On opening the curtains, it was obvious today was going to be much better than the previous two – blue skies much in evidence. Rather than take the hotel’s undoubtedly excellent, but very pricey ($42) breakfast, I headed back to the McDonald’s I had found the previous day and from there to Grand Central Station where I bought a day ticket Fun Pass on the NY Subway system.
I managed to correctly catch an Express train to the downtown area and was amazed how quick it was to reach Fulton St, right next to the former WTC site. I had visited this site on my last visit to NYC in April 2003 and was keen to see what was being done. The most obvious difference from the previous visit was the removal of most of the notices and memorials that people had left – these are now mainly housed in a small museum/memorial to the WTC attacks, which I visited and found very moving. Apart from that, the WTC 7 building (the third to collapse on the day) has been rebuilt and is now a gleaming glass tower, looming over the site. The Deutsche Bank building, condemned and full of poisonous toxins is gradually being deconstructed.
From the WTC site I headed down to Battery Park with half intentions of hopping on a ferry to Liberty Island, but when I saw the snaking queue I soon went off the idea. Taking my walk further round the southern tip of Manhattan island, I dived back in to the Financial District to walk past Wall St. and the NYSE, which slightly strangely had a Chinese flag flying alongside the Stars and Stripes.
Continuing further, I headed up past South St. Seaport and found that I had to track back in land quite far to get on the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. I walked out to the centre of the bridge on the dedicated walkway and got good views back over Manhattan, watchful to avoid the cyclists on the adjacent path.
By this time, the day had really warmed up and I was started to feel the sun a bit. So I hopped back on the Subway at Brooklyn Bridge for the two stops back up to Grand Central, where I grabbed a sandwich and headed back to my hotel.
Having pottered for a bit and packed my bags, I checked out and headed down to the Chrysler Building to meet up with my friend who had booked a car service to take us to La Guardia airport. The journey was fairly OK given the time of day and we were at LGA in plenty of time for our flight up to Boston. I checked my bag in, which took only 5 mins and, with the Admirals Club lounge located through security on the D concourse and our light departing from the C concourse, we had a quick beer in the landside bar near the security gates. When the flight was due, we headed through security (miraculously for a Friday evening there was no queue) and after a brief wait, straight on board.
On arrival in Boston, the bags appeared fairly quickly and we headed to the Hertz bus for transfer to the car hire lot where we picked up the car my friend had hired for the weekend – a Ford Mustang! A minor hitch at the car check out was quickly overcome and we were soon at my friend’s house in Cambridge, where we decided to eat in and cooked a delicious chicken stir fry for dinner.
Chrysler Building and Grand Central Station
Battery Park / Financial Centre / Downtown
Brooklyn Bridge and views from