June 1, 2013

Day 218 - May 31, 2013: New York and Liberty Landing Marina

New York, New York! How exciting today was. Until a few years ago, we would have never imagined that we would be piloting our own cruiser into New York Harbor and up the Hudson River. I certainly believe that if you keep a goal in your dreams, it will come true.

We left Sandy Hook, crossed the Lower Bay and under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, moved up the Upper Bay, and got our first views of the emerging NY skyline. The island ferries are active and fast, and they come up and pass you rapidly. On a weekend, NY Harbor is reported to be extremely busy, but today we had the harbor largely to ourselves. While there is tight security, we were able to bring Great Laker up within 150 yards of the Statue of Liberty, and we took many pictures of each of us with this grand lady. We passed Ellis Island and entered Liberty Landing Marina, which is across the Hudson from the Trade Center. After docking, we discovered we had views of both the Freedom Tower and the Statue of Liberty!

The Verrazano Narrows Bridge and Fort McHenry
Fast ferry passing on our starboard

Manhattan Island coming into view
The Statue of Liberty

Ellis Island
Manhattan skyline with the Freedom Tower
After lunch, we took the Liberty Landing Ferry across to the Trade Center and walked to the 9/11 Memorial. It was crowded with visitors, and while you can get a free pass, you have a time window assigned to get in. Besides the Freedom Tower which dominates the site, there are two memorial waterfall pools which represent the footprint of the Twin Towers. They have water cascading 30 feet down the sides and dropping into a central hole and disappearing. We could feel the emotion generated by this site in all the visitors around us as they relived this tragic day.

9/11 Memorial pool
For a change of pace, we took a subway up to Times Square to the Golden Theatre and got tickets to the Broadway play "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" staring Sigourney Weaver and David Hyde Pierce. After a quick dinner at John's Pizzeria, which was recommended to us by a NYC cop in Times Square, we enjoyed this hilarious comedy with these very talented actors.

Times Square and Broadway
The trip back to the marina required walking 15 blocks and then taking the PATH train back to New Jersey and a cab over to Liberty Landing. While we were very tired, seeing the Manhattan skyline at night from Great Laker was quite a nice way to wrap up this very special day.

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