Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Trip to New York - part 2

As I wrote in the previous post, hubby, his cousin, and I had been to New York on a sightseeing trip during golden week holidays. On 30th April, we stayed at my relative’s home in New Jersey. We were all refreshed after eight hours of sleep, and on 1st May we were ready to go sightseeing at about 7 am. We had a nice and heavy breakfast of waffles, scrambled eggs, orange juice, and coffee. The breakfast was too heavy but we knew that we had a lot of walking to do that day, so ate everything.
Hubby having breakfast

At about 8 am, my relative dropped us to a railway station named Metuchen. We took NJ transit and after about one hour of train ride, we reached Penn Station.
Me and hubby’s cousin at Metuchen railway station platform

NJ transit train

Walk around Pennsylvania Station
Pennsylvania Station, commonly called Penn Station is a major intercity rail station and a major commuter rail hub in New York City. The railway station was massive. Once we came out of the station, we were surrounded by high rise buildings. We walked around the place for about 30 minutes and enjoyed the views. We took a few photos in front of Madison Square Garden. The city is so vibrant and fast-paced. We loved it.
Inside Penn Station

Hubby inside Penn Station

Hubby’s cousin and I in front of Madison Square Garden

Hubby and I in front of Madison Square Garden

High-rise buildings near Penn Station area

After moving around the station area for some time, we went to Penn Station subway and bought three subway passes called MetroCard. For 27 dollars each, we got a one week unlimited travel pass that we used quite a lot during our sightseeing trip of the city. The first few times, all three of us had embarrassing moments swiping the MetroCard incorrectly at the entry gates, the gates not opening, and a big queue of people forming behind us! But during three days of sightseeing, we used the subway a lot and became quite proficient at swiping the MetroCard.
Ticket vending machine


Hubby’s cousin and I standing at subway Pennsylvania Station

Battery Park
From Penn Station, we took a subway up to South Ferry railway station. From this station, we walked for about ten minutes to reach Battery Park. While walking we passed in front of Staten Island Ferry terminal, which offers free half hour ride on the Staten Island Ferry with nice view of Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline. But we skipped this, and walked up to Battery Park. There were many high rise buildings in Battery Park city and we enjoyed viewing them.
Hubby’s cousin and I in front of Staten Island Ferry terminal

Hubby walking towards Battery Park

High rise buildings at Battery Park city

We reached the park after about ten minutes. Battery Park is a 25 acre public park located at the Battery, the southern tip of Manhattan Island, facing New York Harbor. The Park holds much significance in the history of New York City. It started as a fortress to guard early settlers and has gradually evolved into the largest open space in Downtown Manhattan. Along the waterfront, ferries depart for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

At the entrance of the park, we took photos with a mime mimicking the Statue of Liberty. We also took a few photos with Hudson River in the background as well as in front of high rise buildings. We saw a memorial statue of an eagle honoring the soldiers who died in the western Atlantic during World War II. We walked for some more time in the park and then bought Statue Cruise tickets at ticket booths inside Castle Clinton National Monument which is located within in the park premises. Thousands of people visit Statue of Liberty daily, and prior reservation is usually required to access the crown and pedestal of the statue. We were able to get flex tickets, which allows access to the grounds of Liberty Island and Ellis Island. There was a huge crowd of visitors and we had a waiting time of almost two hours for entering the cruise vessel.
We along with a mime at the entrance of Battery Park

Hubby and I with Hudson River in the background

Me in Battery Park

Memorial statue of an eagle honoring the soldiers who died in the war

Ticket booths inside Castle Clinton

A long queue of visitors at Battery Park waiting for the cruise journey

Hubby’s cousin and I walked around a bit in the park. We loved the greenery of the park that was in striking contrast to the high rise buildings around. It was a very bright and shiny day and we got tired just after 15 minutes of walking, and so we returned back to the long queue of visitors patiently waiting to enter the cruise vessel. We bought pretzels from a roadside stall and had them. While waiting in the queue, we saw impressive displays by several street performers. They sang, danced, and performed jaw-dropping acrobatic moves. It was fun to watch them and a nice way to pass the time. As we moved further in the queue, we saw American Merchant Mariner’s Memorial that was sculpted by Marisol Escobar. It was inspired by a photograph of victims of a submarine attack on an American merchant ship during World War II, and was dedicated in 1991.
Hubby’s cousin and I having pretzels

