If someone mentions New York City, my mind instantly creates a collage of images. Some of the icons are notable landmarks such as the Statue of
Liberty, Ellis Island, Times Square, and the Empire State Building while others are institutions such as various museums or the theater district. While the sites and sounds of New York City are alluring, the tastes are even more overwhelming. Restaurants and food vendors cater to almost every option possible. I’ll write more about the food in a later post. For now, I’ll concentrate on a few places we saw during our short visit to New York City.
With limited time to explore, it was challenging to narrow down the “must see” list. This latest trip had designated time slots for shared family moments and Adam’s book launch festivities. A future trip will provide greater opportunities to meander about.
After moving from Chicago over a dozen years ago, “big” city life is jarring. The noise and the congestion are irritating. Despite this assault on my senses, I welcomed a trip to one of America’s glitzy cities. New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago have atmospheres that cannot be matched in smaller American cities.
Walking toward Times Square, we were dazzled by the wide array of colorful flashing lights and enormous crowds. One of the largest attractions was an M & M World store, a marketer’s dream. Who would have ever thought that so many common items could be created with a M & M logo? Better yet, who buys that stuff?
Later in the weekend, we learned that one of the revolving signs in Times Square was advertising Adam and Roman’s book, Man 2.0 Engineering the Alpha: A Real World Guide to an Unreal Life: Build More Muscle. Burn More Fat. Have More Sex . It would have been awesome to share a picture of the sign had we known what times it appeared. If anyone captures that image, please send it my way.
It has been close to two decades since my last trip to New York City. Ellis Island was not open then and once again was closed. We stopped at various places in Battery Park to admire the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island from a distance. Eventually, we came upon the Museum of Jewish Heritage. I had read about this museum, but didn’t think there was time to see it. Since we opted not to take the touristy boat ride that merely circled the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, we entered the museum.
In a previously published Trip Advisor posting, I stated “What a gem. The building is spacious, immaculate, and well organized. The exhibits showcase the multiple layers of Jewish culture and thought in the 20th and 21st centuries. Gaining an understanding of Jewish life around the world prior to the Holocaust provides a better understanding of what was lost as a result of the Holocaust. Artifacts, photos, and videos bring both the positive and negative aspects of Jewish history to life.”
I was deeply touched by the photos of French Jewish Holocaust victims collected by Serge Klarsfeld. The black and white photos formed collages on floor to ceiling panels. Looking at the assortment of thousands of portraits was a haunting experience. It only represented a small percentage of the total number of Shoah victims. Yet, I walked away wondering how the world remained silent when so many helpless Jewish children were being murdered.
Photos were not allowed inside so I am unable to share any of the engaging exhibits.
Our youngest son, Jordan and his girl friend, Kayla, requested that we visit the 9/11 Memorial. We walked along the Hudson River until we reached the North Cove. From there we headed inland in search of the memorial. Crowds gathered around the gift shop. At first, we mistakenly thought that the building was the entrance to the memorial. Helpful 9/11 Memorial employees directed us as well as others to the nearby entrance. We had not arranged for advance tickets, but only had to wait a short period of time.
Inside the memorial, we visited the two waterfalls. It made each of us recall our initial impressions of this ghastly terrorist attack. The towering buildings nearby cast an eery shadow. This memorial is a stark reminder that Americans should never forget that day.
The blooming Survivor Tree symbolizes the future and our ability as a country to move on after a terrorist attack.
I did not plan to spend the bulk of our time visiting sites that made us recall horrific events in history. While both places forced us to focus on the evil elements lurking in society, they also engendered hope for a better world. By remembering both of these historical periods, people will hopefully learn ways to combat the destructive elements of society.
Although we had planned to see other landmarks, time constraints prevailed. We only had time to stroll through Central Park with our family minus Josh and Rachael. When I gazed at the horse drawn carriages, I remembered taking Josh on his first ride back in 1981.
After leaving behind over a foot of snow in Colorado, it was glorious walking amongst the budding and flowering trees. New Yorkers are lucky to have a glorious park in the heart of their city. I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with most of my family. Josh and Rachael had just recently returned to India.
It was a little more than 30 years ago that I traveled on a business trip with Ira to New York. He had a week of depositions. I spent the week pushing our eldest son Josh in a stroller. For countless hours I walked through Central Park and also visited museums and shops. Josh would have loved seeing the Sesame Street characters that we viewed from a bridge. Instead, I have fond memories of taking him to the Central Park Zoo and FAO Schwarz, the mecca toy store on 5th Avenue.
On our last morning in New York City, Ira and I took a morning walk along 5th Avenue. Returning to FAO Schwarz, we were once again greeted by the enormous stuffed animals. I do not recall the rows and rows of candy displays that grabbed the attention of everyone who entered. This is a health conscious parent’s nightmare and a wonderful companion to the M & M World store.
While our short visit to New York City included only a handful of landmarks, it will be remembered for Adam’s book launch festivities and the pride we have in being Americans.