On the morning of the third day in New York I met up with the rest of the tour. I’d already worked out that I would be the youngest in the group. The type and cost of the trips provided by Great Rail Journeys, mean that they are more likely to be taken up by those who have retired and have plenty of time on their hands.
As it turned out I was the youngest by about 15 years. The oldest people on the trip are touching 80. The age difference was no barrier though, and I was accepted into the group straight away. Within five minutes of meeting the full group, I’d even found a few from Wales.
As this was the first day of the tour proper we went on a coach tour of New York. Hitting some of the major hotspots and going through some areas I’d not ventured to; for example Harlem.
We stopped in the north part of Central Park, as I had explored most of the central and south parts this was good, as I got to see the parts that would have takeken me a little while to walk to.
As the tour was going to take the whole morning, we stopped for a coffee break at Grand Central Terminal. My photos don’t do it justice at all!
The early part of the afternoon was the highlight. A circle line tour on the river, taking us past the Statue of Liberty, which is smaller than I thought it would be but that didn’t distract from the impressive sight. Of course the tour also afforded some great views of the city.
The last picture above is Pier 54, this where the Titanic survivors disembarked after being rescued by RMS Carpathia.
It being the first day for the rest of the group, after the tour the majority went back towards the hotel, as I had already acclimatised and was familiar with the city, I went exploring further.
For a long time back home I’ve been reading a website called scoutingny.com. It’s written by a location scout, who updates the site with various curious things he finds around New York. One of these was in Times Square.
Off one of the streets are four figures that you wouldn’t notice unless you knew the were there. In fact I’d walked passed them several times before checking the website.
They are ; Mary Pickford, Marilyn Miller, Ethel Barrymore & Rosa Ponselle.
They have been revealed as the building has changed ownership.
Also in Times Square is the Naked Cowboy. I’d been through Times Square several times but I’d not seen him about. On this occasion he was making his way up and down the square. As he passed me, I waved my camera at him and he posed.
I would be in the square later that day and there was another Naked Cowboy doing the rounds, so I assume there is a rota.
From Times Square I caught the subway down south and walked to the 9/11 Exhibition centre and across the road to St. Paul’s Chapel, which was undamaged on that day, despite being very close to the ground zero site.
In the Churchyard stands a bell, called the Bell of Hope. It was given by St Mary-Le-Bow in London.
If you look closely at the left of the picture you can see a crane, that crane is on the Ground Zero site, which shows just how close the Chapel is the site.
George Washington used this church whilst he was living in the New York area.
As I mentioned before I light candles where I can for my Mum, and I did so here. Like so many of us, She watched the drama of that day unfold on the TV news coverage. I was at work so only had the slowest of Internet connections to try and find out what had happened. I got home minutes after the South Tower fell and I still remember the look on her face when she told me what had happened.
As Jimmy Cricket used to say “There’s more” but it’ll have to wait for another day.