Day 5 of my ‘Little Adventure’ – March 18th 2015
My holiday is coming to a close – I have 2 days left in New York, and as days off for my friend, Roz, have come to an end, I must fly solo. As mentioned in my previous posts, I was nervous of going into the city on my own, but Tom’s advice paid off.
Tom(Roz’s husband) suggested to take a cab from Grand Central Station directly to the Staten Island Ferry terminal (approx. $20) Thus avoiding using the bus/subway. The ferry is FREE and essentially works a loop journey; it brings passengers past the Statue of Liberty on the outward leg, while offering great panoramic views of the bay. I have to admit that I was uninterested in doing the full tour of the statue and was quite happy to avail of a free ferry ride, while taking in the famous Manhattan sky line.
I was not disappointed.
By the end of the trip, any anxiety was blown away by the Hudson breeze and I was excited to go and find the National Museum of the American Indian.
If you have read my earlier posts, you will have noted how I took an interest in the American Indians, and so a stop off at the museum was a must for me. The museum is located in the beautifully restored Custom House and houses temporary and permanent exhibitions. And NO! This is NOT a place used to voice the woes and grievances of the native people – on the contrary, it celebrates their wonderful culture and talents.
I lost 3 blissful hours in this diverse world of history, art and exhibits – and decided in support, to buy all my New York souvenirs here. No apples on T-shirts for me or ‘Lady Liberty’ in miniature- I was bringing home some Native tees and handmade jewelry.
Leaving there, I found my way up to Ground Zero, or the 9/11 Memorial as it is now known. This may be controversial to say, but I wasn’t really that keen on going there – not for fear of any emotional upset – I thought I did not have any emotional investment in it. But as I was in the neighborhood, why not take a gander……
How surprised was I!
I called into the 9/11 Tribute Centre…..and left there a blubbering mess.
The Tribute Center, is just that, and tells the story of the before, during and after. It is incredibly moving – there is no shame in crying in public here.
I can’t put into words the emotions felt but one of the most moving for me was this (see photo below) – it is the jacket and helmet of a fallen firefighter. His jacket was found in one place, the helmet another, and the fireman himself never found at all. The jacket is ripped the full length of his back – I will let your imagination do the rest……
As for the memorial place itself – Pictures can’t capture it – the feeling of a sacred place – the quiet (in the center of a city) – this hallowed space – I won’t go into detail, as unless you have been there, it is too hard to explain – here are my poor efforts to capture it.
Here is a birds eye view, courtesy of National September 11th Memorial
I couldn’t help but think of my brother’s lyrics of one of his songs (written pre 9/11)
by Fergus O’Farrell – band-Interference
Won’t you settle down, stop fighting for your gods…
Oh, settle down, stop fighting for your gods.
They can’t hear you now, not with the noise of your guns.
Once were towering steeples
Now there’s a soaring eagle
A crescent moon and a rising sun
Our prayers ascending, but what good will they bring?
If all that’s willin’ is more and more killin’
to listen to the full version of the song, introduced by Oscar Winner, Glen Hansard, click here
♥ ♥ ♥
Recently, while out walking with my seven year old, he took me into a ‘secret’ forest and talked up a great game of imagery and action – he called it the ‘Land of Indestructible Wonder’. I am not sure where he got that from, but I was impressed. It sounded great.
When you say it out loud it resonates beautifully.
The Land of Indestructible Wonder.
It would make a great fantasy book title……..and then I thought…..maybe it isn’t fantasy….
how apt for New York -because that is exactly what it is…..