Wednesday, August 08, 2012

New York Public Library, World Trade Center Memorial and Centry 21 - July 20, 2012

Today is the first of two New York tours I have booked. It will turn out that both are wasted money, but one never knows. Rain is coming down and will continue throughout the day, sometimes in spurts, most of the time moderately hard.

Because the tour is scheduled for two in the afternoon, I have plenty of time to do something else. Although I was in the New York Public library two days ago, I was there primarily to use the restroom.

Vestibule of New York Public Libary
This time I took photos and slowly ambled through the various rooms, including the quite room. I don't remember in which movies the quiet room of the New York Public Library has played a role, but I know I've seen it in the movies. It's crowded and its quiet. No photos can be taken and I don't think I would have taken photos anyway. The art and majesty of this New York landmark cannot be overstated.

I love public libraries. How long they have been in existence is up for debate. The Egyptians had libraries. The Roman baths had libraries.

I finish exploring the New York public library and then it is time to take the bus to St. Paul's Church, which is where the World Trade Center tour will begin. I get on the bus and ask the bus driver to let me off at St. Paul's Church. He goes ballistic.

"How am I supposed to know where that is?  You're supposed to know."

"No, I'm not supposed to know, I don't live here."

"When I'm in another city, I look at a map. I know the intersections. You're supposed to know the intersection. How am I supposed to know?"

After receiving a tongue thrashing I sit down and look up the intersections, which I have but didn't know the importance of them. I give him the intersections. His manner makes a 180 degree turn around. He is now very congenial. I've learned my lesson, for the rest of my stay in New York I'll know which intersections I need. This will help my find stores I couldn't find on my first shopping excursion.

I don't tell him, but intersections do not mean anything in Italy. It is the Piazza that gives relevance to a journey.

World Trade Center Memorial
Where once there stood two buildings that proudly towered higher than the Empire State building, there are now two granite footprints, which are the width and length of the once tall buildings.  Etched on the granite slabs are the names of those who lost their lives in that place on that fateful day.

Inside each square water flows into a pool and down into what appears to be a never ending well of sorrow, remembrance and eternity.

Around the memorial, construction is taking place. America is busy building a bigger, safer and more prestigious monument to the power it holds.

Our guide, Annie, is a dramatic woman who tells stories of heroes who died September 11, 2001. She also gives us an elaborate rendition of where she was and what she experienced. By the end of the tour she is groveling for tip money and a positive write up on Trip Advisor.
When complete this building will be taller
than the World Trade Center buildings

"You're groveling, you know that don't know," I say, quietly and with a smile. She stops, thank goodness. I give her five dollars.

Where am I going next? Since I still have more shopping to do and the, apparently world famous, Century 21 apparel store is close by I decided to pay it a visit. There is a huge line for the change room and I know I'm only going into that line once. I spend time finding things I might like. I plan to purchase a blouse or two. In Canada and in Mexico my top size is medium. I generally choose medium size tops to try on.

When I, at long last, get the opportunity to go into a change room, I discover most of the tops I've chosen have been tried on often enough that they are soiled, and medium is too big. Let's be honest, the United States is a fattest nation on earth.

I manage to buy one blouse. I'll find a few two more blouses at T.J. Max on another day, when I wisely select extra small rather than medium sizes. They're clean, they fit, and I buy them.

No comments: