Photos: menu from Lombardi’s, America’s oldest pizzeria, construction at the World Trade Center, and aboard the Staten Island Ferry. LOL about Mary Kay’s comment. Yes, though I’d been to New York many times before, I’d never really played “tourist” before. So I had a ball.
On Thursday, our third day, Terri and I decided to take one of those double-decker bus tours through the city. This was a hop-on, hop off tour where you can get off to investigate if you spot something interesting . . . and there are lots of things to spot in New York. If we go back (and I hope we do), I’d love to spend some time in the many museums along “Museum Mile,” on the east side of Central Park. But I digress.
On that first bus tour, we toured the downtown area. We got off near “Little Italy” and ate a pizza in America’s oldest pizzaria. 🙂 Delicious!
The spot that most interested us was the World Trade Center–first, because it is the sight of the in-progress Freedom Tower, built on the spot where the original twin towers stood, and second, because it’s home to Century 21, a fabulous discount store. As it happens, Century 21 was too big and overwhelming to do any serious shopping, so we spent most of our time walking around the Freedom Tower construction site. Terri had the *brilliant* idea that we could go into the Millennium Hilton, a hotel right next to the site, and perhaps find a spot to over the fence and actually look at the construction. So we did, and we were fortunate enough to find a restaurant that allowed us to order two diet Cokes and sit and watch the building process.
It was so overwhelming to sit there and look at the tiny American flags fluttering atop the balls on the cranes . . . to imagine that cloud of dust and debris as people fled from the site back in 2001. We talked about our memories of that day, of how powerless and horror-struck we were. And we were heartened to see the people passing below, most of them with video cameras or cameras in hand, recording the site. Very sobering.
After leaving the World Trade Center, we got on the bus and hopped back off at the site for the Staten Island Ferry. Mary Kay, you’ll be pleased to know that the ferry is now FREE for anyone who wants to go to Staten Island (or who wants a free ride past the Statue of Liberty). We had great, wind-blown fun as we rode past the island and back again.
That night we took the night bus tour of Brooklyn and other spots . . . and were delighted to finally call it a day. 🙂