Day Five – Last Day In New York

We are up at 8, last day in New York and there is still a lot to cram in. Erica told us on day one that we had to try out Doughnut World, in her words ‘the best doughnuts in the world.’ Well the stars have aligned for us. To get back to the W.T.C memorial we had to catch a different subway line which took us luckily to the said shop . I had to have two, a wild-berry doughnut with a coconut cream doughnut on the side, Kate went for the triple chocolate and Wendy the vanilla bean. Must admit the were pretty damn good.

We caught the Redline back downtown to the memorial. Today we wanted plenty of time to look over the museum. This blurb from the brochure sums up the experience. ‘The museum is the global focal point in the history of the events of September 11, documenting the impact of the attacks, and exploring their continuing significance through monumental and personal artifacts, first person accounts and multimedia displays.’ To see first hand enormous twisted support beams and to stand within the very foundations of the tower gives some size to the destruction. You travel down to the very foundations themselves. It is a marvelous museum to say the least. To see personal belongings charred from fire makes it close up an personal. One of the first hand accounts was some audio of a witness on the ground who describes seeing a lady standing at a blown out window 90 floors up. She was about to jump to escape the overwhelming heat of the fires. The witness said she saw the lady smooth down her hair and hold onto her dress as she jumped. Even in the last moment of her life that poor soul would maintain her dignity. The witness said that out of respect she did not turn her back on that unfolding event, she stayed with her until the end. We spent a good three hours looking over the museum and only really scratched the surface. There is a section that houses a photo of every lost life and you can sit and listen to relatives and friends, their recorded voices telling a little about each person. There is a Rowe that lost his life, maybe even a distant relative?

When we exited the museum it had turned colder again and the rain was coming down. We have been in town 4 days and we are yet to sight the lady with the lamp. Ted Bear and Jo had given us the heads up. No need to pay for a pricey ticket to view the Statue of Liberty. Much better to catch the Staten Island Ferry for a round trip viewing. We had to walk a few blocks down and passed the iconic raging bull statue. It is massive. I was amused to see as many tourists having their photos taken at the rear end of the bull as at the front. They would sit under the rump and grab hold of the dangling appendage (if you know what I mean). No wonder the bull appears to have a sardonic smile!

We found the ferry terminal and waited for the 3 o’clock departure. Must be 300 to 400 people waiting. I could not see a ticket booth and asked a local. No tickets required as the trip is free. Wendy got some good photos and now we can say that we have seen the Statue of Liberty. For the trip there and back we are escorted by a Coast Guard boat with a guy standing up front at the machine gun.

We had our first issues with the Subway. The ferry terminal also houses a subway station and as as you could expect there were many people trying to buy tickets for uptown. One guy working and one lady watching. Shift change over and neither of them appear to give a rat’s arse about customer service. We got so frustrated that we walked a block or so up to the next station. Unfortunately for us this station was not manned so we had a fight with the ticket machine, maybe Myki is not so bad after all!

Our next stop is Greenwich Village. For all you old folkies out there you will be aware of the music history of this district. For those who don’t know the history just think of a young Bob Dylan and literary giants such as Jack Kerouac. Washington Square is surrounded by the New York University.  It is a real clean district and if I ever come back to this city I would like to stay somewhere around here. Great looking restaurants and we stumbled upon two record shops. I had read about a pub called the Malt House and wanted to try one of their local brews. Nice place, dark and moody just as I like and the beer was good. Kate posted to Facebook to show my beer snob friends back home that I can drink this craft beer as well. (You know who you are – Terry, Phoebe, Rob, Ang, Ted Bear & Jo)

We were back on the subway for the ride back up to Times Square. The girls have preview tickets for a new show on Broadway ‘Looking for Neverland’ staring Kelsey Grammar. Me I am not so keen. The girls go to Maccas for a quick bite before the show and I head to the Hard Rock cafe. The place is packed and so I decide to find a better bar. The Irish pub O’Donaughs is just around the corner and I was able to get a seat at the bar and ordered a Samuel Adams Cold Snap. After one drink I was talking to a lady that was in town for a medical conference. She was from Boston. To the other side of me was a guy from Zimbabwe who has lived in New York for 30 years but still retained his accent. His wife was a pom. The barman is an expat Irishman and he has a few mates living in Melbourne. I switched over to a Guinness and had way to many pints. The barman stopped and chatted often and at one stage as I went to pay for my next Guinness he winked and pushed my money back at me. I said to him ‘you haven’t lost your accent.’ He said to me ‘why would I, it still gets me laid.’ Over to you Mr. Smith see if you can beat  a free pint of Guinness in Times Square. I staggered out of the bar at 10:15 to met the girls at the theatre. Tomorrow is going to be a long day as we have to be up at 5AM to get to the airport for our flight to Orlando.


Rob Rowe

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