Yvonne and Ginger's Big Adventure!
Visiting New York City
May 7, 2010  

We've never been to NYC without someone to show us around. But my daughter's showed me how to get around and back home when I was up in November. Today we tried it alone.

I drove to Ginger's, picked her up and we went down to the Ronkonkoma Station to take the train to Penn Station in NYC.

The only problem we had all day was trying to figure out which track of the four was the one we needed to be waiting on for the train!

Penn Station: We have arrived! Penn is an "experience" in itself!

He was singing Elvis Presley's song, "Take my hand, take my whole life, too, 'cause I can't help falling in love with you." It was fantastic! This is what we heard as we stepped off the train in Penn Station! The guy in white shirt is the news stand guy who joined the other man in song!

We found the subway train we needed to get down to Fulton Street and the South Street Seaport.

I was very surprised by this beautiful exit from the subway to Fulton Street!

We're there! We were so excited!

A great photo I found online that shows the seaport and the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges behind it!

Billboard showing a map of the area. You can ckick on it to enlarge.
One third of all merchant tonnage in the world moved by sailing ships from a two-mile stretch of piers, warehouses and counting houses at South Street. It was said by New Yorkers that, "All streets lead to South Street."

Pier 17's old platforms were demolished and a new glass shopping pavilion raised in it’s place which opened August 1983.

The Seaport itself now operates primarily as a mall and tourism center, built on Pier 17 on the East River. Visitors may choose from among many shops and a food court. Decks outside allow views of the East River, Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn Heights.

Starting at the left: Ship with white hull is the Wavertree, a historic iron-hulled sailing ship. Wavetree is currently the largest large iron sailing vessel afloat. Smaller boat is the Pioneer, a restored 19th Century schooner. Huge boat at the right is the Peeking.  
The Peeking - a steel-hulled 4-masted barque. A so-called Flying P-Liner of the German company F. Laeisz. It is one of the last generation of windjammers used in the nitrate and wheat trade around the often treacherous Cape Horn.  
  The Ambrose Lightship–Built in 1908 and retired by the Coast Guard in 1964. Moored over treacherous reefs, or marking the narrow approaches to a channel or harbor entrance, Lightships were placed where lighthouses could not be built or placed in areas too far offshore for a lighthouse’s lens to reach. You can see the beacons at the top of both masts of the Ambrose.

This is the boat we took a 90 minute ride on. We got to the Seaport just in time to join the next group about to leave. 
Photographer's Ship-Shot for the boat.
Top deck - It was a great ride and we saw so much.
The Brooklyn Bridge from the boat with Manhattan behind it. Breaking News: June 3, 2010, it was announced that this famous 1.1 mile suspension bridge is getting a $500 million makeover, a project that includes a complete repainting and the repair of elements that were part of the original construction.

The Pioneer was built in Marcus Hook, PA in 1885 as a cargo sloop. She was the first of only two American cargo sloops ever built with a WROUGHT IRON HULL! After 10 yrs of service in the Delaware Bay, she was re-rigged as a schooner for easier handling. Upon his death in 1970, Russell Grinnel Jr donated Pioneer to the South Street Seaport Museum.
        At the right side at the water's edge, you can see part of Pier 17's mall and the tall ships. Wonderful views of the City from the water!        
Tan building at bottom right is the Coast Guard Station. Behind it is a combination of old and new buildings - and you can see 3 of the Financial District's buildings at top right.  
At the water's edge is another view of the Coast Guard Building plus the Staten Island Ferry building from the side view.
Fly-away hair on the boat ride :)
We're coming around to the Financial District where the Twin Towers once stood. Notice all the parks along the water. I love how they've added so much green space in the City!
The buildings of the Financial District. So many buildings all around the twin towers were damaged when they fell. The curved building is the new 43-story building that opened in January 2010, and is the global headquarters of Goldman Sachs - one of the largest and most profitable financial firms in the world. It is located on West Street between Vesey and Murray Streets adjacent to the World Financial Center.
The glass dome is the Winter Gardens Atrium which formerly connected to one of the Twin Towers with a pedestrian walkway. 
Close up of the Winter Gardens Atrium. There are several restaurants to the left and right of it and outdoor tables for lounging and eating.
Found online: the damaged Winter Gardens Atrium from the street side after the fall of the Twin Towers.
Exactly one year after the attacks, the repaired atrim opened with a special ceremony. That's One World Trade Center (formerly called the Freedom Tower) under construction behind the Atrium.          

