As I said in an earlier post, on my birthday I was able to go on an all day bus tour with my family and we were able to see almost every tourist sight imaginable in New York, either from the air-conditioned comfort of the bus or walking around during a stop. It was a great way to jam a seemingly endless list of sights into one day. The tour was exhausting but well worth it. We had a great tour guide who was an encyclopedia of information about the city, she grew up here so she knew all the little gems of restaurants that are unknown to the greater public. I learned so much on this tour I wish I would have written it all down, but here are some photos I took! Oh, and if you ever are interested in a tour, we used this tour service. We started early though to try and beat the heat and crowds. It worked! Until about noon.
the sun rising over 5th Avenue and St. Patrick's Cathedral
the Imagine Circle, our first stop- I want to visit again though when it is covered in flowers
John Lennon's apartment is the very top level, the three boarded off windows
The world-famous Brooklyn Bridge
The Manhattan Bridge, which is stronger than the Brooklyn Bridge so this is the one the subway cars cross, you could see them crossing from the boat, it made me not want to cross the Manhattan Bridge via subway....
South Street Seaport
Ellis Island: known as both the Island of Hope and the Island of Tears. Hope for the immigrants who are starting a new life for themselves but Tears for the few immigrants who were denied.
The Statue of Liberty, which was given to the United States by France to celebrate our country's 100th year as a democracy. An interesting fact is that she is all copper, and when she was first given to us she was as shiny as a new penny! The artist actually knew that she was going to oxidize to this color and intended for that to happen because he thought the color of the oxidized copper would complement the blue of the sky and the ocean. So interesting!
9/11. This site is no longer referred to as "ground zero" because that is a military term that means destruction and the site is in the process of rebuilding. It's set to be completed in 2016 and it looks like it's going to be amazing. Seeing this sight is one of the most heart-wrenching things I've ever had to do. In part because my dad is a pilot for American Airlines (one of the planes that flew into the towers), it's just scary to think that he could have been in it. I'm a very empathetic person and I can imagine myself feeling what the families of those who lost loved ones would feel and I can't even fathom the pain and anger and grief they must have felt... Still feel today.
A banner at St. Paul's Chapel, also known as the Little Chapel that stood, because miraculously, despite the fact that it was so close to the trade towers, this little chapel did not fall. So tremendously touching. To see all the support people from around the country gave to the rescuers and new york citizens at this time is so moving. I've never felt anything like it.