square between 45th and 47th Streets—was named in his honour.

Tomorrow, we are off on the subway to travel to Ground Zero Museum Workshop.

Posted by Kangatraveller 15:59 Comments (0)

The Smithsonians

The National Holocaust and The Museum of American History

Here are a few reflections from yesterday's Gettysburg visit.
Firstly, the sheer scale of the conflict. More than 51 000 casualties at Gettysburg but more than 720 000 casualties during the entire civil war is simply staggering. This is 6 million soldiers in proportion to today's population of the United States. Secondly, the fighting pit family members against family members. Flora Cooke was married to a Confederate General J E B Stewart and her father was Union General St George Cooke. Mary Bell's brother Major Bell was a surgeon in the Confederate Army when her husband was President Abraham Lincoln, President of the Union. Both Presidents at the time, President Abraham Lincoln of the Union and President Jefferson Davis of the Confederation were born in Kentucky one year and eighty miles apart.

Gettysburg, not surprisingly, was the setting for Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. This is arguably the most recognised speech in the world. It is only 272 words long and was delivered by Lincoln in 2 minutes and 15 seconds. It was delivered by Lincoln during the American Civil War, on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg.
Gettysburg  Visitors Centre Museum - Gettysburg Address

Gettysburg Visitors Centre Museum - Gettysburg Address


This morning we caught the subway to The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM).
Metrorail, Washington DC - easy to use, fast, safe and cheap

Metrorail, Washington DC - easy to use, fast, safe and cheap

This museum is the United States' official memorial to the Holocaust. Adjacent to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the USHMM provides for the documentation, study, and interpretation of Holocaust history. It is dedicated to helping leaders and citizens of the world confront hatred, prevent genocide, promote human dignity, and strengthen democracy.
National Holocaust Museum Building

National Holocaust Museum Building

National Holocaust Memorial view of lobby - no photographs allowed

National Holocaust Memorial view of lobby - no photographs allowed


The National Holocaust Museum has four floors of excellent displays. We were rather surprised that there were many hundreds of people including students and the only sounds were the rustling of clothes and the soft footfalls of people walking. Many of the pictures are very confronting and raised questions about man's inhumanity to man. We spent three hours at the Museum and left feeling very humble and determined to ensure we play our part in making sure it never happens again.

We walked across the National Mall (again) to the National Museum of American History in Madison Avenue.
National Museum of American History - Madison Avenue Entrance

National Museum of American History - Madison Avenue Entrance


National Museum of American History entrance - the Star Spangled Banner

National Museum of American History entrance - the Star Spangled Banner

Here are some photos that show our individual preferences.
National Museum of American History  - Michelle Obama's Dress from 2009 Inauguration

National Museum of American History - Michelle Obama's Dress from 2009 Inauguration

National Museum of American History - America at War

National Museum of American History - America at War

Colleen's interest in Michelle Obama's Inauguration Ball gown and David's of the American's war history. In the American War section was an area set aside for Medal of Honor recipients. We both were interested in Daniel K Inouye.
National Museum of American History - Medal of Honour recipient Daniel K Inouye

National Museum of American History - Medal of Honour recipient Daniel K Inouye

The most highly decorated unit of WW11 (and over all wars) is the 442nd infantry regiment formed in Hawaii of Japanese Americans. It was only in 1943 that they were allowed to fight for their country even though many of their families were interned.

They were not allowed on fight in the Pacific but were sent to North Africa, Italy, France and Germany.

The current serving Senator for Hawaii, Senator Daniel Inouye was a recipient of the Medal of Honour, Distinguished Service Cross, Purple Heart etc and I have put the link below. Very interesting. He is 88 years old and is the President Ex Tempore of the US Senate which makes him the same level as the Vice President of the United States. When you read of his actions in the WW2 you wonder how he is still alive rather than still working at 88.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/442nd_Infantry_Regiment_(United_States)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Inouye

Tonight we are off to the Mexican restaurant around the corner as this is David's preferred fare and it is his turn to make the choice tonight.

