Living the High Line in NYC

by Mac Lacy 10. October 2011 23:49

A delightful urban environment awaits walkers on New York's High Line

One of New York's newest visitor experiences is the High Line, an urban trail that is being built on the former railroad tracks that carried freight trains through the city.  It is complete today from 30th Street to Gansevoort Street, almost 20 city blocks.  We walked up steps on 23rd Street and joined a throng of walkers going both ways.  The High Line is meticulously landscaped and has many places to stop and sit on benches or gaze at the city skyline.

We walked until it ended at Gansevoort Street, where a shopping district and several cafes welcome walkers.  The High Line is too crowded for runners, though we saw a few people giving it a go.  This is much more suited to walking.  Apartment buildings line the north side, and some are built over the pedway.  The south side overlooks the Hudson River and New Jersey. 

We had coffee on Gansevoort and then found our way very easily to Greenwich Village and Bleeker Street.  We spent a couple of hours checking out the shops and had lunch at John's Pizza - Bleeker Street.  We could not have had better weather in New York in October.  It was a magnificent day for a walk in America's premier city on its newest offering for walkers.

Two-way traffic works well on this pedway that is replacing old railroad tracks

Meticulous landscaping is one of the highlights of the High Line

Views across the river to New Jersey greet walkers looking southward

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New York

Visiting the 9/ll Memorial

by Mac Lacy 10. October 2011 23:30

Falling water offers a calming presence at this magnificent memorial

It's hard to write about the 9/11 Memorial without feeling like an interloper. This is such a sacred place to so many families that it's hard to feel like this belongs to all of us. But it does and it should. Before we left Kentucky, we got online to make arrangements for four passes during our trip to New York and it added so much substance to our trip. I would not have missed it and I heartily recommend it.

We were there on a cloudless day under a bright blue sky. Airliners leaving La Guardia made a constant pass above us. It was impossible not to connect the dots and think about how that day unfolded for this magnificent city ten years ago.

This memorial is as peaceful a place as you can hope to be. The water that cascades down the walls of both memorials accomplishes its purpose. It is restorative, uplifting and full of hope. It falls into pools that then fall into wells that seemingly have no end. They are eternal in nature. 

The Freedom Tower, One World Trade Center, is well underway and will stand 1776 feet tall at its completion.

An American flag graces a nearby building at the 9/11 Memorial

A single rose is a poignant addition to a victim's name in the memorial

Presently, visitors are alloted 30 minutes to tour the 9/11 Memorial

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New York

A tour of Wall Street right now includes checking out the protests

by Mac Lacy 10. October 2011 22:45

Protesters gathered at Zuccotti Park in New York for the Occupy Wall Street movement

Wall Street dominates the news these days for lots of reasons.  The market right now is searching for anything tangible it can hold onto that might spark a rally.  Economies in Europe are as fragile as anyone can remember and threaten to disrupt worldwide markets including our own. And the protesters that gather in nearby Zuccotti Park for Occupy Wall Street have sparked countless copycat efforts in other cities around the country.

Thus, it was a particularly opportune time to be in New York when my famiy went October 6-9, so my sons and I decided to take a walking tour of the Financial District with The Wall Street  We walked through a Wall Street that is now as much residential as it is investment banks.  Because of online trading, much if not most of the traditional trading on the floors of the exchanges has been replaced with paperless trades.  The beautiful old Greek Revival buiding at 55 Wall Street once used for the New York Stock Exchange is now Cipriani Wall Street, an entertainment venue for corporate outings and concerts.

When our guide told us the Federal Reserve housed more gold than Fort Knox, as Kentuckians we had to check his facts.  Alas, he was correct.

Personally, the gathering down around Zuccotti Park in the Financial District seemed rather inconsequential to me.  While there may be merit in some part of the messages being espoused here, it was hard to take the messengers too seriously in this environment.  Without getting too far into politics, I think it's safe to say that signs like "Weed, Not Greed" make it harder to consider the more substantive issues being espoused.  In the end, for my money, sleeping bags, hand-lettered placards, street vendors and photo ops for passersby are awfully easy to ignore.

Placards of all types are held up and passersby frequently stop to ask questions

A statue of George Washington stands in front of Federal Hall.   New York was the nation's capital in 1789.

A statue of George Washington stands

A cemetery stands at Trinity Church in the financial district with markers dating to the 18th century.  Alexander Hamilton was buried here after he lost a duel to Aaron Burr.

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New York

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