I was recently honored to visit the 9/11 Memorial in NYC. To see all those names of people who lost their lives in the horrific event was truly sobering. May we never forget this tragedy and always remember those who perished 18 years ago.
After visiting the World Trade Center, we walked all over Lower Manhattan in New York City. A couple of blocks from St. Paul’s Church is Trinity Church. This is the one featured in a recent Hollywood blockbuster film. Interestingly enough, the original was built in 1697 then destroyed in the Great Fire in 1776, the second church was built in 1790 and later damaged by a heavy snow storm in 1838 and later demolished to build the one standing today and dedicated in 1846. It is still an active parish with regular services and community outreach.
A brief history of Trinity Church.
Trinity Church is currently undergoing some structural reconditioning.
Trinity is the burial place of Alexander Hamilton, his wife and her family, and many other people from the time of the Revolutionary War.
A few blocks south of Trinity Church is the Bull of Wall Street, although it seems that it’s on Hollywood Boulevard and not Wall Street. It’s also nearly always heavily occupied by tourists that want their photo with different parts of the bull. Go figure, right?
Just around the corner from the Bull is the old Custom House which is now the Native American Cultural Museum, part of the Smithsonian Institute.
Across the street is Battery Park and the Statue of Liberty. It was amazing and awesome to see Lady Liberty.
Coming out of the subway in another part of the city, the first building I saw was this one, that looks like it has a helipad next to the penthouse suite.
Just down the street is the Empire State Building.
Another subway ride away is Times Square.
The saxaphone player on the left was jamming out some hot jazz, so we stopped there for a while to listen. It’s crazy how many people are in Times Square. It reminded me of the crowds in Zion Narrows.
Looking for a place to enjoy lunch, we found Bryant Park. It has a nice pavilion for concerts, several cafes and a great view of the City Library.
Somewhere along the way near Central Park I found one of the oldest operating Jewish Synagogue in the country.
I had a great time in New York, but this was just a stop over point to Paris and Normandy.
I made it home from my trip to France without too many difficulties. Luckily I still had my passport, prepaid airline tickets and hotel rooms. If you’re wondering why, see my last post on Paris and a Lesson Learned.
Anyway, I’m going through my photos from this adventure, and I decided to post some about every part of this trip (this is what happens when there are over 3,000 photos to sort through).
On arriving in New York City, it was decided to store our luggage so we wouldn’t have to drag it around the city all day. After negotiating the subway system (and seeing a string trio playing beautiful music at a station, another station had a rap performer), we made our way to the World Trade Center Memorial.
I know I briefly touched on this in a previous post, but I wanted to give this some more time because it is a significant place of honor in our country. Standing at the memorial was humbling and moving experience and a privilege to witness what these people went through on that fateful day. It must have been a harrowing experience for them knowing they might not survive the day, and many did not. To the families of those who perished and to the survivors, you have my deepest respect and sympathy.
The second image shows a special tribute to some firefighters that gave up their lives to save others. Thank you for your service, you will never be forgotten!
Not far away is the World Trade Center 1, aka, The Freedom Tower.
The other buildings surrounding the Freedom Tower are also part of the World Trade Center. It’s quite a complex.
Nearby is St. Paul’s Chapel, where George Washington dedicated America on 30 April, 1789. This church survived the attacks on 9/11/2001 when many buildings were damaged or destroyed by the falling towers nearby.
I found it interesting that the World Trade Center complex was built on land that once belonged to St. Paul’s parish.
On a plaque in the chapel above George Washington’s pew, it reads “Almighty God, we make our earnest prayer that you will keep the United States in Holy protection.” source
Standing here in the shadows of these buildings made me realize that it’s important to remember George Washington’s plea to keep our hearts and minds in tune with Almighty God and to serve those around us with love and peace.
What’s more fun than taking a 9 hour flight from New York to Paris? Taking a flight that’s delayed two hours (sitting on the plane) for a major storm that stopped all flights until it passed. Once the storm passed, we taxied out to the runway, and after sitting there for a half hour, the captain announced we’re waiting to clearance to take off and that we were number 20 in queue. Then the plane drove around JFK for about a half hour before takeoff to get to the right runway. Finally we took off two hours after we were scheduled to leave New York.
The plane had this cool feature of a tail camera that was shared with passengers during the flight.
My watch showed 2:00am, but the local time was 10:00, so I opened the window shade (couldn’t sleep anyway) and saw this:
About two hours later we landed in Paris.
It’s really hard to fathom how green everything is, coming from a desert that has multiple shades of brown and red. Here it’s multiple shades of green.
We drove straight to Normandy to our B&B on a farm. It’s absolutely gorgeous here! Woke up to hearing church bells and birds singing, and this view from the window.
Last night for dinner we drove to the next village for pizza, and found this nearby:
It’s now a church, but it was a castle at one time. It deserves further exploring.
Growing up and living in the desert Southwest where the tallest things you see are mountains and desert in between, it’s hard to fathom anything else until you actually see it for yourself. I’m on my way to Normandy for the 75th anniversary of D-Day, and I was able to have a 36 hour layover in New York City. I pent the day yesterday with my traveling companion wandering around Manhattan sightseeing.
On arrival at JFK airport, the terminal was filled with rows of American flags and all the military branch flags as a tribute to our military. It was impressive and heart warming.
After breakfast at the airport, we looked for the subway station nearby. According to the transit app, it was was within walking distance. Turns out it was a 20 minute bus ride and 2.5 miles away. It was a 45 minute subway ride to downtown Manhattan. There was a guy sleeping on the bench across from us, and at one point another person got on the subway with a large subwoofer blaring rap music. I thought that only happened in the movies. Our first stop was the 9/11 Memorial (photos coming soon). Before we got there, this guy presented us with a tour package to see the local “attractions” of the 9/11 Museum and Freedom Tower Observation Deck. Turns out, it costs $35 to get in the museum and $45 for the observation deck. He offered us a pack of both for $57 each. I don’t know how many hundreds of people were there experiencing these two venues, but someone is making a boatload of money off of this tragedy.
Nearby the memorial is Trinity Church (more in another post) and it’s currently being renovated. Actually hundreds of buildings in Manhattan are getting renovated right now. Also, nearby is St. John’s church that survived the 9/11 attack.
I’ll do another post on St. John’s Church after my trip, along with Trinity Church.
Walking around in a large city sometimes the strangest things can appear around a corner. Take for example a parking garage. A vertical parking stall, actually.
Not sure how this works, but I can only guess.
Do you remember Sesame Street on PBS? And the song how to get to Sesame Street? Well, I found it! It’s near the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts.
In our wanderings, we came across Strawberry Fields in Central Park. It’s interesting that it’s a designated quiet zone, because it was anything but quiet. Hundreds of people were there getting their photos and selfies of the Imagine memorial, and a guy was there playing a guitar singing Beatle’s songs (he wasn’t that good either).
I got other photos of Strawberry Fields, and I’ll be making another post later on it as well.
We’ll be doing more sightseeing today before our flight to Paris tonight.