Thursday, September 15, 2011

US Holiday - Day 6 - Brooklyn and the Financial District

Day 6

Another warm day here in New Jersey with clear skies. They weather forecasters did say there would be a slight chance of rain and so far it was looking real slight. The plan of attack was going to be Brooklyn and the lower part of Manhattan. Last night I did some reading as to the best way to get over to Brooklyn and which way to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. From the Manhattan side it is easy, just head to the City Hall and the entrance is just across the street. But from the Brooklyn side you have a choice of a number of subways to take. My preference was to walk over from Brooklyn to Manhattan as the sun is behind you the entire way making for some great pictures of the building skyline.

Catching the bus again from Pete and Maggie's was easy enough. Then caught the 2 train to Brooklyn getting off at Clark Street. To get up to street level you have to take a rather large elevator. I guess it is much the same as Convent Garden in the UK. It was funny as a nicely dressed business man got in and I saw him as the elevator got up to the street move his leg. All I heard was a squelching sound as his shoe and the elevator were one, connected either via a previous "pavement pizza" or a "number one" from the days before.

Once up at street level, I along with another couple, consulted the local map as to where to go. Ultimately I was after pedestrian access to the bridge but also getting underneath it to take some classic photos that you always see. I noticed on the map an area saying promenade so headed in that direction. The walk was short and passed through a very nice area of Brooklyn. Very leafy as well and the buildings are of the classic walk up stairs with basement underneath. If my memory serves me correctly I think they call them "brown stones". Okay enough of the history lesson.

The promenade didn't disappoint. Lots of benches for people to sit and enjoy the view and such a spectacular view it was. From left to right you have the Statue of Liberty then Lower Manhattan followed by the Brookyn and Manhattan Bridges. I walked away from the Brooklyn Bridge passing the odd 9/11 memorial. I am sure on the day it would have been full of people watching the impending doom take place. But on a more positive note they also have a great view of the new tower going up. Heading back towards the Brooklyn Bridge I headed down towards the water near where the East River Ferry arrives and departs from. Lots of foges around here probably on bus tours. I was still looking for my classic photo of the bridge so kept on walking until I came upon a park where I could take my shots.

From there I meandered in the direction of where I think the pedestrian access would start. Along the way other tourists, equally as blind, join you in the quest. Eventually we made it and we were on the bridge. Almost everyone walking across the bridge was a tourist. The odd bicyclist was a local but everyone had their cameras out enjoying the view and sun shine. The  access is split into two, with a pedestrian lane on the left and the bicycle lane on the right. It wasn't that packed which was good to get some opportune photos.

Got to the other side and by now it was just after 12pm. Sent Maggie an SMS to see where she was at as we were going to grab a bite of lunch. By about 1.15pm had caught up with Maggie and stopped into a dodgy deli. Grabbed a handburger and a Coke. Next we headed down to around where the WTC buildings were located. A lot of it was blocked off and you needed to have booked in to visit the WTC memorial. We skipped that and headed close to the "Freedom Tower" for some pictures. It looks like a very nice building and am a bit sad it was not completed when I got here. But they are making good progress which is fabulous to see.

From there we headed towards the water and then back up to Wall Street and took more photos. I will have to consult pictures and video that I took over 10 years ago and compare as I now think the roads around the NYSE are now pedestrianised.

By this point I was a bit beat, so we caught an express 2 back up from Wall Street to 42 Street and then walked through to the NY Port Authority and got on the 158 back out to New Jersey. I stopped off at Starbucks and had a Ice Mocha Frappacino with an extra shot of expresso. Certainly a fantastic drink to have when you want to cool down. On completion, headed back to Pete and Maggie's and checked the emails and did some washing.

Waited for Pete to arrive and then got ready to head out for some dinner. Downed a Jagermeister and a Vodka and orange before we left and when we got to the restaurant another couple of V&O's. The view was amazing along the Hudson River as we were aligned pretty much on 34th Street so the Empire State building was right in front of us. I had a tuna entree and salmon main which was very nice. I think by the end of the night we were all glad to see our beds.

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