From laid back Canada, we shifted a few gears in our vacation to in-your-face New York. It’s been my dream for a number of years, and Souvik’s only choice for his maiden visit to the US, so little wonder that we could barely stand still, as we waited for our friends to pick us up at the airport last night.
Rupali and Srini are both enthusiastic travellers, and they wasted no time in giving us a useful orientation into the city, and drew up an ambitious agenda. As quickly as we could, but much, much later than the rush hour, Souvik & I hopped onto the bus to take us into the city, and started our tour.
First stop was at the shop to get a local number. As soon as Souvik identified the Bangla shop man, he switched to Bengali chatter that helped us get connected (on the phone) faster. High time I learnt the language, I guess!
We followed Srini’s instructions, worked out the subway, and found ourselves at the WTC site. To me, all the people looked familiar, like scenes out of a movie or TV show. We were amazed by the number of different languages to be heard from all over the world. And both of us were eager to eat!
Next stop: Battery Park, to catch the ferry to do as the immigrants did over hundreds of years – land at Ellis Island and pay homage to the Statue of Liberty. Ellis island was a revelation. It’s easy to forget, but important to remember how this country was built by the struggles and determination of immigrants over the years, and continues to do so.
The Statue was designed by French sculptor, Frédéric Bartholdi, and placed on a pedestal designed by Gustav Eiffel. publisher Joseph Pulitzer helped to raise money for the sculpture. And the fact that interested me the most was that it came as a giant jigsaw puzzle and was assembled in New York!
After the ferry tour we moved on to Wall Street, and the Merrill Lynch bull, all downtown must-do’s.
We snacked along the way, of course, to energise ourselves for the rest of the evening. We can only pray that all the walking burned off that Oreo brownie ;-).