A street performer

American Merchant Mariner’s Memorial

Me and hubby’s cousin waiting in the queue

Statue of Liberty
We reached the security screening area after waiting in the queue for about two hours. Visitors to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island must pass through security screening similar to airport security procedures before boarding the cruise vessel. After passing through a very strict security check, we boarded the cruise ferry. It was a 75 minutes journey that featured the best views and skylines of lower Manhattan and the islands of New York Harbor. As the cruise ferry started, we enjoyed and admired the high-rise buildings of Manhattan from the observation deck.
Me at the observation deck of cruise ferry

Hubby and I at the observation deck of the cruise ferry

High-rise buildings and skylines of Manhattan

After about 15 minutes of cruising, we neared the Statue of Liberty. The official name of the Statue of Liberty is ‘Liberty Enlightening the World’. It was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States for the 100th anniversary of America’s independence, and is a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. The Statue of Liberty was designed by French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, and was dedicated on October 28, 1886. The statue was designated as a National Monument in 1924 and restored for her centennial on July 4, 1986.

As the cruise ferry approached the Statue of Liberty, people in the ferry got very excited and started taking photos. We were also really thrilled to see the symbol of the free world, democracy, and America. We took photos of the towering 93.14 meters high monument from various angles. We also took a few photos of us with the statue in the background. However as the cruise ferry was rather crowded with many people around us, it was not possible for the photographer to move much back, and so we were pretty close to the camera lens while taking the photos. We all look rather funny in these photos!

Several photos of the Statue of Liberty as seen from various angles

Hubby’s cousin and I along with the Statue of Liberty in the background

Hubby and I along with the Statue of Liberty in the background

After another five minutes or so, the ferry reached Liberty Island. The Statue of Liberty is located on this island. However, we did not get down the ferry as we could not get tickets to explore the pedestal or crown of the statue.
Statue of Liberty as seen from the observation deck of the cruise vessel docked at Liberty Island

View of docking area of Liberty Island

After some time, the ferry started moving again and reached Ellis Island. The ferry stopped for some time at this island and then returned back to Battery Park. While returning back to Battery Park, we again passed in front of the Statue of Liberty and took a few photos. Also, we again enjoyed a good view of high-rise buildings of Battery Park city.
I and the Statue of Liberty in the background

Hubby and the Statue of Liberty in the background

Me at the observation deck along with high rise buildings in the background

Manhattan skyline

High rise buildings of Battery Park city

High rise buildings and a cruise ferry near Battery Park

The cruise ferry reached back Battery Park after 75 minutes of pleasurable journey. After getting off the ferry, we took rest for some time in the park and enjoyed an acrobatic performance by a few street performers.
Return to Battery Park

Cruise vessel we used

Video of acrobatic performance by a few street performers

We left Battery Park at about 2 pm, and went to see Brooklyn Bridge. Later we went to see Empire State Building. I will write about these in the next post.


Neeraj said...

Thanks manisha. Your experience will help me in organising my trip to NY next month.

Manisha Kundu-Nagata said...

Thanks Neeraj for your comment. Hope you will have a wonderful trip to New York. Have fun.

vijay said...

the city so nice they named it twice..thanks for sharing all the beautiful images..

n was wondering if have some of that pretzel left :D

Manisha Kundu-Nagata said...

Thanks for your comment Vijay. The last time in 2005 when hubby and I had been to New York City, we had instantly fallen in love with the beautiful and vibrant city. So this time during the Japanese Golden Week holidays, we decided to revisit NYC.