09-05-2022 Monday in the City

Monday, September 5, 2022 (Away for 8 hours)Depart Liberty Park by motorcoach at 8:15 

Visit the Teardrop Monument in New Jersey, Meet the tour guide at Chelsea Market and begin the “noshing tour” of Chelsea and visit the High Line Trail, Board the coach for transfer to Rise NY, a recently opened entertainment venue.   Arrive home at 6PM

That sounded like a reasonable amount of time to be gone and a great time to return to our dog and our home and our own dinner. 

The biggest surprise of the day was our early visit to the Teardrop Memorial in New Jersey.  The memorial was a huge surprise.  Millions of people visit the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in Manhattan at the site of the attack, but far fewer people visit this beautiful spot in Bayonne, New Jersey.  Here is a link to the beginning of an idea for this memorial, donated by Russia to the US.  The Teardrop Memorial.  Not one person on the bus with us had ever heard of it.  

I have no idea why Mo and I look so very tall in this photo taken of us by a fellow traveler.

The Memorial was very beautiful and very moving.  It was a quiet place with beautiful views of the City across the Hudson River, and the Statue of Liberty.  We didn’t stay long, but in retrospect, this spot was a hidden treasure and a highlight of our visit to NYC, even though it was actually in New Jersey.

Back on the bus, we once again settled in for the rocky, rolling ride through tunnels and traffic to go to a different part of Manhattan.  The Chelsea Market was our destination.  Chelsea is also a “neighborhood” in Manhattan, and until we arrived at the Market we had no clue of what we were in for.

Our guide for this morning’s tour of the Market was a very conversational woman who led us through the maze of corridors to visit 8 different spots where we were treated to some very good food.  It was called a “noshing tour”, but also included lots of history of the Market, the vendors who are invited to be part of it, and the old Nabisco Factory that sat crumbling and idle for decades before big money (aka google) stepped in and rebuilt the Market into what it is today.  

Cindy was a good talker, and some of us loved that, and others not so much.  I loved it, and I thought she was great.  Funny thing, however, what I remember most from that morning is something I learned from Cindy.  Every few minutes she would reach up while talking and tousle her hair.  It kept it from getting all flat, and I decided to try it.  Now I have learned to tousle my hair every now and then.  I can’t believe how silly this is.

We had biscuits and jam from Sarabeth’s Bakery. 

An Italian version of quiche called a crostata from Buon Italia. 

A hot dog from Dickson’s Farmstand Meats. 

Gelato from Le Arte del Gelato from Sicily.

oops, it melted too fast to get a photo, but it was truly yummy.

The tour lasted almost three hours and with all Cindy’s talking, we missed a couple of the last places we were scheduled to visit.  There was a bit of silliness from some of us as we sat on the gorgeous granite stone bench trying to recreate the “See No Evil, Speak No Evil, Hear No Evil” maxim that one of us had never heard of.

As we prepared to return to the bus, we had a discussion about visiting the High Line Trail, which was accessible just outside the market via some steep metal stairs.  I really wanted to see the trail, but we had only 15 minutes of free time before we had to hoof it back a few blocks to the bus.  I knew I couldn’t make it up the stairs to the trail, much less walk enough of it to make it worthwhile in just 15 minutes.  One of the lesser fun parts of seeing the city on a fast-paced busy tour.

Outside tables at the Chelsea Market

Another thing I really wanted to see was what I later learned was called “Little Island”, a strange hilly park built on piers in the Hudson River near the High Line Trail.  The bus driver drove past it for me, but that was a joke.  Trying to get a photo out of a moving bus on the wrong side of the bus?  Ha!!  I will say that I eventually did get to see Little Island and get a decent photo but never did get to actually walk the thing.  Knowing I never will either, since I do NOT plan to ever ever ever return to New York City.

This was the day we were supposed to visit the NBC studios, get a backstage tour, and be part of the Good Morning America show on ABC.  Somehow at the last minute, this was all canceled because the studios were closed to the public.  Not sure why.  Our tour leader had to work hard to fill in the blanks, and he found something else to fill in the gap for us.

Rise NY is a fairly recent venue in New York City that has received excellent reviews and he managed to get tickets for the group at the last minute.  The show is similar to something called “Soaring”, which everyone except me and Mo seemed to have heard of.  

First, we walked through halls with various exhibits of the role that New York City has played in the arts.  There was a room full of old radios, then a room dedicated to Broadway, with movies and music, then another room dedicated to New York as the center of nighttime TV.  I sat at a fake Jay Leno desk with a fake Jay Leno (PJ from our group) and got silly.

A very fake elevator rises to the top of the Rock and we emerged into a curved room with seats and seat belts.  UhOh.  I was glad I took a seasick pill first, but if I had known the thing was only going to last about 8 minutes I certainly wouldn’t have bothered.

It was OK, the soaring part with wind and rain and noise and such was kinda fun, but as I said, didn’t last nearly long enough.  It was just enough to get a quick bird’s eye view of the city and in my opinion, the entire thing was highly overrated.

Sadly, I remember little else about this day.  The final photo I have in my files dated September 5 pretty much says it all.  I was done and the long trip back to New Jersey on the bus just felt like a bunch of garbage. In New York City, garbage is put out on the sidewalks to be picked up the next day by the garbage trucks.