New York, New York
November 7, 2000

We finally made it to New York City!  Cheryl found an RV Park just across the water from the Statue of Liberty in New Jersey. 

Though we didn't take the ferry to the Statue of Liberty, we had a great view of it.  This photo was taken from our trailer in the RV park.

We could also see the Empire State Building from the RV Park.  Of all the large cities we've visited, this is the closest RV Park we've ever found to a major downtown area. 
Here we are on the ferry between Jersey and the World Trade Center.  We just left port and you can see our truck and RV in the background just above Max's head next to the white camper van.  This small RV Park holds about 25 RV's and is also a marina.
Looking foreword we can see downtown New York City.  That's one of the two World Trade Center buildings rising out of the picture.

What a great way to start a morning.  Step out of the trailer, cross the parking lot and step onto the ferry, (along with several hundred commuters). 

Looking back we saw Ellis Island.  We didn't have time to visit this famous place -- we'll have to do it next time.
So we arrived in Jersey at 7:00 PM the night before, caught an 8:00 AM ferry and now we find ourselves in downtown New York City with no map, no subway info, no tourist info and, (since it's off-season), no open tourist info booths nearby.  We started walking and ended up here at the World Trade Center.

The World Trade Center buildings are so tall they're affected by the curvature of the earth.  Either that, or I did a poor job of pasting several frames of this picture together.

There must have been a subway nearby because hundreds of people were flooding through the main corridors and walkways like a giant army of ants.  We couldn't believe how many people there were.  It looked as if there was an evacuation of New York in progress -- only in this case they were all headed off to their offices.  It was one of those memorable moments -- here the four of us were, heading along in the opposite direction of this massive flood of business suits and briefcases.

At the end of the 50' wide corridor were 10 revolving doors.  These doors were spinning at full speed with people coming through the opposite direction not missing a step.  It's an awesome site at first but not really all that difficult to negotiate if you're like Luke, on Star Wars, and use "The Force". 

Over all, it looked like a giant had just kicked a big ant's nest.


Here's another shot looking up at the towers.  Next, we came across a bookstore so I bought a map.   We located Times Square, Rockefeller Plaza, Central Park and the Empire State Building on the map, so we continued to head upstream, to what must be the entrance of the giant subterranean ant nest; that is, the New York City subway.
We rounded the corner and saw a Krispy Kreme shop.  Neither Cheryl nor I could clearly recall ever hearing about Krispy Kreme, but somehow we knew it was both good and famous.  So in we went for some great doughnuts.  The line in here moved as fast as the people outside.  Even though there was a line, we barely had time to make a selection before the clerk was saying, "What would you like?"  We asked for four chocolate glazed and before you knew it the cashier was waiting for money.  They really hustle the people through. 
This picture of the subway was taken later in the day.  It was full of people in the morning.  I stopped to read the subway map and make sure we were getting onto the right train.  Max noticed we were creating a major traffic jam and suggested I stand behind a garbage can or column. 

While I read the map, safely behind a column, the boys played a game of "Frogger", dashing back and forth across the flow of the people, just like the video game version.  They had a lot of fun with this. 

We've been in several cities with subway systems now and we often discuss the pluses and minuses of each.  So far, Washington D.C. has the nicest, but New York's isn't bad.  Boston and Chicago's are both pretty old. 
So we got on the E-train and headed out.  Now the only question we have is if the "Express" sign means it will speed by several stops or not.  We bought $4.00 all day passes, so if worst comes to worst we'll just ride another train back.  Here Mitch and I take a seat near the map so we can look at it and see if we are indeed on the right train heading in the right direction. 
During rush hour the subways are full to the doors. 

We walked through Times Square.  I bet it looks great at night with all of the signs and lights.  People told us the city was very crowded, but it wasn't as crowded as we had expected.

Ever since he was very young Max has been impressed with limousines.  This was a stretch S.U.V.  Max wants to make a "Hummosine" when he gets older.  Has anyone seen a stretched Hummer yet?
In the mornings we often watch Matt Louer and Katie Curic on the Today Show, so we stopped by to see the set and the outdoor area where Al Roker talks with the crowd and provides the weather report.  That's the NBC Studios at Rockefeller Center in the background. 

As we were leaving the area we passed Katie as she was getting into her car.

Central Park

We only visited a small area of the park on the south end.  The boys saw the large rock formations and off they went.  I think climbing on rocks is their all-time favorite activity.

Many places we go have been in a movie or on the news.  There are several of these underpasses in the park.  Mitch kept looking for the one that's in the movie, "Home Alone 2".  There's also a scene at the Rockefeller Plaza ice skating rink in that movie.
And here's a memorial to Balto, who is the real life hero of a book the boys have read several times.  Balto was the dog that led the sled team bringing medicine through the Alaskan wilderness to Nome and ultimately saved many lives.  From this great run, the famous Alaskan Idinarod Race was founded.
As we were walking, Cheryl said, "LOOK, it's one of those dog walkers we hear about."  She was walking at least six dogs at once. 
Next we came across the ice skating rink in Central Park so out they went.  I never was too good on ice skates.  I grew up with four wheels under each foot.  I think the boys picked this up quickly since they're both good at roller blading.
We are thinking we might stop by New York City in December when we get back from Europe.  It'll be beautiful when it's decorated for Christmas.  Attending "Saturday Night Live" could be fun too.
One thing that's fun about riding the subway for the first time in a new city is getting off.  We never know exactly where we'll be, what it will be like, and which way is north or south.  All of a sudden -- there we are!  Only we aren't quite sure where "there" is. 

Here, we got off and found ourselves in the middle of a seven story shopping mall.  When you step off of the subway and into the tunnel, there are usually several different exits you can take.  The exit you choose can put you on different sides of the street or even on different blocks.  Getting off can be as confusing as getting on.

Quite the view from up here.  This picture is from the observation deck on the 86th floor.  The 102nd floor was closed.  Regardless of the height, it's a great place to see the city.  Who says you can't get a taxi in New York?  It looked like there were plenty down below.  The picture on the right is a zoom shot of the cars in the picture on the left.
Here's a picture looking to the north.  The brown area above the white building in the center and behind the other buildings is Central Park.  The sun was shining from the south and the picture just wasn't good enough to use here. 
If I could see the Empire State Building from our trailer, then maybe I could see the trailer from here.  (Well, maybe not).
The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was on our list of things to do some year, but since we'll be in Europe we'll have to come back to New York another year for it.
We passed by Madison Square Garden on our way for dinner. 
So what movie will the boys recognize Madison Square Garden in?

The answer is, "Godzilla", that cheesy movie that came out a few years ago.  This is where Godzilla laid the eggs so the Air Force had to blow it up at the end of the movie.

We took the subway over to the theater district for dinner at John's Pizza.  This restaurant is in an old church that was build in 1890.  When we came out after dinner, someone had turned on all of the lights.  What a sight!
One last ride on the subway and then through the revolving doors.  The evening commute was not quite as crowded as you can see.  I wish I had taken a picture of the morning crowd.  At night, everyone looked tired as they packed into the subway for the ride to New Jersey. 

Where have you guys been all day?

And where's my styrofoam doggie box?

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