Before my husband and I left for Ohio last month, I saw a Delta Airlines fare sale. A room was available in the hotel where we usually stay in Manhattan so I went ahead and booked two tickets for New York City. We just came back after having passed nine days there, 4 in New York City and 5 in Long Island, which we had not visited before. I’ll write posts later on several of the places we visited, including the park where the “Occupy Wall Street” protesters are located. This post covers several glimpses on this last trip. The hotel in New York is a “no-frill” budget hotel but it has beautiful views of the Hudson River. I had to take the pictures through the window glass and screen so they are not too sharp. The picture above was taken from our hotel room looking straight ahead. The picture below is looking to our right.
We have been to New York several times and seen the major sights, so now when we go we don’t follow a strict schedule. We do, what we call in France “flâner” – which is strolling while observing. As Charles Beaudelaire said a flâneur “is a person who walks the city in order to experience it." If we see something interesting, we stop. If we hear music or some unusual noise, we go and find out what or who made it. The first afternoon after our arrival we decided to just stroll in the neighborhood. A couple of blocks away are Theodore Roosevelt Park and the American Museum of Natural History. As we were approaching the park we heard clapping. So, we went closer. A security guard stopped us telling us that the Swedish and Norwegian Ambassadors were speaking. I told Security that I had been to Norway not long ago and would love to get closer, so he let us. Below is a picture of Wegger Chr. Strommen, the Norwegian Ambassador to the US speaking at the Nobel Monument.
The event was a Nobel Monument Inscription Ceremony co-hosted by Mr. Strommen, the Norwegian Ambassador to the US and Jonas Hafström, the Swedish Ambassador to the US. Two of the 2011 and two of the 2010 Laureates in Economics were in attendance as well as many other dignitaries. We stayed there and listened for a while. Then we came back on West 81st Street and looked at the interesting townhouses.
The next day we took the Long Island Railroad train to Oyster Bay Township in Long Island.
We had rented an automobile, a small Nissan, so we could travel to all the little towns along the North Shore of Long Island which is nicknamed “The Gold Coast” because of its affluent residents. Many mansions from the early 1900s still stand and some can be visited. Below is a side and back view of the Nassau County Museum of Art. Most of the 145 acres and mansion belonged to the Frick family (co-founder of US Steel Corporation.) Now the mansion is a museum of art and the land a preserve.
We walked though beautiful gardens (and I took many pictures – which will follow soon.) Below is a picture taken in the Old Westbury Gardens. It is a magnificent Charles II-style mansion surrounded by 200 acres of formal gardens, landscaped grounds, ponds and lakes. That day the sun was abundant which kept my cameras busy.
We visited another large garden located in a former Gold Coast Estate. The arboretum is 409 acres large (approx. 190 ares?) The estate still has the original historic buildings, including a 65-room Tudor Revival mansion called Coe Hall. Pictures were authorized inside the mansion and I took some. We were there just before closing time so I hurried to also take pictures in the colorful dahlia garden.
So much to see on the North Coast – the five days passed very quickly. I’d love to go back to explore this charming and historic area. Back in New York City we met two wonderful New York Bloggers. We met Frances of the blog “City Views, Country Dreams” and met for a second time Christina of the blog “Bowsprite” – both blogs are featured on the right side of my blog page. I’ll tell you more about these meetings in a future post. We went to South Street Seaport and sat a long time on Pier 17 looking at the ferries and ships going by.
It was not sunny that day but it was warm and it did not rain.
We saw more than tall buildings and ships. We saw people – many policemen
as well as dogs of all sizes and breeds.
We were fortunate to obtain two passes to visit the 9/11 Memorial. These are free (although they ask you for a donation.) You have to be at the Memorial at a time which is still available. Luckily I had reserved our passes a long time in advance. Our time was 3:00 PM on Tuesday October 4th. We arrived in the area a couple of hours early so we could stroll there and suddenly found ourselves in Zucotti Park. The park (formerly called Liberty Park) being across the former World Trade Center was heavily damaged in the September 11 attacks. It was rebuilt and is home to a couple of sculptures - a 70-foot tall sculpture of bright red beams called Joie de Vivre by Mark di Suvero and Double Check, a bronze businessman sitting on a bench by John Seward Johnson II. Pictures of empty park courtesy Wikipedia.
There were several hundred people in the park – regular people, housewives with children, seniors, businessmen, etc. The media only shows the most radical young students there, who were in the minority. I’ll write about this later as we did talk to several people at the park.
We had some sunny days, some grey days and a bit of rain, but we had a great time. New York is such a terrific city that there is always so much to see and do. I tried to take the picture below from my window on the airplane, but I did not get the K of New York….ah well …c’est la vie.