We decided to walk up through the districts of Manhattan. We weren’t sure we could manage to walk down, and then walk back up to our hotel, so we decided to brave the subway. Bearing in mind that we walked 21km by mistake in Central Park, I was slightly worried that we might spend all day going the wrong way on the subway, so I asked the concierge, who assured me it was easy—and promised to send a search party if she never saw us again.
Actually, it was very easy. There were ticket machines, and you can pay for a single journey (seems to be to anywhere within a certain time). You can also pay for multiple journeys, and pass the ticket back to another person at the barrier (we were told to do this by the woman in the ticket office, so it’s allowed). All we needed to know was which line, and where to get off, and the concierge had told us that.
We decided to get off at the WTC stop. It feels very odd to me that the World Trade Centre is no longer there – when we lived in New Jersey, we brought so many visitors to the twin towers, and you could see them from Route 17 (the main road nearest to our house). Now there is just a memorial to 9/11, and a museum. Actually, there were several memorials and museums, each showing something different. I have never been in them, and I found I didn’t want to this visit either. It’s too close, I know (vaguely) people who were killed, I would find it too upsetting.
We walked up the island twice. Once we took the China Town, Little Italy, Greenwich route; another day we walked up the West Side. I think I preferred walking up the west side, as we saw more ‘real’ New York: homes and schools and places of work. We stopped for lunch in a little Italian cafe, and while we were there it started to snow. The snow grew heavier, and we decided to stop again, for pie and coffee (really, I only come to New York to eat). By the time we left, the paths were slushy and slippery, and the snow was being cleared by men with snow-blowers, and the traffic was at a standstill. It was pretty though, and made me feel it was nearly Christmas.
We sat in the hotel lounge, watching the world struggle past, glad we weren’t caught up in the rush-hour chaos.
The other event of note was that, during one of our walks around Central Park, we did actually manage to see that Mandarin duck I told you about. It was on the south lake.
The poor thing was surrounded by photographers with long lenses (not that it seemed to take any notice). There was even a news crew there, interviewing people. They interviewed me: Are you excited to see the duck?
No, actually, I wasn’t, because we have a whole flock who visit our pond at home.
I don’t expect they used my interview for their super-excited news report.
It was pretty though, and I’m always surprised by how ‘painted’ they look. A lot of photographers were happy to see the one there anyhow.
The week ended all too quickly, and my sister had to return to Canada. It has been wonderful to spend time together, walking and chatting and eating (and drinking lots of coffee). I don’t like thinking about how rarely we’re on the same continent. I have a whole lot of selfies to remind me of the week, though I have to admit, I’m not very good at taking selfies, and it’s not always easy to spot the famous monument we’re in front of (because usually I miss completely).
My next stop is Florida. I have to travel on my own again, so that will be stressful. I’ll let you know how I get on.
Thanks for reading. Take care.
Love, Anne x
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