Posted by Kangatraveller 15:29 Comments (0)

Gettysburg - a turning point in the American Civil War

July 1,2,3 1863 - 53 000 casualities

A long day today but a very interesting one. Starting with a two hour bus trip (80 miles or so) north east to Gettysburg. Our first stop was at Farnsworth House.
Gettysburg  - Farnsworth House

Gettysburg - Farnsworth House

Farnsworth House was built in 1831 and named in honour of Brigadeer General Elon Farnsworth and was the scene of Confederate troops occupying the town and using the house for placing snipers in the attic window to pick off Union troops. After the walking tour of the typical army encampment, we had lunch at the Tavern. We shared fish and chips at a cost of $9.50 which was more than enought for both of us.

Here are some typical street scenes of Gettysburg which has remained largely unchanged due to the National Military Park restricting the growth of the town itself.
Gettysburg - Main Street

Gettysburg - Main Street

Gettysburg  - Main Street

Gettysburg - Main Street

After this we visited the Gettysburg Visitors Centre, Cyclorma and Museum. The Cyclorma is made up of a circular painting longer than a football field and higher than a six story building by artist, Paul Philippoteaux in the late 1800s. This painting has been beautifully restored at a huge cost and now hangs in the $104m Visitors Centres which was opened five years ago. It seems as though you can reach out to the figures on the painting.
Gettysburg Cyclorama scene

Gettysburg Cyclorama scene

Gettysburg Cyclorama scene

Gettysburg Cyclorama scene

Gettysburg Cyclorama scene

Gettysburg Cyclorama scene

Gettysburg Cyclorama scene

Gettysburg Cyclorama scene

We then picked up a Battlefield Guide and toured the battlefields by coach. The battlefields form part of the National Military Park and are extremely well maintained and are marked with numerous state memmorials, bronze statutes, and markers of importance. Our guide, Gary is very knowledgeable about all things "civil war". The Gettysburg Battlefield occurred through happenstance. General Robert E Lee of the Confederate Army was looking for a place to consolidate his scattered troops and chose Gettysburg as it had ten roads leading in to it. Unbeknowanced to him, General Mead of the Union side was also doing the same thing. The Union Army's Colonel Buford's Cavalry suddenly came across the Confederate troops and opened fire. Neither General was prepared for the ensuing battle. As both Generals knew this would be a turning point in the war. Thus ensued a mighty battle, leaving 51,000 casualties over the three days of July 1,2 and 3. Of these 11,000 were killed. Interestingly in those days, townspeople who numbered 2,400 were left to bury the dead. Temporary hospitals catered for 30,000 soldiers.
Gettysburg Battlefield

Gettysburg Battlefield

Gettysburg Battlefield

Gettysburg Battlefield

Gettysburg Battlefield Pennsylvania Memorial

Gettysburg Battlefield Pennsylvania Memorial

Gettysburg Battlefield - barn showing cannon ball hole

Gettysburg Battlefield - barn showing cannon ball hole

Gettysburg Battlefield  - Little Round Hill

Gettysburg Battlefield - Little Round Hill


This memorial was paid for on land purchased by the State of South Carolina. The State was meant to cede the land to the State of Maryland in 1927 but chose not to do so. It now forms part of the State of South Carolina who still pay for this one acre to be maintained. Interestingly, the State of South Carolina counts this one acre in the land size of their state.

Gettysburg Battlefield South Carolina Memorial

Gettysburg Battlefield South Carolina Memorial

Gettysburg Battlefield South Carolina Memorial

Gettysburg Battlefield South Carolina Memorial

Gettysburg Battlefield - Confederate artillery memorial

Gettysburg Battlefield - Confederate artillery memorial

Gettysburg Battlefield

Gettysburg Battlefield


Alan, if you are reading this. The fences shown below are original fences. As the ground is too hard to dig the holes the fences are stacked like this. The guide said the cows are too silly to realise they can just knock them down.

Gettysburg Battlefield - original fences

Gettysburg Battlefield - original fences

We arrived back after 6.00pm tonight and set off for the German Restaurant, Cafe Berlin for traditional German fare. Very tasty too, I might add.

Posted by Kangatraveller 18:20 Comments (0)

(Entries 56 - 60 of 70) « Page .. 7 8 9 10 11 [12] 13 14 »