Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Friends In New York

Loving NYC!
Although we have settled down in the quieter Port Washington on Long Island, the pace of life has continued on at a steady trot....pretty fast for us.  But we are not complaining – we have been enjoying every minute of it.
Cruising friends Jon and Jolanda on "JoHo" arrived last Wednesday in Manhasset Bay – the place where we are anchored now in Port Washington. We enjoyed a fun evening with them catching up and then joined them the next day back in the city taking in some more of the free sights of Manhattan. The iconic LOVE pop art sculpture on the corner of 5th Avenue and 55th street and The High Line walk – a 1.45 mile long linear park in NYC on an elevated section of disused railroad.  It is full of flowering plants and shady trees with the odd pieces of street art or sculpture thrown in.  It makes an interesting place to walk. You can buy refreshments like homemade ice lollies and lay out on the double bed like lounge chairs.
The start of The High Line
Friday was a big day as our good friends Mark and (my bestie) Liesbet who have just transgressed from cruising life back to land life were coming to stay.  
L-R  Mark "Sealife", Mark & Liesbet "Irie" and Sim
We arranged to meet in Lower Manhattan along with our friend Mark from “Sealife”. First stop was at the 911 Memorial Museum and Pools.  The pools outside are free to visit and have every person who died in the 911 attacks inscribed on the bronze walls surrounding the pools. 
The 911 Memorial Pool
The museum was a little pricey at $25 per person; but it was nicely done - with artifacts and remnants from the attack and exploration into the implications of the 911 events and the impact it has made on the world. 

Outside the new One World Trade Centre looms over the entire area....it is the tallest skyscraper in the western hemisphere.
The new One World Trade Centre.
Having spent the morning in the museum, and because it was such a lovely day we grabbed something to eat from a supermarket and ate down by the Hudson River looking out across the Statue of Liberty. 
Liesbet in Battery Park
Mark our Australian tour guide walked us around the financial district – through Battery Park past Castle Clinton erected in 1811 as one of 5 forts to defend New York Harbour, to the infamous Charging Bull often referred to as the Wall Street Bull marking the Financial district. It is apparently the symbol of “aggressive and financial optimism and prosperity”.  When we visited crowds were gathering not only round the front of the bull for the iconic snapshot but also around its rear end for photos with its very large and shiny balls.  Apparently to touch the nose, horns and balls is good luck.
Rubbing the golden balls for good luck
We moved away from the crowds and through the financial distract, past Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange to the cool and calm of Trinity Church a National Historic Landmark. But all this walking around was thirsty work.

Mark once again knew a place where we could get cheap beer and after short walk and a train journey ended up at “Jakes Dilema” on 81st Street near Central Park where a pitcher of beer could be bought during Happy Hour (4pm-8pm) for $9!!  Even a glass of wine was under $4 – Happy Days.
Enjoying a cheapish glass of wine with my friend Liesbet.
Parting company with “Sealife”, Mark and Liesbet drove us back to Port Washington. We have had a lovely couple of days with them just hanging out and catching up. 

Mark, Liesbet and Sim at Hempstead Lake State Park
Saturday we had a picnic and a walk around Hempstead Lake Park on Long Island and then out for a scrummy dinner at Ayhans Mediterranean restaurant in Port Washington.
Good times with good friends
Sunday we all jumped in the car for some more free sightseeing and drove around Queens and Brooklyn.  First stop was in Brooklyn at Green Wood Cemetery...a little odd you might think but the cool leafy cemetery is another historic landmark and apparently once one of the most visited tourist attractions outside of the Niagara Falls.  It was founded in 1883 and is home (if you can call it that) to 600,000 people including a few famous ones like Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Morse - inventor of the Morse code. It was very serene and peaceful away from the hustle and bustle of the city with the most beautiful and ornate mausoleums.
Some of the mausoleums were bigger then our boat!
We took a free tour of the Brooklyn Brewery where despite our hopes they were not giving out tasters.

Then we mosied our way over to Flushing, a huge Chinese community in Queens and sat in the pretty Botanical Gardens eating ice cream until it was time to part company.

We are sad to see Mark and Liesbet go but so pleased that they were able to come and visit....here is to the next time...:-) 

This about sums me up!

Jon and Jolanda from JoHo and Sim in the city

The Empire State Building

Sim and Jon in Manhattan

Our new friend didn't have much to say!

Tweety bird out and about


Its hard not to love all the hustle and bustle

Loungers on The High Line

We thoroughly enjoyed the High Line walk

"Love is the answer" by famous street artist Banksy

Enjoying a little street side food at the Halal kiosk with yummy chicken Gyros
......seems very popular in Manhattan

The subway is cheap and easy to use

Marble water fountain statue on the High Line by Ryan Gander

walking the walk, while talking the talk

The High Line is blooming with flowers

Chelsea Market Passage

The Diving Man 

Flowers in the city - The High Line

Street art tags by Damian Ortega

More art work adorning the buildings along the High Line walk

The 911 Memorial Museum

The remaining foundations of the Twin Towers

3000 names inscribed on the Memorial pool walls

Inside the 911 museum - the last beam standing

Back outside its a beautiful day for more exploring

The bronze statue of the Charging Bull in the financial district

It was easier to take pictures of everyone else

Federal Hall National Memorial

Trinity Church at the end of Wall Street

Finally a well deserved beer at "Jake's Dilemma" in mid town Manhattan
$9 pitchers during Happy Hour!

Enjoying a picnic at Hempstead Lake State Park

Careful...tortoise crossing!

478 acres of Green Wood Cemetery 

Pretty ponds at the Cemetery

The mooring field at Port Washington

Sim and Liesbet on one of our many water taxi rides

Driving around in Brooklyn

No free samples at the Brooklyn Brewery

Kids playing with a fire hydrant

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