A lot of residential buildings surround this side of the Financial District. The boat in the picture is the Statue of Liberty Ferry.
Ellis Island in the New York Harbor was the gateway for millions of immigrants to the US as the site of the nation's busiest immigration station from 1892 to 1954.
The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World, as she was called at the time, was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the US, and is a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. It was dedicated on Oct. 28, 1886, designated as a National Monument in 1924, and restored for her centennial on July 4, 1986.
We were quite thrilled to get this close to the Statue. It's the closest we've ever come to it although we have been trying for over 11 years to go see it together.
I was surprised to see that a pier has been added here and this building built on it. Baltimore Harbor is doing the same thing with condos extended out across the water!

This is a wooden Fredonia schooner named the Lettie G. Howard, built in 1893 in Essex, MA. This type of craft was commonly used by American offshore fishermen. The Lettie spent a significant portion of her working life off the Yucatan Peninsula coast. In 1968, she was sold to the South Street Seaport Museum and refinished. She was restored in 1991 and is certified as a training and working museum ship.  
The Staten Island Ferry - A free passenger service operated by NY Dept. of Transportation which runs between Manhattan Island and Staten Island - a 5 mile, 25 minute ride.  
Staten Island Ferry Terminal Bicycles may be taken on the lowest deck of the ferry at no charge. In the past, the ferries were equipped for vehicle transport at $3 per automobile; however, vehicles have not been allowed on the ferry since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorists attacks.  
   That yellow and black building is a finished project! Strange looking and stands out from buildings around it.  (Later I found out it's luxury apartments)
Back at Pier 17s Mall after the boat ride, we went up to the food court for lunch.  
While we were eating, we saw the bulletin regarding the suspicious cooler found in Times Square earlier and which resulted in the evacuating of Times Square! We were glad we did not plan to be in that area today. (My daughter Kathy had been txting me earlier telling me Times Sq had been evacuated, etc. We were glad to see this additional news on the tv at the food court.)  
Me standing on one of the upper decks at the end of the mall with the Brooklyn Bridge behind me. That's Brooklyn Heights across the water.    
UPDATE: On June 3, 2010, it was announced that the bridge will be getting a $500 million makeover, a project that includes a complete repainting and the repair of elements that were part of its original construction.  

The Zephyr heading out with a new group and a barge going under the Brooklyn Bridge.

Me standing on the upper deck on the side of the mall.
For more then 180 years the Fulton Fish Market has been supplying the freshest seafood to culinary lovers world wide. In 2005, it relocated to a bigger, state of the art facility in Hunts Point section of the Bronx. Now the building houses mainly restaurants and shops.

Fire escapes on a Georgian row of buildings on #2-18 Fulton built between 1810 and 1812. Land had to be filled in first as Front Street, as its name implies, was the approximate original shoreline. The original Fulton Ferry, which ran between Manhattan and Brooklyn's Fulton Streets, began to bring traffic beginning in 1814 and in that year, the first storefronts appeared on Schermerhorn Row.
211 Front, (also addressed as 142 Beekman), was built in 1885 and features cockleshell cornices, starfish-shaped end caps on its tie rods, and carved fish on its keystones. Tie rods were used to support load-bearing walls before steel framing became common in construction. (So that explains the starfish!)
Building now houses the Salud Restaurant and Bar.
The Seaport includes the largest concentration of restored early 19th-century commercial buildings in the city.
      We had to walk several blocks to get to the enterance stairway up to the Pedestrian Walkway on the Brooklyn Bridge. 
We had to go into this archway to the stairway on the right.

