After an emergency landing in Canada and a false start getting into the public transport (Tip: buses take only MetroCards and coins), we finally made it downtown. The Metro is a nice and easy way to get around town, once you figure it out.
When we emerged from the Metro, we were accosted by cartoon figures wanting posing tips. Nothing against trying to make a buck, but the charm of the ability to secretly take a good picture with my little Sony RX100 outweighed the charm of pulling out my wallet in Times Square in order to give these goofballs $1.
I can highly recommend the Circle Line Tours, boat rides around the southern tip of Manhattan, leaving from the W. 42nd Street pier. The tour guide, Mr. Mason, was very interesting to listen to and what better way to show your whole family the sights of Manhattan - for only $142! We had ordered two-day New York Passes for the family, but after loosing a day in the woods of Newfoundland, we decided to cancel them (don't forget to buy the cancellation insurance).
And as you can see, the 90% chance of rain for Wednesday turned out to be a bluff! We had sunshine and, as a bonus for photographers, some interesting cloud cover during the tour.
It seems that "Lady Liberty" was the highlight of the boat trip for many. We chose not to go to Liberty Island but were satisfied with the view from the water.
There were all sorts of interesting boats chugging and sailing around on the Hudson River that beautiful day.
Ellis Island is also on the tour, of course. This is where our forefathers from Europe and Asia got the funny spelling for their names. I always wondered what a conversation between two immigration officers must have sounded like:
"This next boat is from Poland, what do you want to do to these names, James?"
"Let's spell them all with -ske 'cause we did the last ones with -ski and the ones before that with -sky. Then they'll be able to tell each other apart."
For me, however, the spires of the churches of industry were what kept my eyes busy. The Freedom Tower is nearing completion and is as tall as it will be when it opens. You can watch a time-lapse video of the building of the tower here.
And the Empire State Buliding has the most recognizable spire. Can you find it in the picture below?
One World Trade Center (as the Freedom Tower is officially known) is 1,776 feet tall and sticks out from the surrounding buildings not only on account of its height but also because of its architecture, which had a very controversial genesis.
We walked around downtown and were duly impressed by the view.