Vagabonding Day 9: A Tour of Lower Manhattan

Wednesday, October 9
New York City

On the morning of October 9, Daniel and I awoke to a drizzly day in Brooklyn. We’d arrived in New York a few days previously to visit Daniel’s daughter. Katjia recently moved to New York to attend Pace University and we wanted to visit her before we began travelling internationally.

The apartment we rented was located in a brownstone building like this one.

Daniel at work on his blog in the Brooklyn apartment.

We were happily surprised to learn that all of Katjia’s classes were cancelled on Wednesday due to the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur. This is apparently a common practice for schools in New York (but not in Washington state). This meant that we got to spend the entire day together. Yay!

Katjia and me at a coffee shop. Photo by Daniel.

Katjia took us to Chinatown on our first day in the city for lunch. Yum!

Walking around Chinatown.

A fruit vender in Chinatown.

We were pretty worn our from travelling to do much during our first few days in New York. We walked around and shopped and ate some food. Ok we ate some really amazing food. But that was about it.

Daniel and I went to the famous Katz’s Deli on our second day in town.

Our lunch at Katz’s Deli. Yum!

Katz’s is a popular place to eat!

Pastrami on rye.

But we had bigger things planned for today. After a quick lunch at a pizza joint, Katjia gave us a tour of her college, Pace University. Katjia is studying Arts and Entertainment Management at Pace with a focus on Special Event Management. It was a fairly quiet day on campus since most classes were closed. It was great to see her college and get a sense of what university life is like for her.

Pizza in New York!

Photo op! Daniel and Katjia at Pace University.

Photo Op! Matthew at NYU. I actually took this photo a few days later.

Walking in the rain.

We next headed west a few blocks to see the 9/11 Memorial. Located on the site of the former World Trade Center complex, the Memorial features two enormous recessed reflecting pools. I was struck with a feeling of emptiness as I viewed the waterfalls flowing into the holes where the twin towers used to be located. Trees and grass line the plaza, giving a feeling of growth and rebirth. I suppose that is what the architect of the memorial intended with the design.

Recessed reflecting pool at the 9/11 Memorial.

The names of all the victims from 9/11 are inscribed along the Memorial.

We also saw the Oculus building which is located next to the 9/11 Memorial.

We concluded our tour of lower Manhattan with a visit to Trinity Church. The historic chapel is sandwiched in between modern skyscrapers on one side and Wall Street on the other. One minute we were ordering cappuccinos from a coffee stand and the next we were strolling through a graveyard with headstones that were over 200 years old. We meandered to the back of the graveyard and paid a visit to one of our nation’s founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton. Trinity Church has suddenly become a very popular place to visit these days, thanks to a certain wildly popular Broadway musical.

Trinity Church on Wall Street

Alexander Hamilton’s grave. His wife, Eliza, is buried in the foreground.

A close-up view of the inscription on Hamilton’s grave.

Speaking of Broadway – we finished the day by watching my very first Broadway show. Katjia wanted to see at least one play during our visit so we snapped up some tickets earlier in morning (tickets are typically discounted when purchased same-day).

And that is how we found ourselves at the August Wilson theater for a performance of the Broadway musical Mean Girls at the end of the evening. Matthew met up with us at the theater after his classes let out at New York University and the four of us watched the show together. I’m a big fan of the movie and the play did not disappoint.

Mean Girls! What an awesome show. Pictured from left to right: Matthew, Katjia, Daniel and me.

Katjia and Matthew, the coffee connoisseurs.

Daniel and I were exhausted when we arrived back at our AirBnB apartment at the end of the day. It requires a lot of walking to see New York properly and we had walked all over the place today. We had been worried about how Daniel would handle New York with his recently broken toes but he handled it like a champ. It was very encouraging.

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