When we came out on the bridge, we could see all the traffic below us coming into the city. 
The Manhattan Bridge - is a suspension bridge that crosses the East River, connecting Lower Manhattan (at Canal Street) with Brooklyn (at Flatbush Avenue Extension) on Long Island. It was the last of the three suspension bridges built across the lower East River, following the Brooklyn and the Williamsburg bridges.
Wonderful view from the Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian walkway of mid-town Manhattan with the Empire State Building towering above the city.              
Also a great view looking down from the bridge to Pier 17 below.                 
The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the US. Completed in 1883, it connects the NYC boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn by spanning the East River.  
 At 5,989 feet, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world since its opening until 1903, and the first steel-wire suspension bridge.               
Yvonne and Ginger on the Brooklyn Bridge! We were so excited to be up on this beautiful, historic bridge!               

During surveying for this project, Roebling's foot was badly injured by a ferry pinning it against a piling.  This badly crushed his toes, causing them to be amputated, leaving him incapacitated;  he died shortly afterward of a tetanus infection caused by his injury and leaving his son, Washington Roebling, in charge of the bridge.              

These lights were all across the bridge. Construction began on Jan.3, 1870, under the supervision of the son. Not long after taking charge of the bridge, he suffered a paralyzing injury as well, the result of decompression sickness! This condition plagued many of the underwarter workers, in different capacities, as the condition was relatively unknown at the time and in fact was first called "caisson disease" by the project physician.    
  A very happy me on the bridge! I love bridges as it is, but to be on this particular bridge was special!   The occurrence of the disease in the caisson workers caused him to halt construction of the Manhattan side of the tower 30 feet short of bedrock when soil tests underneath the caisson found bedrock to be even deeper than expected. Today, the Manhattan tower rests only on sand! WOW! 
Roebling's wife Emily Warren Roebling stepped in and provided the critical written link between her husband and the engineers on-site. Under her husband's guidance, Emily had studied higher mathematics, the calculations of the catenary curves, the strengths of materials, bridge specifications, and the intricacies of cable construction. She spent the next 11 years assisting Washington Roebling helping to supervise the bridge's construction.
The Brooklyn Bridge was completed 13 years later and was opened for use on May 24, 1883.
The towers are built of limestone, granite and Rosendale cement, a type of natural cement produced in and around Rosendale, NY. Their architectural style is neo-Gothic, with characteristic pointed arches above the passageways through the stone towers.      
Me standing on the railing to stick my head in Ginger's picture. On Opening Day of the bridge, a total of 1,800 vehicles and 150,300 people crossed what was then the only land passage between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Emily Warren Roebling was the first to cross the bridge.
Looking towards Brooklyn. Roebling designed a bridge and truss system that was six times as strong as he thought it needed to be. Because of this, the Brooklyn Bridge is still standing when many of the bridges built around the same time have vanished into history and been replaced.  
We're on the Brooklyn side now and looking North. The Brooklyn Navy Yard is just past the Manhattan Bridge where you see the two smoke stacks.  
Looking south of the bridge in Brooklyn. A lot of construction going on there and the addition of a park.  

