March 6, 2016
We met up with Ken and Kathy at the Variety coffee shop. It was this day that bagels were subsequently purchased and taken back to Jon and Masha’s place as breakfast. Kathy and Cathie had to stand in line for a bit. Bagels are popular Sunday morning.
After breakfast we said our goodbyes to everyone and headed back into Manhattan. The day before Jonathan had suggested that we take the Staten Island Ferry, which goes back and forth from the tip of Manhattan to Staten Island all day long, every half hour. The ferry passes fairly close to the Statue of Liberty and, as a final bonus, is free!
We rode the L train to the Union Square station and transferred to the 5 train, getting off at the Bowling Green station. A short walk brought us to the ferry terminal. There seemed to be a lot of people but once we were on our way I noticed there were many empty seats. While there are bridges into Staten Island, there is no subway or train service into New York City. The ferry service wasn’t always free. That changed on June 4, 1997. An NY Times article covering some of the motivation can be found here.
The ferry ride was fine. My only complaint is that there was no outside deck, just the passenger ramp areas in the bow and stern. Since the windows were quite water stained, photographs were less than optimal. The windows are supposed to slide up but few did. On the way back I did find one open window, unfortunately the return ferry was farther from the Statue of Liberty, so there were tradeoffs.
After we returned to Manhattan we strolled through Battery Park. One attraction is the East Coast memorial to the 4,601 WWII servicemen killed in combat in the Atlantic Ocean. On a gentler note, there were many food vendors out with their carts. We had not yet had a New York hotdog so took the opportunity to correct that omission.
We walked up the Hudson River Greenway on West St toward the One World Trade Center. We were just wandering so decided to go into Brookfield Place and see what fancy looked like. It turns out that coffee and food are not out of line price wise. Cathie said that the food prices in the grocery store were comparable to here in Maine.
Opposite Brookfield Place on West St is One World Trade Center. Cathie wondered if it too had an observation area. We walked over, and sure enough, there was a modest line of people waiting to go up to the One World Observatory. We bought tickets and went up. The elevator goes to the 102nd floor but the actual observation deck is on the 100th floor. Besides the view, two things are worth noting. The elevator ride up includes a time lapse video of the evolution of New York City from before Europeans to present day. It is timed exactly with the elevator ride. As you go up time moves forward and you appear to be getting high and higher. It is very clever and well done. Here is a link to the video on yotube. The other noteworthy item is the “See Forever” video collage of New York City show to after you leave the elevator.
One on the 100th floor we took photos of the various views. It was a really beautiful day to be up there.
After our high rise site seeing we returned to our room for a bit before going out to dinner at the Frost Restaurant. This Italian restaurant was recommended by Ken and Kathy. In particular, Ken said he thought the gnocchi was as good as his mother’s (Grandma). High praise indeed. The food was excellent and the waiters took good care of us, even though it was packed.