Monday, May 12, 2014

Central Park and Lady Liberty

A few more NYC experiences...

*Short version: We went to church Sunday morning in the building that houses the Mormon Temple. It was cool.

*Long version: I told Bryan we needed to catch a cab to get to church on the upper west side by 9:00. He suggested we walk. Which meant leaving our Midtown hotel around 8:15 to make sure we got there in time. But I'm glad we did, because Sunday morning in Manhattan, though a bit on the cool side, was sunny and quiet. And besides being a pretty walk, it was fun to point out Lincoln Center (specifically Juilliard School) to Julianne and then start watching for the Angel Moroni atop the temple...because the ward building actually shares space with the temple there in NYC. First floor, temple baptistry; second floor, administrative; third floor, ward house; fourth-sixth floors, temple. And seriously, you step off that elevator and you can't really even tell that you aren't in a normal ground level ward building. Lots of visitors in Sacrament Meeting  that day, our little trio being just a tiny fraction of them. And the organist, top notch...just saying. On our way out we ran into Bryan's cousin Mike. And yeah, kind of random in a city that big to run into someone you know. But I guess the odds go up considerably if you are Mormon going to church on Sunday.

*Short version: We wandered around Central Park and did lots of walking and sightseeing before heading back to our hotel.

(This guy was painting a picture of the bridge. He was pretty good, actually. And if you look closely...the squirrel is gnawing on something green. See it? Yeah, that's a jordan almond. Bryan became rather popular with the rather large population of squirrels in the wooded "ramble" part of Central Park.) 

*Long version: Sabbath Day or no, we were not locals and did need to we found ourselves a yummy looking crepe cafe for a late breakfast, and then headed over to Central Park. Our original goal had been to wander and explore the park (which realistically could take all day considering how huge the thing is) and then find a lovely place to get homey and do some reading and, if you are Julianne...homework. The forecast called for sun and warmth. But the forecast did not inform us of the chilly breeze, or warn us that the sun would frequently hide behind clouds making the temps feel colder than they really were. So lounging on the great lawn ended up not being as ideal as we had hoped. But it wasn't rainy like it had been the day before. So we did enjoy the aforementioned wandering and exploring. We explored our way right over to the Guggenheim Museum but lines were long and Bryan was decidedly not interested in learning about Italian Futurism, their newest exhibit. So we continued our leisurely walk down 5th Ave and headed to Serendipity 3. Another place Bryan was less than interested in, but willing to humor us because it involved food and quite a few hours had passed since we had downed those crepes.

(And due to all that walking...and the fact that he'd been up late watching a movie on his computer the night before...Bryan fell asleep at Serendipity 3 while waiting for his meal. Yep.)

*Short version: We missed out on the 9/11 Memorial but did get to visit the Statue of Liberty.

*Long version: When making plans to visit lower Manhattan Monday morning Bryan asked if we could walk. I told him it was most definitely time to experience the subway. I think I impressed him with my ability to not only guide us to the station but to also find which line we needed to take. Embark NYC app...aren't apps awesome? Google maps was used heavily throughout our trip as well. Not to toot my own horn or anything but I am a darn good navigator. Just saying.

I'm not sure what I was expecting. I didn't ever take the subway on our last trip to NYC. Nervous to do it on my own, I guess. Which is silly considering I've navigated my way through Washington D.C. and London using the Metro and the Underground (or Tube) on my own during past trips. Too many hairy scary NYC subway stories, maybe? It was easy peasy. Good to know for future reference.

"New York, New York...a wonderful town. The Bronx is up and the Battery's down. The people ride in a hole in the ground! New York, New York! It's a wonderful town!"
(The song from "On The Town" that ran through my head the entire subway ride long...)

We popped out right at the World Trade Center. But though free, we had to have a ticket to get in to the memorial. I hadn't realized that. And after standing in line, we discovered the ticket would have us sitting around for an hour before our official ticket time was called. Blah. We decided to move on with the hope that maybe we could visit later in the day.
New Trade Center Tower

We headed to Battery Park. It was pretty. And the weather was warm! Everything we had hoped for the day before. But rather than be leisurely, I was worried about time (we had a plane to catch later in the evening) so as navigator, I hurried us the wrong spot. Hey, every good navigator makes a mistake every now and again, yes? We turned around and headed the opposite direction, and did I mention that at least the walk was pretty there along the boardwalk? We finally found Statue Cruises and got in line to buy tix. And then got in line to go through security. And then got in line to board the boat. But we got a great place on the top level of the boat and had a front row view of Lady Liberty as we came chugging up to her.

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teaming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."
(The Statue of Liberty poem that has been turned into a song that ran through my head the entire boat ride long....)

And okay, though we couldn't get tickets to go up to the crown, and therefore decided that it was crown or nothing, and so opted not to even go into the pedastal and instead explore only the grounds of Liberty Island where it was crowded and our feet hurt and our heads were getting sunburned...well, if it wasn't still a pretty wow experience for me. Up close and personal, Lady Liberty packs quite an emotional punch. We didn't stay for long, but I'm really glad we went.

All too soon we were heading back home. As always when on vacation, I could've used one day more. Goodbye New York City! Hopefully we'll be back for another visit soon!


Shauna said...

Here's some Lady Liberty FYI: next time you are planning a visit, get online at as soon as you know when you will be there. That's where you can reserve tickets to go up to the crown. When I was there five years ago, they had just reopened the crown for visitors and crown tickets were sold out months in advance. Don't know how quickly they go now, but that's how you get tics to go up there. :-)

Sarah@The Best Stuff said...

Oh, I know. I looked on-line on their website before we left for NYC but the next available crown visit wasn't till July...all booked up. And though I had told Bryan we ought to buy our tix ahead of time even just to go out there, we were still a little uncertain about how our trip was going to go, which day we would potentially be heading to Liberty it wasn't until we were already in our hotel in NYC (without a printer) that we made the final decision. Bryan decided maybe we should just wing it. And I kicked myself over and over again for not just having the concierge or front desk print out our tickets so we could've skipped some of those lines. :)

Melissa@thebblog said...

Oh, I love reading about this trip! So want to have an experience like this for myself. How about a mom/sisters broadway trip????? may have to wait for Mary to have an older baby. Bucket list for sure.

Melissa@thebblog said...

Oh, I love reading about this trip! So want to have an experience like this for myself. How about a mom/sisters broadway trip????? may have to wait for Mary to have an older baby. Bucket list for sure.