Yesterday we were on the up. The Empire State Building and then we had mentioned to the W that we wanted a room with a better view, so when we got back we found that they had hoisted us up from the 32nd floor to the 44th and the difference, breathtaking and being 12 floors further up makes your ears pop going up and down in the lift.
Today we went underground. After breakfast at Cosmos Diner, we took the subway to Fulton. Bearing in mind that this was only day 3 and we were still getting lost above ground, if we were going to take a chance on the Subway, then Easter Monday was a pretty good day to try it as it was, by NYC standards, pretty quiet, but it was actually pretty straightforward.
We were heading for Seaport to take a cruise on the Zephyr from Pier 16, a purpose built ferry to take folks out to see the Statue of Liberty and back.
https://www.circlelinedowntown.com/tours/zephyr During the trip, native New Yorker, Mike, delivered a running commentary which he kept light and packed with a huge amount of information, both historically and updating us as to what was going on right now during the 60 minute cruise. We took in Brooklyn Bridge, the history of the piers, Wall Street, Battery Park, New Jersey, Ellis Island, Lady Liberty, Staten Island and The Governors Island.
Mike told us that 40% of New Yorkers can trace at least one family member that arrived at Ellis Island. This was just one of the profoundly interesting historical as well as current facts that Mike sent us away with. This trip is money well spent.
There is a huge amount of development going in in the area, including the rebuilding of Pier 17. The area was hit by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 (as if NYC hasn’t suffered enough) which left the seafront area under about 10 feet of water. All the traders had to move out and some lost their businesses, but Abercombie and Fitch now have a presence there offering more twilight shopping opportunities.
We walked from Seaport to see the 911 Memorial Gardens again, there is still so much building work going on in the area, but the City have built two Memorial waterfalls, one in the spot where each tower fell and the encasing walls of each waterfall are inscribed the names the 2996 people who lost their lives on that tragic day in 2001. http://www.911memorial.org/
Then, we headed back on the Subway around 7p.m., much busier then, to 42nd Street. We shared the biggest pizza I have ever seen at the Bella Vita, 211 West 43rd Street 212730-1479. We outrageously rounded off the evening with a hot chocolate from Starbucks – directly opposite the entrance to the W – and, just to make sure our daily calorie intake was fully overloaded, we all had one of Starbucks’s obscenely excellent chocolate and meringue cookies!