Travel – The Big Apple: Day 2


Day 2 was perhaps our most busy. Beth and R Dub in front of the south tower memorial and the new World Trade Center 1, AKA the Freedom Tower.

Day two in NYC. Perhaps our most busy day started the same as day one; sleeping in followed by coffee and a bagel near our hotel.

We mentioned in the first post that the food was a little disappointing during the trip. Tuesday morning’s food was the most disappointing. Our day 1 bagel was good, not so much on day 2. We will not name the disappointing locations, but will talk about food that we liked by location. These bagels were topped with butter and scrambled egg. The flavors were very understated. Bagels were purchased each morning at 4 different locations. This was the only ‘meh’ bagel of the trip. We think if we’d asked for shallot cream cheese, this place would’ve been good too.

After sitting down for breakfast we headed toward Times Square to buy bus passes for the remainder of the week. The group utilized a tour bus on Tuesday to see the downtown sights. We chose to get off at the World Trade Center, then walk to Wall Street, and Battery Park. At Battery Park we took a ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The ferry returned us to Battery Park just before sundown where we caught a tour bus back to Times Square for a short 3 block walk back to our hotel.

Upper deck of the bus. Not all of them have this protective clear cover. it makes a cold day tolerable on top. Scott checking out the route map for where we want to get off and begin the walking tour.
First stop, the World Trade Center. Beth and R Dub posing beside the Transportation Hub, with World Trade 1 in the distance.. If Wisconsinites think the Transportation Hub looks familiar, they should. Santiago Calatrava designed this building which looks very similar to the Calatrava in Milwaukee.

The 9/11 museum is not open on Tuesday’s so we took a walk around the area and took in the memorials erected to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11/2001 and to celebrate what was not destroyed on this infamous day in our history.

One obscure feature that survived the collapse of the twin towers is The Survivor Tree.

In October 2001, a severely damaged tree was discovered at Ground Zero, with snapped roots and burned and broken branches. The tree was removed from the rubble and placed in the care of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

After its recovery and rehabilitation, the tree was returned to the Memorial in 2010. New, smooth limbs extended from the gnarled stumps, creating a visible demarcation between the tree’s past and present. Today, the tree stands as a living reminder of resilience, survival, and rebirth. Each year, the 9/11 Memorial gives seedlings from the Survivor Tree to three communities that have endured tragedy in recent years.

The Survivor Tree. Each year, the 9/11 Memorial gives seedlings from the Survivor Tree to three communities that have endured tragedy in recent years.

St. Paul’s chapel is a structure that survived the Twin Tower collapse.

St. Paul’s Chapel, constructed in 1766, is the oldest church building in Manhattan. Located less than 100 yards from the World Trade Center site, the church became known as “The Little Chapel That Stood” after it survived the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11. It is widely believed the church was protected by a giant sycamore tree that was planted in St. Paul’s graveyard.

In the tragic aftermath of 9/11, St. Paul’s Chapel became a haven for rescue and recovery workers at Ground Zero. More than 5,000 volunteers worked long hours at the church, cleaning, serving hot meals, and providing comfort to all who came to the church for rest and refuge. 

St. Paul’s Chapel, constructed in 1776, somehow survived the Twin Tower collapse. Where President Washington came to pray after his inauguration in 1789.

Next stop, after a ten minute walk was Wall Street. Scott suggested that we touch the bull’s nose for good financial luck. Lately, we’ll take as much luck as we can. The markets have been brutal the past two years.

Beth and Scott in front of the New York Stock Exchange.

When we arrived at the bull statue, there were two lines for people to touch the famous NY Stock Exchange bull. One to touch his nose, that’s the one we stood inline for. Plus one to touch his testicles, this one had more people in line! To our surprise, these lines were not monitored by anyone in authority, the visitors to Wall Street were politely, orderly and calmly controlling each line.

Beth caresses the bull’s nose while R Dub is content just to touch it. There were two lines to touch the bull, one for his nose and the other for his testicles. We were content to touch his nose. If you are wondering, the line for his cojones than for his nose.

With faith that our investments were now protected by the Wall Street bull, we proceeded on a five minute walk from Wall Street to Battery Park. There were few crowds at any of our stops on Tuesday, including the line to buy ferry tickets to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and back. Cost of the ferry; $24.30 each.

