Pounding the Pavements
It was great to be anchored in the Hudson River so close to the action, but we had a very bumpy night with the current whipping past at speed. Still, we were in New York and it was time to explore. We took the subway downtown and popped back up to ground level at Ground Zero.
You don’t really have an appreciation for just how big the footprint of skyscrapers are until you see the emptiness that remains once they are gone. Gosh this is a busy area - construction is well underway to refill the space with more towering skyscrapers and a transport centre, roads are closed off, security is tight, tourism is booming: there were thousands of people milling around. Access to the large Memorial Park honouring the victims of the 9/11 attack needs to be pre-booked online and confirmation printed off, guess we should have read the Lonely Planet first, but really - how many tourists in New York have printers with them anyway???
Skippers comment - I’m not a religious man and I’m no engineer, but I was struck by how a church and other old buildings just metres from ground zero were untouched when not one but both of these huge towers dropped like a stone within their own footprint …. maybe the Lord does indeed work in mysterious ways …. or maybe not … just saying !
The Financial District – then more, and more
After a much needed espresso break, and this is a good time to mention just how hard it is to find a decent espresso coffee (latte for us) in America, actually it is hard to find espresso at all. Most cafes and delis have a line up of pre brewed coffees in thermos flasks on offer, just ghastly. It really has become quite a challenge to satisfy our daily latte fix when we are off Balvenie. And yes – we do have our own espresso machine onboard!!!
Anyway …… next up was the Financial District with a walk down Wall Street and surrounding areas, followed by a detour along the East River to the Vietnam Veterans Plaza at which time the skies opened, very heavy rain fell and everyone disappeared. We just donned our raincoats and carried on, through Battery Park and onto Broadway.
We walked for miles, through Chinatown and Soho then found a quiet street in Greenwich Village and stopped for a very well earned late lunch.
With our energy levels replenished we carried on through the leafy streets of Greenwich to Washington Square and then Fifth Avenue, classic apartment buildings line the avenue with very ritzy street level designer stores. Rather a pleasant part of town! Next up was Union Square with the excellent Greenmarket Farmers Market underway, some of the best looking and most varied produce we have ever seen – and right here in the middle of this huge city.
With showers setting in again we called it a day and headed underground to the subway, back to 79th Street. Back on the river the wind was whipping in from the bay and the tide was on the turn setting up a nasty chop - it was a long, wet and bumpy ride back to Balvenie.
Spending the Night with Lady Liberty
We decided one night of bouncing around was enough so we lifted anchor and set off back down the Hudson River, timing our crossing right on peak hour yet again!! We headed towards the Statue of Liberty and turned into the shallow and compact anchorage at Liberty Landing in the Liberty State Park. We were out of the current, the wind had eased and there was no traffic noise – peace and comfort in New York!
Sadly though there is no where to land the dinghy at Liberty Landing so it was just a pit stop, we got a peep of Manhattans lights at night and moved on in the morning with the tide up the East River to Long Island Sound.
An Action Packed 2 Days in New York!