i think i am in love with nyc. it's a beautiful, friendly, welcoming, energetic, moving, always moving city. tuesday afternoon, we were wowed by the sights and sounds of times square - then off to see the rockettes at radio city music hall - absolutely wonderful show, it was. we walked back to our hotel afterwards, and stopped at a deli along the way for a snack - good stuff!
somehow I talked mat into an early wake-up wednesday so that we could go to the taping of the GMA show. it was neat :) then all day wednesday we rode a series of double decker buses to see the sights and sounds of Manhatten - first stop; st. paul's chapel across the street from where the twin towers once stood.
the chapel wasn't harmed, not even a window cracked or broken on 9.11 - and for 8 or 9 months it was a refuge for the workers from 'the pit'. there are memorials inside the sanctuary including 'missing' flyers, photos of many of the victims, letters from all over the world, momentos from the NYPD and NYFD.... it was one of those rare moments in your life when you don't even realize that you're crying until you feel tears dripping off of your chin... I'm not sure I can accurately describe how I felt - but the chapel itself held a solemn yet renewing energy. the sadness itself held hope, the tears carried pride along with sorrow, and the echos of countless volunteers that administered to the rescue then recovery workers remain. it took Mat and I a little while after leaving there to get back to normal conversation and exploring - the emotional digestion took a bit of time.
second stop was in greenwich village, where we were on a treasure hunt for an irish pub by the name of 'mr. denneheys' on carmine street, owned by a friend of a friend. the pub was about an eight block walk after disembarking from the double decker bus, and i promptly fell in love with greenwich village. it was much more quaint than the high rises and neon of times square. the old brick buildings each had their own personality, and the shops on street level were the kind that you wanted to duck inside the doorway of each and explore.
when we found mr. denneheys, we were seated and we asked for 'donal' whom I had spoken with by phone the day before, and he came to our table and we visited for a little while. mat had a pint (or two) of guiness - what else do you drink in an irish pub? irish coffee - that's what I had. we ordered a plate of fish and chips that were wonderful. once again, we were on our way, and we took our time getting back to the bus stop and did in fact, duck inside a few of the shops and did a bit of shopping.
it was drizzling with occasional rain, so we got back on another double decker bus and rested our feet while we listened to the tour guide talk about noho, soho, little italy, china town, tenements and immigrants, honey pots and public baths, the east village, park avenue, the waldorf astoria, tiffanys, medical mile.... you could spend so much time in a city that is so rich with history. we didn't make it to ellis island, but will on another visit - I have copies of papers from my grandfather's family - a set in swedish and a set in english from ellis island from 1909, I believe.
eventually, we got off at times square and rested for a little while in our hotel - then we suited up again fancy-like for our next adventure; dinner on the 48th floor of the marriott at 'the view' restaraunt. the entire restaraunt rotates as you're eating, so we could see all of manhatten, the hudson river.... I remembered being a small girl, ten or so, and my dad taking me on a 'date' in rochester, mn at a place called 'the pinnacle' where the restaraunt rotated as well - my two favorite guys have now taken me to the same type of restaraunt on a date :) incidently, I ordered a pear martini before dinner that was absolutely wonderful and delicious ( and should be for $16) - I have yet to work out the precise ratios, but know all of the ingredients to replicate at home :)
I have spared a few finer details - but will add finally, that I was exhausted and slept the entire plane ride, and then the entire trip from raleigh to home in raeford... that means that I had a great time, I think.