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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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March 31, 2010

New York, New York!! The Saturday Report...

NOTE:  I just discovered that blog photos can be viewed in their original size by right-clicking on the photo and selecting "view in new window".  So if you'd like to see some of the further-away photos more clearly, you can try that and see what you think.

Saturday morning and it was "up and at 'em" as today was the day we would "do" the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  Our ferry reservation was for noon or 1:00 (can't remember which) so we had some time to kill and decided to visit the New York City Public Library at Bryant Park.  You think, wow, how exciting - go to a library, but this isn't your typical lending library.  In fact, it's not a lending library at all which is kind of sad, cause a book from this library I'm sure would be better to read than the same book from another library. :)  On the way there, I snapped this picture of the Chrysler building which I had tried off and on all day Friday to find a good spot from which photograph it.

And here are some of my pictures of the library:

On the left is probably one of the most recognizable lions in the country.  There are two and they guard the entrance to the library.

On the right is one of the ceiling frescoes which I think was in the open area outside the entrance to the book request and reading areas.

These are both the same room, of course - just trying to get a good impression of the size and complexity of the ceiling.  This is the reading/study room - rows of tables (the original tables designed by the architects for this room) now modernized with computers.  You request your books/materials in the adjoining room, then wait in here to receive them and do your research.  I told Chris this library makes me wish I was a scholar!

And one more picture - this is the Empire State Building seen through one of the library's windows.

It was time to move on, so we started on our journey to the ferry.  Since it was a nice day (relatively), lots of other people were also taking the ferry, but we finally got ourselves on one and took off for Liberty Island first and then on to Ellis Island.  The trip was windy and cold but fun to watch the statue getting closer and closer.

On the left probably my best shot of the statue.  And on the right, is the original torch.  It is displayed when you walk into the base and to me looks just like a nice, fat teapot.  The torch now is not electrified because it's a solid piece with 24-carat gilding.  These two are all I'll post of Liberty Island and you should probably be thankful for that. :)

So, back on to the ferry and off to Ellis Island.  I took the picture below on the way there and it's one of my favorites from the whole trip!  The center section with all the red roofs is Ellis Island.  The tall building on the mainland behind the island is New Jersey.

The island is very attractive with park-like areas, lots of trees, and the pretty buildings - particularly the main building where immigrants were taken as they left the ships to be "checked in".  Some of the other buildings were used as medical buildings because the immigrants were all examined by doctors and sometimes had to be quarantined for a period of time.  I'm not sure how much was there to see - from the roaming we did, it didn't seem like there was too much information.  But what we did see was informative and made me wish there was more.  Again, lots of pictures and here's my selection:

On the left is a portion of the main building.  On the right is some of the park area surrounding the building with beautiful trees.  Some where in the park area (I don't seem to have a picture) is a low wall that wraps around the area with panel after panel listing names of immigrant families.  Both sides of the wall are covered with these panels.  From 1892 to 1954, more than 12 million immigrants entered the country through Ellis Island!

On the left is the tiled ceiling of the main hall.  Simple but very attractive.  And on the right is one of the arched windows which covered the length of both sides of the hall and which I loved.  This next picture is looking through one of the panes to the Empire State Building in Manhattan.

The views from around the island were wonderful.  I'm posting one of the view of Brooklyn and a couple of the skyline of Manhattan cause I couldn't seem to quit taking pictures of it.

The view from Ellis Island to Brooklyn...

And my most panoramic view of the Manhattan skyline starting with the Empire State Building on the left.  The tiny pointy one about an inch or so away from it is, I think, the Chrysler Building with the black Met Life building blocking most of it from view (which it seems to do no matter where you are trying to take a picture!)

These two pictures each get a little closer to the skyline.  Chris told me the World Trade Center buildings were behind the two buildings close to the left edge of these pictures - the one with the slightly pointed greenish top and the round-topped one right beside it.  If you're interested, this link gives a clear picture of it's absence:

This last picture taken from Ellis Island was to bring us back to the present.  All this history around us and, as we waited for the ferry back to Manhattan, here came this decked out cruise ship bound for ports unknown...

That was pretty much it for Saturday.  After dinner at Ted's Montana Grill, we walked back home, making a
stop at the famous Magnolia Bakery for cupcakes for Jamie and myself and Chris's perennial favorite, their banana pudding.  I finally took a taste of that this time (after thinking other times "geez, what's so great about banana pudding?!") and it is a totally different experience from Jell-o brand banana pudding. :)

And that covers all my picture taking sightseeing.  Sunday, we got Jamie to Penn Station in time to get her 6:55 A.M. (!!) train, then went back to the apartment, stopping to get a Sunday paper and a Starbucks.  Came back and lazed around (nice to do since not only were we tired, but it was rainy).  At some point we visited the Frick Museum which is one of Chris's favorites and I can see why.  They have a wonderful collection of art that was a pleasure to view.  Other than that, and lunch and dinner, of course, Sunday was definitely a day of rest!

Monday, my last full day there, Chris went in to work (across the street) and I stayed in (it was now raining a little more than on Sunday) and worked on my pictures.  Went over and joined him for lunch in the Concourse, and he decided during lunch that, by durn, he was going to get tickets for us to see "Chicago" in spite of me telling him every time he mentioned it in the past that, after all, I had seen the movie FIVE times.  So he did and that's what we did Monday night.  And I had to admit, that whether I had seen the movie five times or not, it was wonderful to see a live performance of it.  Pretty much totally different because of how they staged it.  The orchestra was on the stage and the actors played out the story in a relatively small space in front of the orchestra.  There was essentially no scenery, and the actors who weren't involved in the current scene would sit on chairs on either side of the stage and do the chorus singing, if required, from there.  So, very, very different from the grandiose scenes of the movie, but still the wonderful music and fantastic dancing.

So, my many, many thanks to Chris for a wonderful weekend in the Big Apple.  Now, I'm back at January and Maggie's for Tuesday and Wednesday nights, tomorrow I think I'll have her drop me off in DC near the National Mall while she runs an errand she has and I enjoy the beautiful day and the cherry blossoms (more pictures?)  Then, it's off to Heather's to see all her latest renovations to her beautiful house, enjoy my two grandbabies (think I'll get to see a little of 4-year old Sophia's ballet "dancing") and then back to Huntington with soon-to-be 10-year old Johnny  in tow for a week's visit.  Hopefully, even though the extended forecast right now says Monday through Thursday next week is rain in Huntington, that will be wrong and we'll have some nice weather while he's there.


Christopher said...

A spectacular recap through photos and text... Your images sure make it all look more pleasant (weather-wise) than it was in reality! The pics don't give the impression of that cold, wet, windy cold. So glad it was a "successful" trip all around, for both you and Jamie!

vrmichie said...

Just read and viewed both your NY blogs and they make me green with envy!! New York, New York, I do love it so. Your pictures are fabulous and I agree with Chris -- it looks like you had beautiful weather instead of rainy. One of my best pictures of NY was from the first year we were there and coming back on the ferry from the Statue of Liberty just at sunset with the twin towers in the distance. Someday we'll have to look at yours and mine at the same time just to see how totally different it is now. Hope you're back safe & sound in Huntington and having a good time with Johnny and NO rain! Love, Chinch

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