One last look back......  
The castle-like top of New York City Hall which is the oldest City Hall building in the US that still houses it’s original governmental functions, such as the office of the Mayor and the chambers of the NY City Council. It was constructed from 1803 to 1812.  
            Beautiful architecture!  With all my searches, I have been unable to come up with what this building is/was!               
I was every bit "TheTourist" this trip. Here's one of the mugs I bought, a stack of postcards in my hand and a New York, New York bag on my arm. I am all set!      
Gin with the two mugs she bought at this place. We both love postcards and found good deals of 20 for $1 in Herold Square area!           
Macy's in Herald Square             

A purple trolley for students!  
This was originally the Hotel McAlpin, constructed in 1912 at the corner of Broawday and 34th Street by General Edwin A. McAlpin. When it opened, it was the largest hotel in the world at the time and the NY Times commented that it was so tall at 25 stories that it seemed isolated from other buildings.  
  The top floor had a Turkish bath and there were two gender-specific floors; women checking in could reserve a room on the women’s only floor and check in directly at their own floor. One floor , dubbed “sleepy 16th" was designed for night workers so that it was kept quiet during the day.      
In the late 1970s, the building was converted to 700 rental apartments. In 2001, it was converted again to condominiums and now operates under the name of Herald Towers (It's located in Herald Square).    

6:08pm - While walking along towards the Empire State Building, we saw a Sbarro's Pizza restaurant we decided New York Pizza would be perfect for dinner. We were there much longer than just to eat as we ate and talked and admired our purchases, needing a rest stop.      

After eating, we came back out to the street and continued walking towards the Empire State Building.    

Empire Building upper levels up close. Can you see all the heads in the viewing area?       

7:06pm - We are in the lobby of the Empire State Building. Ginger has never been here before!    
7:51 pm - It took us almost an hour to finally reach the top of the building and we were amazed to see that the sun was setting! We could not have timed it this perfectly!      
I have been to the top of the building several times but never at sunset or dark! It was fantastic! What a treat!       

The beautiful tower with clocks on all four sides is the Paramount Building.
It was not yet very dark. However, aiming at the sunset closes the camera lens down and it appears darker than it is. It was packed up there and that's why it took us so long to make our way up to the top. Plus, security checks bogged everything down.

View from the ramp leading back into the building.            
Looking towards the Chrysler Building. The United Nations building is at the top extreme right in pic (wide flat building with water behind it).  

Close up of the Chrysler building with the Queensborough Bridge (also called the 59th Street Bridge) crossing the East River.  

More "pink" pictures. I love all the buildings!  
The Citigroup Center Building (top left corner), was completed in 1977. The 45 degree angle at the top was originally intended to contain solar panels to provide energy, but the idea was dropped because the positioning of the angled roof meant that the solar panels would not face the sun directly!  
The Met Life building was formerly the Pan Am building. Metropolitan Life Ins Co bought the building in 1981. In 1991, Pan Am still occupied 4 floors; during that year, Pan Am moved its headquarters to Miani. Shortly afterward the airline ceased operations. I am sure all Long Islanders will remember those times!  
The building with a gold dome to the left was completed in 1928 as the headquarters for New York Life Insurance Company. The company still has offices at this location. The gold pyramid at the top consists of 25,000 gold-leaf tiles. The whitish-gold domed building to the rear/right was built in 1909.  Called the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Building, it housed the company's headquarters until 2005.    
Looking south towards lower Manhattan where the Twin Towers once stood.           
Looking southeast you see the Manhattan Bridge with the Brooklyn Bridge just past it crossing the East River.    

8:09pm - Looking down into Herald Square and the Macy's Department Store building. Part of the round building of Madison Square Garden is at top/center.       

View of the very top of the Empire State Building from the Observation Deck. Since the 911 terrorist attacks, the building has been lit with red, white and blue lights.      

Looking North of the Empire State Building, it's a staggering cluster of tall buildings and their lights!  

