NYC - day 2:
up and about by 7:30 am, we got dressed, ate breakfast and made our way to rockefeller center to see the Today show. rihanna was performing on the plaza, and my 14 yo cousin was pretty excited to see her. after the first song, we fanagled our way into the main viewing area, but way in the back. i hoisted my cousin on my back and she reached as high as she could, trying to snap some good photos of ri-hanna. she sang 3 songs before matt and meridith came out to wrap up the show. we caught tiny, far away, i-think-that's him/her glimpses of them. as the plaza cleared out we chatted with some friendly tourists who gave us great sight-seeing tips. we learned where carrie bradshaw's (from sex & the city) apartment stoop was among other things. we headed towards the tour bus, to make our way down to the financial district. our first stop was overwhelmingly powerful...ground zero. the small, very old (1700's) church across the street from ground zero has been transformed into a very somber and emotionally impactful place. we read the time-line of a day we could never forget. looking at pictures, reading quotes, standing so near to the mayhem and utter chaos that was there almost 7 years ago was overwhelming. as i struggled to comprehend what it must have been like, as i tried to understand why anyone would do such a thing, and i swallowed hard to fight off tears i read innocent letters from small children, quotes from volunteers, fliers about the missing. my 14 yo cousin took it all in slowly. she asked great questions about that day, things that my own mind has struggled to understand. it was so sad, as i imagined it would be. unbelievable how powerful a few short words or one image can be. i had to separate myself, i couldn't handle the wrenching heartache of it. Actual ground zero, where the twin towers once stood, was nothing to see. just a giant gaping hole in the ground, surrounded by fence and construction workers.
the sunshine seemed to melt away the angst and sadness i felt, as we walked toward wall street.
wall street was intersting, mostly i enjoyed watching the people and admiring the ornate buildings. after wall street, we had lunch at a deli in the financial district - great pizza! then headed to the staten island ferry. this is a great way to see the statue of liberty and ellis island for free. the ferry took us past both monuments, within photo-range, plus we got to see the skyline of manhattan, and it only took an hour. after the ferry ride, we saw south street sea port, which was cute and kind of a water-front sanctuary, almost historic small-town in feeling (minnesotans: think stillwater). from there we walked to the brooklyn bridge for some more pictures. we then had to hurry back to the hotel to get ready for our broadway show. we had dinner at a sex and the city icon (chris noth "mr. big" is friends with the owner), we had terrible service and complained to the manager, who gave us free drinks (made me wish i'd ordered something). we headed a few block over to see Wicked...which was amazing! afterwards, we picked up dessert and roamed through time square before heading back to the hotel. another fantastic day in NYC.
(sorry if i'm super long-winded readers...but i'm really enjoying re-counting my trip!)