Monday, July 30, 2007

Day 3 - Manhattan and Staten Island

Today's Photos

Today was an intense tour day of Manhattan followed a minor league game on Staten Island. We left Kinston this morning and met our step-on guide in Manhattan about 11:00. We drove around Midtown through Columbus Circle and up Central Park West. We got out around Tavern on the Green and walked through the park up to Strawberry Fields, the memorial for John Lennon. It is located across the street from the Dakota, the apartment home of John and Yoko. Our guide explained it was called the Dakota because it was out of the city when it was built and seemed as far away as the Dakotas. It was built in the late 1870s when the Dakotas were being settled.

We got back on the bus and drove through the city down to Rockefeller Center. We had a chance to grab lunch in the area and I tried to find a place to buy a battery charger for my digital camera. They tried to charge me $300 for a charger kit in addition to a $400 wide angle lens and a filter that I already own. I eventually got him to $50 for the base charger, but I didn't want to spend any more than $25. It was fun to haggle but I walked away without a charger. Lunch was at a classic New York deli near Rockefeller Center and the sandwiches were excellent.

Dad and I on top of 'The Rock'

We met back at Rockefeller Center and went to the top for a great view of the city. We were on the 70th floor. It was a clear but hazy day. We got to see the enormity of Central Park and could also see Yankee Stadium and the Statue of Liberty. We went back down and caught the bus to Ground Zero. They have all the debris removed and have rebuilt much of the subway station below the towers. They have started construction of the Freedom Tower and we saw renderings of the new reflecting ponds they will build in the footprint of the towers. They are also building a huge transportation hub to connect all the subway tunnels. From there we headed to the Staten Island Ferry to go to our game for the night.

Our tour guide has been great all week. He points out very interesting bits of information about several buildings. We have learned a lot of interesting history and facts about of the city. We learned Macy's department store has more square footage on 4 floors than the entire Empire State Building. We drove through Time Square, around Madison Square Garden, through Grenich Village, SoHo (South of Houston), and Little Italy. We saw the Ed Sullivan Theater and the oldest Catholic Church in the city. He pointed out several buildings and identified their famous residents. We saw the NBC, ABC, and CBS studios, the home of the new Sports News Network, ESPN Zone, CNN, and all the financial centers.

New York City is truly an amazing city. The number of people is overwhelming and we thanked our bus driver often for taking care of the driving. There are so many other things pointed out by the tour guide that I forget most of them. This has been an unexpected suprise of the trip. We have had a lot of tour time and the escort and bus have been a nice way to do it.

We took the Staten Island Ferry to see the Oneonta Tigers take on the Staten Island Yankees. It's a beautiful park with an outfield view of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. It was still hazy tonight so our view was a little hazy. We enjoyed a cookout before the game and were able to sit in the front row behind the visiting team dugout. Two members of our group were able to participate in the promo activities of the game and several people picked up foul balls. We went back in time as the scoreboard did not work. It was struck by lightning so we had no reference during the game. Staten Island fell behind 2-1 in the top of the 8th but retook the lead 3-2 in the bottom of the 8th and held on to win. It was another great game and another great night.

Dad and I with the Staten Island mascot, Huck

The good news was my dad's luggage has been found. The bad news is we still don't have it. We don't know if it is still at the Newark airport or if the contracted delivery firm has picked it up. We plan to call the airport in the morning to see if it's still there. If it is, we may ask the escorts if we can stop by to pick it up on our way to Yankee Stadium in the morning. We are doing a tour of Yankee Stadium in the morning and will return to the city for our final Manhattan tour. The plan includes the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Grand Central Station. We may also return to 5th Avenue. Our game tomorrow night is Yankee Stadium and then we are off to Meriden, Connecticut.

It's very late so I won't post any new pictures until tomorrow or Wednesday night. We have several new photos to add. Hopefully my dad will get his luggage/camera or I get a charger for my battery. Thanks for reading. Let me know if you stopped by to visit.


Anonymous said...

Hey Brian sounds like a good time so far. Take plenty of pictures of Yankee stadium for me.

Brad K

Brian Fedje said...

I will if I have a camera! My battery is dying and my battery charger is at home. I tried to get one yesterday but the rip-off camera store on 5th Avenue wanted me to pay $300 for a charger kit. I finally got them down to $50 but that was still too much. We'll try again today. We thought my dad's luggage was found so I could have at least used his. I may have to borrow someone's card. We're getting ready to get on the bus to go to Yankee Stadium now.