In summary: New York City had a life of it’s own in my head. In early August 2016, I visited there for the first time. On the first afternoon we visited Central Park and were there for hours, despite the jet lag. We started our first full day with a tour of the Intrepid and the Space Shuttle Enterprise. Next was the full cruise (two and a half hours plus) around Manhattan – south down the Hudson River into the Upper Harbor, up the East River under the “BMW” bridges, past Midtown and the UN, into the Harlem River, into the Hudson River, past the George Washington Bridge, and past Grant’s Tomb.
In retrospect, perspective is interesting, especially in New York City. As noted, I had some odd ideas about what New York City would be like, but had a wonderful time during my entire stay. However, studying maps in advance to have “the lay of the land” is one thing. Being there on the ground is another. And now I’m finding as I’m writing these posts that even that wasn’t what it seemed.
For example, take this picture of the Upper West Side. To me it was totally disconnected from the Central Park area of Manhattan. This is because of how I got to here – taxi from our hotel to the Intrepid and then to the cruise, which spent two and a half hours taking us all around Manhattan. So to me, even five minutes ago, Central Park (where we were staying) was one area of the city, while this was a separate area of the city that was somewhere “over there,” out of sight, “probably” miles and miles and a cab ride of unknown length away.
Yet now, as I’m using Google Maps to identify places for me, I see that these buildings along the Hudson River were only five blocks away from where we were staying, an easy fifteen minute walk. If I had known to go that way instead of that other way, which is also tied to the “if I had had the time” issue.
Perspective. Weird stuff. This also shows how perspective is related to time, but I guess that’s a discussion for another day.
So, four blocks directly behind these buildings is the southern end of Central Park that I had explored the previous day after arriving in New York City. Looking at the map (now) it seems that Lincoln Center is right about in between these buildings and the Park. That’s another place that we’ll have to get to on the next trip since I didn’t even know we were that close and didn’t get there.
The map tells me that the elevated highway here is the Joe DiMaggio Highway. We may not know where Jolting Joe has gone, but we know where his highway will take you.
Just a few blocks away from returning to the dock at the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise dock, the Empire State Building’s coming into view. What’s also interesting is to go look at the Google Maps photos of this area. These pictures were taken in August 2016, but the large, “three-tiered” building on the left and the fancy triangular building on the right don’t show in the Google Maps photos. The triangular building is being built in the Google Maps imagery, but the “three-tiered” building is just a dirt lot.
Things change fast in the big city!
There’s our Empire State Building. We’ll get up close and personal with it in a couple of days. (Trip time. The way these posts are getting dragged out, it might be months before you get to see it. Sorry!)
I love different, odd, and unique architecture. Do you see that square, black, Allianz building there just to the right of center? It’s not different, odd, or unique. It’s boring. but the twisty, turny building next to it that’s built like a ramp? That’s apparently the Mercedez Benz building and being built that way it creates about three dozen penthouses instead of one or two, all with a great view of the city, the river, and New Jersey beyond.. However much those penthouses cost, I’m sure that I won’t be buying one any time soon!
Here’s the other side of that “triangular-shaped” building, just to the north of the Terminal 5 building (with the blue-green glass facade). Our odd building not only has a unique outline, it’s got a big hole gouged out of the side. And the windows are in a bizarre, almost random pattern. This is a building I would love to tour, or at least just spend a couple of hours wandering around, taking pictures.
(Have I mentioned recently that I take a LOT of pictures?)
Almost home! There’s the Intrepid, with the Concorde on display on the dock next to it and the angular grey building that contains the Space Shuttle Enterprise.
As we swing around to pull into our pier next to the Intrepid, we get to see the Concorde from the back. And the crowd waiting to get in to tour it. At least the rain had (more or less) stopped.
Once back on dry land, it was time to hustle across the city for our evening’s entertainment. I thought we would just grab a cab and be gone. I never saw the trek that lay ahead of us.