19 August 2007

Basking in the Big Apple: Day 1

Even though I arrived in New York City on Saturday, August 11, I did not do any sight-seeing until the day after. That is because I am simply arranging my schedule based on my hosts, and we just spent the day in New Jersey on this day. However, the next day, the four of us (me, my roommate, and his uncle and aunt) set off for the city.

First, we crossed the George Washington Bridge.

This is a bridge that connects New Jersey and Upper Manhattan. We then drove on the edge of Manhattan until Canal Street, and we dove into Chinatown. We bumped into a few people from the Philippines as well, and we also witnessed some sort of Chinese parade.

As you can see, Chinatown is a bit chaotic. But so is Times Square. But here, you really get the feeling that you’re in Beijing and not in New York City.

After our lunch (the Cantonese crabs were amazing, and so were the ribs), we headed to Ground Zero. But before that, we passed by some important buildings, such as the Woolworth Building and St. Paul’s Chapel. The following are shots of these.

We then reached Ground Zero. If not for the disaster that happened 6 years ago, it would be weird visiting a construction site. The picture following this would explain what I mean.

One usually don’t take pictures of a constuction site. But then, I know, there is emotional and patriotic significance, for some people.

After spending a few minutes here, we proceeded to Trinity Church, a beautiful church located in Lower Manhattan. The interior was amazing, and I spent some time taking pictures, like the following.

On the courtyard, famous ancient people were buried. I never recognized most of them (which is an ironic statement, given the fact that I mentioned in the previous sentence that they were famous), except for Albert Gallatin, who is the founder of New York University.

After this, we walked on to Wall Street and I took pictures of the New York Stock Exchange. There is a huge flag of the USA up front.

Finally, we walked to Pier 17, which is a part of the port that is transformed into a collection of shops and restaurants. Here, one can get good panoramic shots of Brooklyn Bridge, such as the following shot.

So, that was my first day in the Big Apple. It was amazing, but the fun hasn’t started yet. Watch out for the second day, when I board the ferry to see the famous metal woman, view exhibits of this country’s immigrants, observe impressive architecture in old buildings, meditate on hungry Irish folk, touch the testicles of a bronze bull, and cross the famous bridge of this mind-boggling city. But before that, again, enjoy the flowers in my Ecuadorian Flora Series.

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