New York, New York

New York Travel Blog

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Times Square
I'd never been to New York before. Since I had a thirteen-hour-long layover at JFK, I decided against spending the whole time waiting around and decided to take a train into the city to enjoy the sights for a few hours.

I took one of those "hop on, hop off" bus tours around town.  I would highly recommend these to anyone who wants to get a good feel for the city but doesn't necessarily want to be pressured into seeing absolutely everything on the average city tour.  I took the Downtown Loop, which lasts about 2.5 hours without any stops and was $40 for an adult ticket.  It took in all of Lower Manhattan, which was just fine for me considering the time constraints.
The rumors about NYC taxi cabs are true...they really are everywhere
  I got off at about four or five different stops, and since the buses are all on the same loop and come by every fifteen minutes or so, I was able to enjoy the stops that I chose at my leisure.  The tour guides were fantastic; that's yet another benefit to this type of a tour, you experience a different tour guide each time you get onto another bus.

I got off at the stop before Ground Zero, at St. Paul's Chapel.  It's a church that George Washington used to frequent, and despite being only a few blocks away from the World Trade Center, not a single pane of glass was broken when the towers went down.  It became a makeshift hospital site for those wounded on 9/11.  Afterwards, the mayor of London presented the Bell of Hope to the church, which was cast from the same foundry as Big Ben and the Liberty Bell.
Bell of Hope, outside Saint Paul's
  It now stands in the churchyard.

I decided to walk to Ground Zero from there, mostly because I wanted time to collect my thoughts as I approached.  I'm not sure what I was expecting, and I'm also not sure if I was relieved or disappointed to see that ground had already been broken for the construction of the new World Trade Center and so, despite a memorial set up in front of it, the site itself was full of construction vehicles and workmen.  I still can't quite put words to my feelings, as I'm sure most people feel when they see it for the first time.  All I can say is that I was deeply moved by the whole experience.

I got back on the bus at Ground Zero and rode it until we got to the United Nations, where I got off for my last stop and took a tour.  This was, by far, the highlight of my day in New York.  That morning they had a flag-raising ceremony, inducting Montenegro into the UN.  I wasn't there for the actual ceremony, but I still felt like I had been part of history, since I was there so shortly thereafter.  My only complaint about the tour was that it didn't last longer - it was about an hour, and I wanted to spend all day wandering the halls and just taking in the atmosphere.

I had to board the bus and get back to JFK almost as soon as the tour was over.  Time for Paris.
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Times Square
Times Square
The rumors about NYC taxi cabs are…
The rumors about NYC taxi cabs ar…
Bell of Hope, outside Saint Pauls
Bell of Hope, outside Saint Paul's
Interior of Saint Pauls
Interior of Saint Paul's
Interior of Saint Pauls
Interior of Saint Paul's
More from St. Pauls
More from St. Paul's
Ground Zero
Ground Zero
Ground Zero
Ground Zero
Ground Zero
Ground Zero
Ground Zero
Ground Zero
Empire State Building in the dista…
Empire State Building in the dist…
The UN!
The UN!
The flag-raising ceremony for Mont…
The flag-raising ceremony for Mon…
Outside the UN
Outside the UN
Outside the UN
Outside the UN
Outside the UN
Outside the UN
Secretaries-general
Secretaries-general
Former child-soldiers in the Sudan…
Former child-soldiers in the Suda…
Positive incarnations of rifles
Positive incarnations of rifles
The Golden Rule
The Golden Rule
A very excited me, in the GA room
A very excited me, in the GA room
New York
photo by: herman_munster