Sunday 3rd April
We awoke at 8:30 with 60mph winds lashing around the building but clear skies from an Arctic weather system making the views amazing.
This morning we went to see how much the southern end of Manhattan Island had changed since our last visit. So much of the riversides has been changed to make it all a pleasant experience for locals and visitors alike. Essentially at this tip of Manhattan is the original Dutch settlement of ‘New Amsterdam’ and it was across this point of land that they constructed a timber wall to keep out the indigenous peoples. The line of that is Wall Street today. Beyond Wall Street was essentially countryside with villages that supplied the Dutch and much later other settlers with fresh milk and meat products.
We started our exploration at the Bowling Green – we are not sure it was crown green! This is where the 19th century Custom House is towered over by financial buildings. At this southern tip is Battery Park – the home of gun positions to keep the enemies away – but today provides amazing views over New York harbour.
We were pleased to see the completion of the east and west riverside walkways from Battery Park and how bright and airy the airport style Staten Island Ferry Terminal has become. It is warm, light and comfortable compared to its smelly past and has seating made of granite which looks like leather. What is pleasing is that part of the original terminal is preserved. Close to here is the ‘Elevated Area’, a public space bounded by offices but with great views over the East River to Brooklyn.
This is the next shock readers because our shipping company is not working to Europe so we can see where we would have departed from but we are currently working on a flight to Europe.
We continued to explore the riverside of the East River as far as the Brooklyn Bridge and what is today known as South Street Seaport which was in the early 19th and 20th centuries up to piers 18 on the east side of New York harbour and continued as far as pier 90 on the Hudson River to the west. Essentially this was land traversed by horse and cart and railway lines that kept the massive port alive.
We were surprised how clear the view from Fulton Street was of The One World Trade Centre. It is the tallest building in the western hemisphere which replaces the Twin Towers of the original World Trade Centre.
At the end of Fulton Street, which is the name of the fish market on the east side, is Broadway and Trinity Church. We will explain more about this tomorrow but this was a major location in the resolution of people’s problems post 9/11.
A taxi ride to Midtown enabled us to complete our alternative mission of having Sunday lunch at the appropriate time!
To get back to the hotel one has to cross Manhattan so let us show you something that most people miss.