Murray & Christine's record of their journey.
"A day in a car in an English county is a trip to a fairy museum where all the exhibits are live and real." Rudyard Kipling
Thursday, July 19, 2012
New York, New York - 18 July 2012
The Big Apple! What can you say? How many books have we read based in New York? How many movies have we seen set in New York? And now we are here.
Because our body clocks are in some other time zone, we woke very early and as the TV weather reports suggested temperatures above 90F followed by thunderstorms, we decided to get ahead of the game so were off early to walk the Brooklyn Bridge, well half the bridge anyway. Repair work is underway and high walls blocked the views except from the piers and the mid-point, so we walked as far as the middle for our views of the New York skyline.
Back on shore we headed for the 9/11 Memorial only to find a line for tickets. However we got in on the next available timed entry slot and headed off for the entrance which is a few blocks from the ticket office and very informative visitor centre. Finally arriving, the security was as totally over-the-top as we expected it would be with at least 4 people checking our tickets along the walk to ground zero and a full airport, belts-off etc security check.
The actual memorial pools are very impressive, with their 1 acre sized holes in the ground where the tower foundations were and the final waterfall drop cunningly arranged so that you cannot see the bottom. Having walked around the two pools we located the survivor tree, the only tree on site which is not a swamp white oak. It is a Callery pear tree which was originally on site and survived the destruction as a stump in the debris. Nursed back to health, it has been returned as the "Survivor Tree".
The temperature was rising so we road the Metro to 72nd St and set off across Central Park heading in the vague direction of either the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Frick Collection, both of which are on our 'must visit' list. We decided on the Metropolitan as a pleasant place to avoid the heat and any possible thunderstorms.
Even with about 4 hours to spend and moving at a fairly brisk pace, there is only so much that you can see in this amazing collection. There was one piece in particular that was on our list and we found it without too much hassle. The Sevres porcelain factory made pot-pourri holders in the shape of styilised ships with delicate rigging. Because they were particularly hard to make, only 12 survived the firing process and, reportedly, only 10 survive today, usually in a set with two matching vases; we have seen the three at Waddesdon Manor; one at Buckingham Palace; one in the Wallace Collection; one in the Louvre; one in LA in the J Paul Getty collection; the one today and one yet to find in the Frick Collection. We cannot find any information of the location of the tenth.
We found the collection of re-created interiors from different periods most interesting and the early American folk art fascinating along with and introduction to many American artists that we had not previously encountered.
As predicted the thunder arrived and the heavens opened and the we watched the rain cascading down the glass roof of the atrium, smug in the fact that we were inside and dry. However, when it came time to leave, the rain was still bucketing down and our umbrella and coats were several miles away in downtown NY. The foyer was packed with people waiting for a break as the supplies of plastic ponchos had sold out and even at $35 each there had been quite a run on umbrellas.
There was a slight lessening in intensity of the rain and we decided to make a dash for a bus, jumping on to the
first one available.It was a fortuitous
choice as it terminated at Penn St station where we could get a C line Metro to
within a hundred yards of our hotel.Very
slightly damp but not drenched like several other bus passengers we return
tired but satisfied with a day well lived.