This morning we were up and on the 09:20 ferry which crossed the Hudson River to Pier 11 on Manhattan Island. By this time the cloudy sky had broken up giving us a lovely warm, sunny morning. Today’s cunning plan was to set out a little later and then stay over there until it was dark to photograph the Times Square area and city skyline. The ferry fare was $6 return and represented good value for money, as well as being fun and a speedy way to cross the river. On arriving at the other side we made for Wall Street, a location we’d missed on our last visit and just a short walk from the jetty. When we arrived there were lots of film crews around, we wondered what the story was as we’re not getting much news these days, the last was a few days ago when the US government was trying to put through a seven-hundred billion dollar rescue package, caused by reckless city spivs trousering staggeringly huge bonuses earned by trading worthless pieces of paper between each other. I asked a security guard what all the excitement was about, he told me that yesterday the Dow Jones Index had dropped about 800 points, its largest drop ever.
After a few photographs we made our way to Ground Zero, again it wasn’t too far to walk. The most amazing thing at the site is the lack of damage caused to the surrounding buildings when the buildings collapsed, both towers miraculously crashing down almost within their own footprint. They’re now working in earnest to build a replacement structure which is due for completion in 2012. The Fire House across the road had its front doors blown in and lost 5 firefighters. Around the corner is a memorial wall to all the firefighters who lost their lives in the city that day.
From here we walked to Battery Park, another missed location from our last visit. This was a very pleasant spot with good views across to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the area in which our campground is situated. It is also possible to make a ferry trip across to Liberty State Park from here though the queues were long. It was much busier than the same trip we’d made yesterday setting out from Ellis Island railway station ferry stop across the water. We sat and had our packed lunch watching the world go by, and having dined in style decided to get the subway up to Central Park while the weather was so nice.
Once back up in the sunshine near Central Park we realised we hadn’t had a drink with our lunch and so made for a nearby ‘Starbucks’. Having made our purchase and taken a seat Rosina pointed out the back of somebody sat at the counter just a few feet from us, she discretely remarked how much like Renée Zellweger she looked. After a while it was clear to see that it was indeed ‘Bridget Jones’ herself, she appeared to be a private person, busy communicating with text messages and with a pleasant disposition when talking to the staff. It was nice to see that she was going about her business in a normal way rather than doing that dreadful ‘Celebrity’ self-importance nonsense with the shades and minders etc. Local people seemed to like that, and respected her privacy, and we had every intension of doing the same. It was to be some time later that we realised Renée was the first well-known person we had been close to who was still alive!
After coffee it was off for a stroll around Central Park, including the ‘Strawberry Fields’ area right across the road from the Dakota building outside of which John Lennon was murdered.
After Central Park it was a stroll down to Times Square. Although it was starting to get dark it still had a way to go, but after taking some photographs and video we decided it wasn’t worth hanging around for darkness to come. Rosina’s back still wasn’t 100%, though she’s bravely soldiered on all day. It’s not like we’d never seen it in the dark with all the neon signs before and so made our way ‘home’ via the subway to Wall Street and the fast, powerful ferry from Pier 11.
LOCATION TONIGHT: Liberty Harbor RV Park, 11 Marin Blvd, Jersey City, NY 07302.