Wednesday, December 12, 2007

New York Day One- Unexpected tears at 'Ground Zero'

Well, I was in two minds about 'Ground Zero.'
It's just a hole in the ground , isn't it?
Not much to see, move along, now.
However, it was near to a discount designer outlet recommended by Cactus Kate, so I headed that way.
But first, I was up around 8-30 and out by 9-30 greeted by a cold, crisp morning.
I walked down Broadway, past the Lincoln Centre and soon reached Central Park.
The little market there was pretty good.
Then down Broadway once more, passing through Times Square.
That was impressive but lacked something I remember in that old film of that name with a young Jodie Foster.
In the fashion quarter I stopped off at a few sales, but while waiting for one, found Bryant? Park, with the ice skating rink.
What with Frank Sinatra blaring out in the background this made me feel that this is the real New York.
I almost expected to see Carrie with Mr Big passing nearby.
Moments later I had a delicious hot apple cider from a stall and then i headed down Broadway and Avenue of the Americas towards Macys.
What a great department store. I loved the handbags shaped like sausage dogs but at $150 they were too expensive for presents.
But I did buy a souvenir teddy on a sledge for $12-50(half price) and a DNKY Jeans top for $15 (65% off). A great store and another fantastic recommendation from Cactus Kate.
Then i headed towards the Empire State building and went to the top and enjoyed the view. Pity it was misty. So I have yet to see the Statue of Liberty.
A long walk followed towards Greenwich Village, where I stopped for pizza, after having looked at a store clearing off Ecko clothes, which I quite like.
I am kicking myself for not buying the thick coat for $40, especially as the proper price is over $100 and more in NZ.
So, yes, I walked all the way to the big hole in the ground. I took some photos and then went to the Century 21 store , as recommended by Cactus Kate , and bought some underwear and socks. I can afford Calvin Klein now at US prices! Always thought ten quid at UK designer outlets was too much for knickers, but ten bucks is fair.
But heading towards the subway, the World Trade Centre station, I thought I would look at the Ground Zero display after all.
I don't know what came over me. I felt a tear coming, a lump to the throat and I shed some more tears. Was I having a Princes Diana moment? I'm usually a hard hearted bastard but was somewhat overcome by the emotion of the place. Other vistors were too.
I did not look at the names of the 'heroes' or victims' on display but it did not seem right to take more photos. It might even have been disrespectful.
But memories of the evil event came flooding back. Where I was that day? And how 9-11 has significantly changed the course of history. And yes, you think of all those who died. It was a huge number.
911 certainly played a major role in generating my awareness of Islamofacism and the evil the world faces from many of the followers of the pedophile prophet. The world wil never be the same again. We live in dangerous times.
For anyone going to New York, I certainly recommend a visit, even if not for long. Even the hardest and most heartless souls will be touched by the significance and emotion of Ground Zero.
Now back at the hotel, I'm washed and changed and ready to go out for dinner. There seemed some nice places down Greenwich Village so I think I'm off there.
It's gone 9pm but I'm sure there will be places open. After all, I went out for a wander at 2am this morning and was still able to find hotdogs and beer.
Two final observations: I don't like US money as it is all the same colour (so unlike the colourful notes we have in Australia and New Zealand) and they still have $1 notes so you get few coins and many notes of little value.
Fortunately, almost all New Yorkers, both black and white, have been very friendly and helpful.
Though I don't know what it is about the Italians here. One Italian taxi driver tried to charge me $79 for the taxi fare from the airport when the official rate is $49-50. So I did not use him. The Italians running the desk at the hotel seem grumpy, as was the guy in Tony's Pizza in 'the Village.' But this is a nice hotel and 'Tony' made some of the best pizza I have eaten in ages.
So , as Italian food seems to be something New Yorkers do very well- New Zealand does not seem to- I think I wil go out and find an Italian restaurant and put up with whatever grumpiness might follow.


Cactus Kate said...

I can't believe that's all you bought at Century 21. Even an anti-shopper like myself can spend half a day in the woman's section in amongst it. So cheap and so good. Rather like the pizza. Yum pizza.


Thnaks Cactus,
The store's slogan was 'figh.ting for fashion'.
I was feeling pretty tired by then, lacking the energy to fight through the racks.
Off to Woodbury now.