Friday, September 20
Another early day, as we head to the Statue of Liberty this morning. We had studied the subway lines yesterday, and got our ticket so we were ready to ride. You can get around much faster on the subway than you can by taxi or bus during the busy times of the day. Actually, you can walk faster than a cab or bus during those times.
The lines were getting long already by the time we got there. We took the first trip at 9 am, so it didn’t get very crowded until we’d been there a couple of hours. We had tickets to the pedestal, but not for the crown, as you need to reserve them about three months ahead. We walked the 192 steps to the pedestal – ugh!!! – and were rewarded with some phenomenal views.
After spending about three hours there, we headed back to Manhattan to go to the 9/11 Memorial Tour. We first toured the Tribute Center, which contains artifacts recovered during cleanup, and photos of many of the victims. It was heartbreaking.
We then met Steve Kern, wife of second cousin Rosemary Barnes, and a survivor of both the 9/11 attack and the 1993 bombing. He works for the Port Authority which owns the buildings. Steve told his story and, by so doing, made the tour far more personal than it would be if touring on your own. Another docent, Manny Papir, also told his story. He was the deputy chief of staff for Rudy Giuliani at the time of the attack.
Next stop – O’Hara’s Restaurant and Pub – which was used as a triage center after the attack on 9/11. It’s located next door to the New York Fire Department Engine Company 10. The walls are adorned with fire patches from around the world. The service was good, and so was the food. The place was hopping, very noisy, full of people having a good time on a Friday evening.
Our feet were killing us by the end of this day, but we continued to enjoy our walk on this beautiful night. We debated shopping for a souviner (would it be better than a souvenir?) As we were heading to the subway, we came across Zuccotti Park, formerly called Liberty Plaza Park. It had been damaged during the 9/11 attacks and was reconstructed. It currently has seating areas as lights built into the ground, which makes for a spectacular sight at night. This was the home of Occupy Wall Street two years ago.