This morning we’re off to the 9/11 Tribute Museum and during the usual security check this guy’s all “Where’s my wallet? I put it in this tray and it has gone!”. We’ve put our stuff through so all our stuff has passed through the X-ray and laid out but security are holding us from going through the body scanner. Then the dude and his wife starts checking through our trays while the security staff are checking in the machine and under the table and we’re all “Oi! Keep your hands off our stuff”. Just as things were escalating “Oh, here it is”. The security staff said they were relieved that not all visitors are this much hard work.
The museum is extremely poignant and moving. There are a huge number of artefacts and personal effects from victims and survivors. The stories that are what it is really about, people trying to help people as the towers were hit, when they were in jeopardy of falling and after they collapsed. People who dedicated themselves to making sure remains were preserved and identified. As I said, touching and sad but if you ever have the chance, take a respectful visit. Powerful stuff.
On a lighter note we travelled to Rolf’s German Restaurant, famed for its Christmas decorations. The restaurant was queued out the door. We dutifully joined it and after a short time we were admitted in to this wall-to-wall people bar area with Christmas decorations covering every inch of the ceiling and dripping down in stalactites. The boys over 6 foot had to hunch over. We crushed through the bar before we realised that we should have put our name down for a table. Crammed into a too small dining room the wait-staff whizzed around with aplomb. At one stage one passed O’Regan a coke through an interior decorated window during a busy phase. Quite surprisingly the food was really good. Would totally recommend venturing here if ever in New York, well worth the effort.
Back down to the One World Observatory for the 47 second ride up the 100 floors (380 m) while being shown a CGI video of the last 500 years on Manhattan. There’s the ubiquitous green-screen photo opportunity and a out to an interior 360-degree view across New York and across to New Jersey. From this lower Manhattan location to the south is the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the ferries to Staten Island, Brooklyn and New Jersey. To the north the view up the island to Central Park, Empire State and Chrysler Building. There are newer buildings with startling architecture, but the older buildings are already timeless. Out east the three bridges Williamsburg, Manhattan and Brooklyn are casting longer shadows in the setting sun.
There’s lots of room to stop and watch in the One World Observatory but it is all inside so there’s always glass in front of any photos you are taking but it isn’t windy.
Now off to find some New York Cheesecake, apparently Eileen’s Special Cheesecake shop is the place to go, which is a prominent small shop. Yummy delicate NY cheesecake with fabulous fruit. Luckily, they made small ones so we could try a few of the delicious flavours.
A quick stop for a bite at Champion Pizza thus named after Hakki Akdeniz, champion pizza spinner (that is actually a thing) who runs an exciting pizza chain and we’ve come to his shop here in Cleveland Place. Lots of jocular chatting and contagious laughter from the kitchen. Great fun as he interacted with each of the customers.
After getting onto the Prince St Platform a lady asked O’Regan how to get to Prince St. He explained his knowledge of what was up each of the exits (long stairs, no lifts) and then helped her get her huge bag out, inadvertently getting on the outside of the turn-styles. The Metro-card will only release you back in after 18 (long) minutes so O’Regan thought he’d emulate the turn-style jumpers we’ve seen elsewhere. Russian gymnasts we aren’t. Not as easy as it looks apparently.
It’s our last full day in New York tomorrow before we head home. I’m sure we can find something to do.
Angus | 911 Museum sad and uplifting
Rosie | Rolf’s Christmas restaurant
O’Regan | Champion Pizza guy Hakki Akdeniz
Jemmz | Peanut butter almond hot chocolate
McKay | Rolf’s Christmas restaurant and One World