Exploring Manhattan

Tuesday 9 September – Wednesday 10 September
New York City, USA

Financial District, New York City
On Tuesday we decided to explore the financial district and visit the 9/11 memorial. The memorial pools that now occupy the footprints of Towers 1 and 2 of the World Trade Center are very moving. Surrounding each pool, inscribed into bronze panels, is a list of the people who died on 9/11. The organisation that runs the memorial places a rose on the individual’s name when it would have been their birthday, and seeing the number of flowers around the perimeter of the memorials on any given day really brings home the number of people lost.

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East Village, New York City
As a birthday present, Simon’s parents very kindly gave us some money to have a meal on them during our trip. We found a lovely tapas restaurant called Nai Tapas, in the East Village, with friendly staff and delicious food.

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Manhattan Island, New York City
On Wednesday, we enjoyed a relaxing and informative boat trip around the whole of Manhattan Island. It was great way to put the geography of the borough into context, including the wooded, hilly area at the northern tip of the island, which is apparently representative of the way the whole area looked before it was settled.

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Greenwich Village, New York City
On our honeymoon back in 2009, we came to New York and participated in a food-based walking tour in Greenwich Village. It was fascinating, and included a visit to the courtyard of a tiny restaurant, where we were given a sample of delicious fried courgette (US: zucchini).

Fast-forward to September 2011, and I was in the US for work. I had travelled over with important clients, one of whom had never been to NY before. I was playing tour guide, but it was getting late (to us, at least – we were on UK time!) and we wanted to find somewhere to eat. Although I knew a few places, none of them seemed appropriate for dinner with VIPs. However, just as I was beginning to panic, I noted that the street we were crossing was the one with the little restaurant, thus enabling me to sound very cool (in my head at least), as I said: “I know a little place…” and led my clients to the rather smart and exclusive-feeling Home restaurant!

Simon and I went back there on Wednesday evening and had another fantastic meal. Apparently, the owner (to whom we told the above story) is now married to the owner of the company that runs the food tours, so the story has a lovely ending, too!

Fact of the day
For six years from 1876, the arm and torch of the Statue of Liberty were displayed in Madison Square Park. They were used to raise funds for construction of the statue and base.


More info can be found at the Madison Square Park website.

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