Manhattan is the most densely populated of New York City’s 5 boroughs. It’s mostly made up of Manhattan Island, bounded by the Hudson, East and Harlem rivers. Among the world’s major commercial, financial and cultural centers, it’s the heart of “the Big Apple.” Its iconic sites include skyscrapers such as the Empire State Building, neon-lit Times Square and the theatres of Broadway.
Today we took some bites from the apple itself!
A deep blue sky made for a magnificent skyline as downtown rose up from the horizon from the ferry. The copper statue of a robed female figure with a torch raised high and holding a tablet symbolises freedom of liberty. It was the first bite of the apple.
Wall street led us to the 9/11 Memorial. Who can remember what they were doing (let alone forget) the morning of September 11, 2001? We stood in silence at the two pools set in the footprints of the original Twin Towers with thirty-foot waterfalls that cascaded into pools that descended into a center void. The names of the victims are inscribed in bronze parapets around the pools. There are nearly 3,000 of them.
A Callery pear tree known as the “Survivor Tree” found by workers in the wreckage at Ground Zero has been nursed back to health. It’s resiliency a show of respect preserving the honor of those affected by the event in history.
Taking the underground subway today was not an option. We walked the umpteen many blocks we clocked up today looking up, down, left and right; it was just a spectacle of old and new, high and low, historical and current, poor and rich.
From the 86th Floor Observatory (320m) of theEmpire State Building, we looked down on what we looked up at. It was panoramic views for as far as the eyes could focus from the 360-degree open-air deck. It stood as the world’s tallest building for nearly 40 years from it’s completion in early 1931. It regained that mantle again after 9/11 till the World Trade Centre surpassed greater height in 2012.
The old decor is intertwined with a modernisation retrofit to improve it’s energy efficiency. The box that pulls you up and lets you down gently eased any vertigo thoughts. If you can manage conquering a fear of heights, the experience was nearly the apple fully eaten down to it’s core. It’s exceptionally well worth it.
Times Square was all in your face pulsating lit up bill boards. It’s okay to swallow an apple pip isn’t it? The neighbouring streets are where you can find the true glitz of Broadway shows with live theatres. How old were you when Frank Spencer first appeared in the Phantom of the Opera? And there it still was, the mask displayed to be the longest running show in Broadway history.
From below the aching plodding legs, undergrond trains rumbled with vents of steam wifting into the breathable air space. Yellow Taxi’s honked effortlessly in traffic jams; peddlers selling their wares were plenty beit food stalls, clothing stands or shoe shines.
We wandered into the lower realms of the green belt – Central Park. Horse and carts, rickshaws, grit iron balls, runners and cyclists, walkers like us and heaps of people just laid out on their backs basking in the sun. A little girl tendering to a rabbit she had taken on a picnic stole the camera frame. It was so cute.
Retracing our direction up Fifth Avenue to the train station, we window perved the high end shops. Wealth can be exchanged for a slinky fur or bedazzling hand bag; a swanky suit or spit polished footwear.
The Library that appeared in ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ movie was although concrete in colour, splendid and graceful. TheTrump Tower was a beacon for publicity with protesting placard welding people fronting the entrance. I guess iconic in it’s own right.
There is always at least one bad apple in a crate!