The view of Lady Liberty and Liberty Island from the Miss Liberty Ferry.

We mentioned the TSA type security is used at many locations in NYC. So far it occurred during our day one visit to the Empire State Building. Today we were screened at St. Paul’s Chapel and now to get on the Lady Liberty Ferry. There would be another TSA style security check when we get off the ferry at the Statue of Liberty. Understandable considering that Lady Liberty is our most recognizable symbol of freedom.

The statue of liberty is much smaller than the Empire State Building, World Trade One and many other attractions in NYC, but she is beautiful and awesome. A must see.
A view of Lady Liberty’s structure from the inside of her base. On the left side of this photo is the spiral stairway that leads to her crown observatory.
The view of Ellis Island and downtown Manhattan from the base of Lady Liberty. The buildings in the forefront is where the medical facilities were for inbound immigrants to be medically checked out or treated if needed.
The second floor great hall where most of the processing took place.
This photo of loggers on the Wolf River in northern Wisconsin can be found in the right wing of the 2nd floor. Photos of migrants who passed through Ellis Island before dispersing to the greater USA are on display.
Photo of German migrants who were processed at Ellis Island setting up a hardware store in Watertown, WI. Circa 1888.

The ferry dropped us off back at Battery Park just before sundown where we picked up the bus for a long trip fighting evening drive time traffic back to Times Square and and a 2 block walk back to our hotel. We had just enough time to change clothes, find something to eat at an Irish bar near our hotel, and get to Al Hirschfeld Theatre in time for the 7:00 production of Moulin Rouge.

Broadway! Day 2 of the trip to NYC will result in R Dub’s first time at a Broadway show in NYC, and what a choice for a first…Moulin Rouge! Boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl, gets her back, then the twist. R Dub had seen the movie, but the Broadway rewrite is better. Modern music is featured, all ‘written’ by the show protagonist Christian which sets up tongue in cheek moments as he reveals new songs that we all know and love!

Enter a world of splendor and romance, of eye-popping excess, of glitz, grandeur and glory! A world where Bohemians and aristocrats rub elbows and revel in electrifying enchantment. Pop the champagne and prepare for the spectacular spectacular… Welcome to Moulin Rouge! The Musical.

Baz Luhrmann’s revolutionary film comes to life onstage, remixed in a new musical mash-up extravaganza. A theatrical celebration of truth, beauty, freedom and—above all—LOVE, Moulin Rouge! is more than a musical; it is a state of mind.

The first thing you see when entering the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. Striking!
The right side second level of the set. Cast members will use the cage pictured above before curtain with what can be called erotic acrobatics.
The left side of the stage, second level. Again cast will utilize the cage for your erotic acrobatic pleasure.
This photo was taken before we realized that while this was before curtain call, it is part of the show and cameras should’ve been put away. Beth has a shot of these two actors ‘tangled up’ in a beautifully erotic embrace.

It had been a full day up to this point, and the show was magnificent. Great dancing, and great vocals and a campy story line. However, there was more to do and see during our first night on Broadway!

After the show we were hungry and looked for a spot for a late night meal, and did we ever. Jasmine’s Caribbean Cuisine. The food was great, LOTS of flavor exploding with each bite..and of course we enjoyed potent potables with rum and citrus juices. We split an order of Jerk Chicken and two apps; crab cakes and calamari.

Jasmine’s Caribbean Cuisine. A perfect spot to refuel after along day of sights and entertainment.

Final stop before heading back to the hotel on foot? In the same neighborhood as Jasmine’s, maybe two or three doors away towards Times Square was Don’t Tell Mama. Don’t Tell Mama is a piano bar that features a piano player who takes requests and three singing bar tenders who can really bring it.

There was a group of tourists in the back from Fond du Lac, WI. As a busy and great day 2 draws to a close, we realize that it is a small world.

Our singing waiter at Don’t Tell Mama.

Published by R Dub's Rub

Conversational BLOG writer and contributing writer for LocaLeben magazine. My BLOG entries represent observations that intrigue, amuse, inspire or stimulate my appetite.

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