Monday, January 17, 2011

City Guide Part 14

We exited the Brooklyn Tabernacle along with hundreds of worshipers. As we walked slowly with the crowd of people, I was impressed at the care that most people took to look their "Sunday best." After we departed the building Dad began a search for a nearby restaurant he had previously selected. The restaurant was nestled in a former working class neighborhood of Brooklyn. I had heard of the "gentrification" of certain areas in cities where large numbers of young people move in to previously run-down neighborhoods. I could tell that this neighborhood at one time was probably not the best place to be after dark. Now it is an upscale area enjoyed by young professionals. After lunch, we walked over to the New York Transit Museum. The museum itself is a decommissioned subway stop. The displays began with the building of the first roads in lower Manhattan and continued on to the future of transit in the greater NYC area. Some of the most interesting displays were of old style turnstiles and actual subway cars from the early part of the twentieth century. Advertisements featured in each car correlated with the era the car was used. On special occasions, these antique cars are used on actual train routes for a day. We stayed until museum closing time and then took a train into Manhattan. I now had a new appreciation of the people and machines that made our vacation more enjoyable.

We stepped off the train at Bowling Green Park in the lower tip of the island of Manhattan and walked down to the South Ferry Terminal of the Staten Island Ferry. Security scanners and bomb sniffing dogs were in full effect. Walking into the terminal gave the impression that I was walking into an airport. But unlike an airport, no ticket or payment is required. We walked onto the enormous boat, found an empty bench and enjoyed the leisurely cruise to Staten Island. From the deck of the ferry, I could see The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, The Goldman Sachs Tower in New Jersey, The Island of Manhattan into the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn.


In front of the ferry and down the coast stood the Verrazano-Narrows bridge and beyond that, the open Atlantic Ocean. We disembarked at St. George Ferry Terminal in Staten Island and walked back onto the same ferry which was now headed for Manhattan. Staten Island from my view on the ferry looked very different from its fellow burroughs. It has the feel of a small New England city with rows of colonial houses nestled in rocky hills.

The towers of Lower Manhattan soon loomed over us as the ferry nimbly pulled into it's spot at the South Ferry Terminal. Many of the passengers looked like janitorial personal ready to clean the office buildings above us. On the street outside the terminal, men with large plastic garbage bags full of imitation designer handbags greeted passengers as we passed into a now quiet Lower Manhattan.

Continued in Part 15

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