London, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Dublin, Athens (the other one), Warsaw, Budapest, Prague, Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Cairo, Seoul, Tokyo...Baghdad. I've seen 'em all...and NONE of them compare to New York City.
The day began by intentionally sleeping a bit late to allow the rush hour commuters a chance to clear and then it was off to the Tarrytown train station from where I took the Hudson Line into the city.
The Hudson Line gets its name from running alongside the mighty Hudson River, which today took about an hour. Tarrytown is fairly suburban compared to Manhattan so there was initially a lot of pretty scenery as we passed rugged granite cliffs decorated with forests of lush, green spruce trees. The cliffs ended at the river which stretched wide and seemingly calm, as I saw more than one sailboat gliding along under a cloudy sky in a light breeze over the glassy water.
I was thankful not to be claustrophobic as we coasted slowly into Grand Central Terminal...the sides of our train car and the black, rock walls of the tunnel into the station were only inches apart on either side. No room for error, and no way to get out in case if trouble. It was as if we were in a big, long, dark vault.
Fortunately, we rolled into the lighted platform area and then it was up and outside to have a look at the Big Apple.
As I have travelled a lot, I'm used to traveling light and walking, and I got my fill today. Here are some pictures from my self-guided walkabout (and from my time on the hop on/hop off double decker bus after I'd had enough walking).
I came out of the station and walked right up to the façade of the famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel. US General of the Army Douglas MacArthur lived here upon his retirement from the Army up until his passing in 1963. They are renovating it now.
Down the street is the Helmsley Building from their hotel empire.
Hot dog vendors are seemingly on every corner and since I hadn't had breakfast, I opted to try a chili dog and a coke.
The breakfast of champions. But still not a Varsity hot dog.
Saks Fifth Avenue is impressive.
Saint Patrick's Cathedral is even more so.
The inside is quite beautiful.
Rockefeller Center is close by...
As is the NBC studio building.
Fox News is also in the neighborhood.
And the Radio City Music Hall, home of the famous Rockettes.
The NHL store is from where NHL Live is broadcast.
It was soon time to begin thinking about lunch and as I approached Times Square, I didn't have to think long.
The best Cuban Sandwich ever.
The inside of the Havana Restaurant.
Times Square. It defies the imagination.
The statue of Father Patrick Duffy, chaplain of the New York "Fighting 69th" Infantry Regiment in World War One and the most decorated clergyman in the history of the US Army. Always in the thick of the fight, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, The Distinguished Service Medal, The Legion of Merit, and the French Croix de Guerre. My kind of chaplain.
Macy's department store. The world's largest. If you've seen Miracle on 34th Street, you know that the real Santa works there.
The Empire State Building. King Kong climbed this building back in 1929 and swatted at some Army Air Corps biplanes with one paw while holding Fay Wray in the other. It made him a star.
The beautiful Chrysler Building.
The Reformed Protestant Dutch Church is close. It's the oldest Protestant Church in the city, founded in 1626. One of its more famous recent rectors was Doctor Norman Vincent Peale. Donald Trump and Ivana were married here.
The Flat Iron Building (under renovation).
The very ornate and gothic F. W. Woolworth Building. It was called the Cathedral of Commerce. Not a great shot, but I gave it my best try. My grandmother used to work for Woolworth.
Saint Paul's Chapel. The Little Chapel that Stood. It was used as a place of rest for workers after 9-11.
The New World Trade Center. It's 1776 feet tall. A lucky number for us all.
I didn't go to the memorial. It would just have made me mad.
Grand Central Terminal. It's...grand. I thought the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof was big, but I think GCT is bigger.
Back in Tarrytown for dinner and a quick shot of the site of the old Tappan Zee Bridge (Tappan is the Dutch word for the Indians who lived here and Zee is Dutch for sea). It's been replaced by the Governor Mario Cuomo Bridge, which just doesn't sound as cool to me.
Tomorrow it's off to Philly and hopefully a cheese steak...or two.
Thanks to everyone who is riding along with me. Thanks for the donations. Thanks for the likes and shares. Thanks for the prayers. Please feel free to keep sharing my stories. It helps. We are raising a lot of money and making people aware. All good stuff.