8:20pm - Look at those "veins" of traffic across the East River on Long Island on a Friday night! Wow!  
Zooming in on Long Island's traffic.    
Zooming south at the bridges strung with lights. Beautiful.    
More city lights and water.    
8:45 - We are now in the gift shop.      
9:07pm - We are back on the streets of Manhattan, wondering what in the world a Papaya Dog is! 
Google says it's somewhere between a street vendor and a fast food restaurant. Papaya Dog is famous for it’s very inexpensive, high-quality hot dogs. The “papaya” in the name refers to the fruit drinks sold at the establishment, which include other fruit flavors in addition to papaya.
Manhattan is awash in yellow taxis! Gotta love the taxis not only for their splash of color but also their availability no matter where in the City you are. We didn't use them this trip; We took the subway and walked a lot as well.  
Obviously a tourist what with the across-the-chest purse, a camera on her shoulder and a New York, New York bag - not to mention the "Hawaiian" shirt (Thanks to my sister for pointing the shirt out!)    ;)  
When he had to opportunity to run his own establishment in 2004, owner Shaun Clancy decided to open what he calls an “Irish Bar with a Baseball Attitude.” He named it after Red Foley, a legend among New York sports writers. It’s a place where customers get old fashioned Irish hospitality along with satellite transmissions of MLB games and one of the best baseball memorabilia collections in the country.    
In March 2008, Foley’s gained worldwide renown by banning the song Danny Boy for St. Patrick’s Day and the entire month.      
The story was covered by the all US news stations, as well as ABC (Australia) BBC, RTE, CBC (Canadian broadcasting) and over 800 newspapers worldwide. It also was the subject of countless radio and TV programs, including the popular Colbert Report on Comedy Central.
Herald Square at night.   
Manhattan Mall - located in the high-rise building formerly used by Gimbles flagship store, which closed in 1986. The mall was closed for major renovations and reopened on July 31, 2009, with the 34th Street Herald Square subway station and the 33rd Street PATH station on the second basement level. Currently, the major anchor store is JC Penney.    
Oh Krispy Kreme how I loved you....until I read Nancy Appleton's book, "Suicide by Sugar" and gave up sugar!
We were treated to more entertainment in Penn Station while we waited for our train home. Mothers....do you know where your pots and pans are tonight!?            
His name is Tony and he even has his own website at www.tonypotsandpans.com where you can see a video of his performance and book him for your next affair   :o    
Waiting at the Long Island Railroad platform watching for a posting as to what track our train, the 10:15 to Ronkonkoma, will be on. 
When we got on the train, we were totally amazed that not only did we find our way all around the city, but we even found our way back to Penn Station and got on the right train headed home!  We spent 11.5 hours in NYC today! That's not counting our travel time from Long Island to the city and back! This was a very BIG deal for us!  
I left my daughter's house in Northport at 8:10am that morning and arrived back there again at 1:10am the next morning!    


Gary Hatfield said...

Yvonne, these are some fantastic pictures!! I've been to NY one time in '74 just before I went into the Navy but would love to go back. Thanks for the images AND the historical background of many of the sights!!!

Yvonne said...

Thank you Gary! Now I have a second set of NY pics to work on to post from the second time we went in. Another batch of great photos. I LOVE THE CITY SO MUCH. And looking at the pics means so much more when they give you some INFO! That's why I take the time and trouble to add it :) THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR COMPLIMENT AND NOTE. I am counting the months until I can go back there again!

Anonymous said...

11 hours wow, I would have done the same! I love how you went up the tower and saw the sunset and a pink hue over the city, and watched the city lights come on and then a "vein" of lights, so cool! The old buildings and walk across the bridge, wow! Really I wish I could be with you and your daughter! I'm so jealous! However I'm glad you and Ginger had a good time! That was so cool! I really enjoyed the pictures so much!
hugs hugs, thanks for sharing!

Yvonne said...

THX ELIZ!! It was a wild, unbelievable day for us. Everything we "touched" turned out perfect all day including the weather. We have never gone to the city without someone to take us around. So we were amazed we did so well. Everything was FABULOUS AND EXCITING AND BEAUTIFUL AND WONDERFUL! Now I will work on getting my second set of NY pics posted. We went in a second time. Can't wait to go again. From now on, every trip to Long Island to see my family will include at least 2 trips into the city!! :) You would have had a great time. If you and Gary ever decide to go, let me know and I will help you out with getting around!!