It's been five whole years since the family went to New York City and it was good to go back. This time we covered some of the ground we had missed during our last, and much longer, visit. Finally got to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Ellis Island is most definitely worth the trip, with lots of exhibits that really brought to life the experiences of not only the immigrants but the people who worked there.
We also made it to the financial district, you know, Wall Street and such. There was street construction going on and a whole lot more in the way of police presence than we saw in other parts of town, and Ground Zero is right there so it's a sobering sort of place, but we saw Federal Hall, which is the location where George Washington took his oath of office as the by-golly First President. And we saw the Wall Street Bull and waited our turn to get pictures taken at his front and rear. And we wandered in and around Trinity Church, a place of peace and contemplation in the middle of the commercial hustle and bustle. Alexander Hamilton is buried there, an amazing man who rose above his birth circumstances to become, in my opinion at least, one of the top five Founding Fathers along with Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. And we almost saw City Hall, but it is so shrouded by trees and protected by fences and so obviously not available to the public that I found that to be the only real let-down.
But as it is with any journey, or really, any day at home, the proof is always found in the people who share the moments with you. We took this trip in large part because we know it is important to have experiences together as a family. We saw MoMA and kind of liked some of it. We walked around Lady Liberty and couldn't stop taking photos. We walked around Central Park, following the music that never seemed to end, something different around every bend. We ate at establishments as diverse as Big Nick's Pizza Joint (I recommend it), the Boat Basin Cafe (if the food wasn't good, which it is, the view and the wonderful surprise of simply finding it would still put it high on my list) and Cafe One at the American Museum of Natural History (not a great experience). We got lost on the subway, but just once. Ditto for Central Park. There were things I wanted to do that got skipped. Ditto for my wife. Our kids saw fireflies for the very first time in Riverside Park. We saw the bible George Washington put his hand on when he took the oath of office. There were things that were a bit of a letdown and things that took us by surprise in the absolute best ways. It wasn't always smooth and we sometimes got impatient with each other. And it cost more than I care to think about. Enough for a really nice downpayment on a new car my wife very much deserves. But a new car isn't an experience, and a new car doesn't strengthen the bond between a brother and a sister or a parent and a child. A week spent together, really together, can do that. If you let it.
Here are a few more pics.
It is good to explore, it is good to come back home. That may be the place where the best explorations happen, who knows? I feel fortunate to also have the world of stories to explore.
If I might invite you to explore the world of Boomerang, my novel. The opening chapters can be found right here.
Wherever your journeys take you, I wish you well and thank you for making this a stopping point, however brief.
Go Ye Forth and Do Likewise.