With only a day to spare to prepare for our trip to the Today Show, we pulled into Great Kills Marina on Staten Island ready for a whirlwind week. The marina had room for all but one boat; so Moon Shadow opted to stay on a mooring ball in the harbor. The mooring balls are managed by a neighboring yacht club, includes a Tender on call for rides to shore, and the daily fee only $30- we were quite happy with the choice. The local members at both yacht clubs was appreciated. The hospitality extended by John C. as AGLCA harbor host made the stay more enjoyable. He even arranged to give our group a ride to the train station the following morning.
Day one New York City
The commuter train ride was just over an hour and dropped us off at the Staten Island Ferry. The train ticket is $3.95 and the ferry is FREE- great start to our travel day. Bonus – the ferry goes right by the Statue of Liberty and skyline so we were all pretty excited!
Our group includes Sanctuary (Steve and Teresa) from Michigan; Enterprise (Kurt and Patty) from Detroit, Southern Cross ( Pat and Cathy) from Oklahoma and us , Moon Shadow from Minnesota- so no east coast or NYC folks here. We arrived in Manhattan early; and found this early morning traveling builds an appetite- our group split between a New York Deli and a Food Truck for a quick early lunch stop . It was a nice surprise to find how walkable the city is for us “first timers”.
Next we will explore the Financial district, visit Wall street and see the charging Bull sculpture.
THE CHARGING BULL SCULPTURE
The bull sculpture was so popular it was difficult to get a good picture. It represents the symbol of Financial power, yet we noticed the most popular photo was from behind- We learned it brings good fortune to rub his bronze cojones. Each is the size of a small soccer ball. .
FREEDOM TOWER AND GROUND ZERO MEMORIALS
We continued toward the Freedom Tower and to see the 9/11 memorial ponds.
The Freedom Tower is the rebuilt World Trade Center. It is the tallest building the western Hemisphere.
The two reflecting pools with water falls dropping into the centers are on the footprints of the two buildings. The names of those who lost their lives are inscribed on the granite surrounding the pools. The names of each person are arranged in a “meaningful algorithm” based on relationships, proximity at the time of the attacks. as quoted from the executive director of the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund: “a loved ones name is surrounded by the names of those they sat with, those they worked with, those they lived with and very possibly, those they died with”.
MORE STREET EATING
Both Kurt and Patty then Pat and Cathy opted for a street dog with all the fixings!
Exploring continued, as we walked toward Battery Park to get a glimpse of the statue from that angle. The Battery Park features a large globe The Sphere, that had been displayed near the world trade center and had been damaged. It was recovered from the rubble, and is now is a memorial and installed at Battery Park. It is displayed with out any repairs honoring the victims of 9/11. It is a popular tourist attraction as it survived the terrorist attacks with only dents and holes.
The statue honoring all soldiers is impressive too.
We wondered toward the Sea Glass Carousel and looked at the natural gardens- the next garden everyone was interested in stopping at was the Beer Garden. We regrouped and felt very happy with the day’s sightseeing. It was already 4 o’clock and time to board the ferry, the train and then a 1.5 mile walk back to the marina so we could catch a tender ride out to Moon Shadow on the mooring ball.
and later I had a time to draw a collage map of our time in NYC:
The group had plans for dinner near the marina with several other loopers that had arrived at Great Kills. Plus we needed to finalize plans for doing this same trip at 4:30 in the morning to get in line at the Today Show on Rockefeller Plaza.
LOOPER DINNER AT COLES RESTAURANT IN GREAT KILLS
We had also made plans to meet several boaters at Coles Restaurant in Great Kills. Great Kills Marina is a favorite spot for loopers. tonight we reunited with 22 other boaters for dinner.
Kudos to the restaurant for serving a fine meal, and keeping us all in order. So many looper stories flying around it was a great night. In a way , it feels like a reunion of the outer dock from the Fall AGLCA Rendezvous. By chance several of those present met either in Chicago, or were on the same dock at the Rendezvous. Sanctuary, Last Call, Songlines, Moon Shadow, plus Southern Cross, Lower Place, Aquafennatic and Enterprise, I know I’m missing a few more.
After dinner, the owner of the restaurant mentioned he had overheard us talking about arranging an early morning ride to the city for the Today Show- he gave us the number of a friend who has a 10 passenger van for hire. This worked out perfectly and we arranged for him to meet us in the morning and take us right to Rockefeller Plaza .