Friday, June 12, 2015

I Love NY!

We've been in six states on this leg of our journey...Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. It's been awesome to experience so many states and subcultures all at once. It's still hard to fathom that we started out in Newport Beach, California late last September and are now in New York City!
We've been thoroughly enjoying having the boat docked at the bottom of Manhattan in Battery Park City. It's like a vision divorced from reality. Brad made fun of me for not ever having experienced it before, but aside from not having a reason to come down here... It wasn't as fabulous as it is now! Everything has been rebuilt and is busy as ever. Alot of families are moving to this end of the island as it's more gentrified and isn't as crowded. 

The iconic I ❤️ NY logo was designed by Milton Glaser and first used in 1977 to boost tourism in the city during its darkest days. 
People were streaming out of the city at that time because it had become so dark and dangerous. Milton didn't make much money off the campaign ($2000 allegedly), but doesn't seem to mind. He's elated with the outcome. The logo is now emblazoned on every kind of souvenir you can imagine and embedded in the fabric of New York history. 

Speaking of history, Brad and Lance made it over to Ellis Island one day while Adriana and I took in our own city sights. The boys said Ellis Island was well done and impressive. 

A few days later, Brad and I enjoyed a day to ourselves and ventured out into the city. A block from the boat we see what is one of the many "micro parks" and green spaces thought the city. This one is as sweet & architectural as can be. 
The next block brings us to the ride sharing Citibikes...
Sponsored by you guessed it, Citibank. There are banks (pun intended!) of them throughout the city and you can rent them for blocks of time. We hopped on and rode up the river front to Chelsea Piers. What a fabulous way to see the city! And exercise to boot. The bike trails were so well done and protected from the brouhaha that is NYC traffic. We had so much damn fun biking!
Then we walked over to a new installation since I've been living there... The High Line. It used to be an old rail line that's been converted into a green space above the city. We walked it end to end. It was so pretty to experience & such a great space in the city. It gave you a completely different perspective. Lots of green installations and water features abounded. 
A local gardener who volunteered her time to beautify this space. 
Look closely...You can see the old tracks.
              A beautiful old church. 
So many trees it's hard to believe we are in New York City! 
Loved seeing all the various architecture. This building was one of our faves. 
See the Buddist monk in the saffron robe below...Can you spot his snappy Nike sneakers? Since when is that a Buddist trait?! I generally love seeing a monk. They are so at peace with themselves and the world around them. These monks however were out en force. Handing out cheapie bracelets to anyone they could. Then, they would ask for $40 in return and it was... A shakedown! Dun dun dun. Turns out, they aren't Buddisht monks. Just scam artists prying on tourists and trying to get their money. What shysters! They would don their saffron robes in the subway or park restrooms. Terrible. I read about this in the NY Times which mentioned that cops were on the move to get them out of the city. 
Alongside the river are beach volleyball courts...packed with players. Such conviviality. 
And if you don't want to play or need a time out, you can work on your tan courtside. 
           Or the shade. 
                Soccer perhaps?

Then we passed these construction workers on their lunch break. They were nice enough to pose for my pic!
  This black & white is my artistic choice.  
This was the building they were working on. Not an easy feat! Check out those curtain walls... 
Then we walked down to the Chelsea Market. Another anomaly in the I had never been to.  The seafood market inside has to be the most incredible one I've ever experienced! Everything was exquisitely well presented...and so international that there was seafood from any region you could think of. Food so fresh that the softshell crabs below were still gurgling and moving around. 

           Anyone for fresh cockles?
The sushi section was off the charts and you could get your food to go right there!
I would have bought this Branzino in a second if we weren't biking back to the boat & in the middle of our afternoon adventure. It looked scrumptious!
      The light curtain inside the market. 
                It felt like Christmas!
After a long and fun afternoon, we stopped at Le District... Another foodie find in Battery Park for some evening provisions. We had enough eating out and we're happy to sit on the boat with a glass of vino, watch the world go by and enjoy the night. 
The next day I had some errands to run and Brad loving his history, embarked on a 4 hour tour. Lol! 
It was a doozy of a long ride he said, but he absorbed every nugget of city history that day..And more!
Here's rush hour (what hour isn't a rush in NY?) and you can see how small a cab looks amongst all the trucks and buses. 
Oodles of buses!
The George Wahington Bridge. 
No "bridgegate" here. Ha!
Here's one of the first subway stations still standing and in use. 
The famous Flatiron building. 
Brad even toured Harlem. 
Here are a bank of row houses there. 
The last time (and only time) I was in Harlem was on business. One of my clients was shooting a rap video and wanted me there so I could get the "vibe" of the brand. I was the only Caucasian around. Lets just say I got the yo momma "vibe". 

Segueing to... The fact that I didn't 
see any potential candidates 
for POTUS in NYC. Ha!!

The next morning we departed New York  as we headed to Norwalk, CT for our next stop. 

I spotted the coast guard patrolling the Marina before we left. Happy to see they are on the lookout with machine gun at the ready!
This was definitely my favorite stop of our adventure so far... Aside from cruising through the Panama Canal with our fam. That was epic!
Dawn Patrol over NYC. 
Joining us on this run is my friend Mary. She has many nicknames... Sister Mary Katherine, Mary Something and Crazy Mary. She loves them all! Mary lives in the city and we've been friends for about 15 years. We met through friends in the Hamptons one summer and have been close ever since. 
And there she is...Lady Liberty! 130 years ago today the Statue of Liberty arrived on a steamship from France. She weighs 220 tons and was packed below deck on the steamer in 212 boxes...some of them 20 feet long. The eyes and nose filled one crate, the forehead another, the ear and part of the crown in another, until every foot of space was utilized. 
This calls for our signature pose!
Mary posing against the skyline 
of lower Manhattan. 
Our captain Bish and his son Luca. Luca was on summer vacation and joined us on this short run to Connecticut. 
He was a doll!
What our rearview mirror would look like if we had such a thing...
Coming upon the Brooklyn Bridge. 
The boys bustin' a move as we cruise under the Brooklyn Bridge. 
Amazing to be cruising past the 
United Nations building!
My "happy as a clam" capitano!
And then.. Rikers! Ruh ro. 
Then we saw an odd looking barge 
just outside the Bronx...

The Vernon C. Bain Center (VCBC) is an 800-bed jail barge used to hold inmates for the New York City Department of Corrections. It was built in New Orleans along the Mississippi River for $161 million (such a bargain!) in Avondale Shipyard, and brought to New York in 1992 to reduce overcrowding in the island's land-bound buildings for a lower price. Nicknamed "The Boat" by prison staff and inmates, it is designed to handle inmates from medium- to maximum-security in 16 dormitories and 100 cells.

Currently the only ship in use, the Vernon C. Bain Center is the third prison ship that the New York Department of Corrections has used. In its history, the prison has served traditional inmates, juvenile inmates and is currently used as a holding and temporary processing center. The added security of the prison being on water has prevented at least four attempted escapes. The ship is named in memorial for warden Vernon C. Bain who died in an automobile accident. In 2014, the prison ship was named the world's largest prison ship in operation by the Guinness World Records.

This entire NYC experience was beyond fantastic! We can't wait to return in August. 

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