Last Day

Knowing I had mere hours to see more of the city, I once again got up early, showered, then walked about three blocks to catch a bus to the ferry station so I could get some photos of the Statue of Liberty. I had another somewhat embarrassing moment when the bus driver informed me I needed a receipt as proof of purchase to ride that bus, as it was a special bus, regardless of the fact that I had an unlimited New York City transit card; he was nice enough to wait while I obliged. It also helped that there was someone else riding the bus, and he helped me to navigate the machine nearby so I could get the receipt I needed to board the bus. (My right knee was–and is–doing much better, and my feet held up as best they could, under the circumstances.)

I decided to take a ferry to Liberty Island so I could get a decent photo or two of the Statue of Liberty; I paid twenty bucks, then, along with the huge crowd there, went through self-described airport-like security; one of the officers pulled me aside so he could check my laptop for any dangerous materials, then let me go as soon as my laptop was cleared. It was worth it, though, because I got some decent photos of the Statue of Liberty and a portion of Liberty Island, as well as Ellis Island. I was only one of two people who did not get off the boat on either island, but instead returned to the mainland.

From Battery Park, I went straight to Times Square, where I got some photos, particularly of the Port Authority; to be honest, I don’t know what the big deal about Times Square is–other than the Port Authority, the theatres, and attractions such as Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum and Ripley’s Believe It or Not, as well as the New York Times office, it’s just a collection of stores and businesses, particularly those people here in the First World can find practically anywhere in the First World, and I can’t understand why that’s the first place people hit when they come to New York City, when there are far more interesting places to go. (It helped me, though, that the first place I saw upon exiting the subway station was a Walgreens–my camera insisted it needed new batteries).

When I had had my fill of Times Square, I traipsed down 42nd Street in search of Grand Central Station; when I found it, I took photos of its exterior and interior, and located and exited out the station’s Lexington Avenue exit, thinking I could catch a bus to 50th Street from there. Little did I know there was a car-free spring celebration on Lexington Avenue, ergo I had to walk to 50th Street, to see, and get photos of, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Rockefeller Center. I found St. Patrick’s Cathedral easily enough; it’s under construction, but I still managed to get some decent photos (I didn’t go inside this time). I wandered around looking for Rockefeller Center, then finally decided it was in my best interest to ask one of the cops at St. Patrick’s Cathedral for directions–which one of them very nicely gave (he even let me know I addressed him correctly, as ‘officer’). It still took me a while to find Rockefeller Center, though, and I needed to use one of the city directories. But find it I did–and got some great photos.

After that, I decided to head to Greenwich Village; I located the New School and Union Square easily enough; at Union Square, I asked a couple of police officers to direct me to the Flatiron Building–one of them told me it was north of where we were, necessitating another subway ride north.  Before that, a gentleman guessed I was from Puerto Rico–I think he said San Juan in particular, but I don’t remember now; when I corrected him and told him I’m from Vancouver, he told he and some other people know it as ‘the purple city,’ because its skyline appears purple at night.

From Union Square, I soldiered on towards Washington Square and New York University; after consulting one of my maps several times, I found Washington Square Park, and photographed the buildings across the street which were affiliated with NYU before heading to the subway station. Upon exiting the 23rd Street subway station, I lost my sense of direction until I gained my senses and headed in the right direction of the Flatiron Building–which, if I’d been thinking, I would have seen, and thus photographed, on Tuesday, as I had been in the park across the street from it–Madison Square Park–then. Another live-and-learn moment.

I decided to hop on a bus after locating the Flatiron Building; the one I took went to Franklin Delano Roosevelt Drive. I took some more photos of a couple of gems after getting off that bus–a portion of FDR Drive, Peter Cooper Village, and Stuyvesant Square Park (which I saw on the cab ride to my hotel from LaGuardia Airport, and decided I wanted a permanent record of–now I have it); afterward, I stopped by a burger joint for a veggie burger, fries, and cola, then boarded a bus to Cooper Square to get pictures of Cooper Union and the Village Voice office; by then, it started to rain, and steadily, so I’m hoping those pictures turned out OK. Then it was one more photo–of an intersection I’d seen in the movie The Devil Wears Prada, which only yesterday I realized was mere blocks from my hotel, and not in Soho, like I thought it was–then it was back to my hotel to shower, take care of some business, and prepare for tomorrow, and my trip home.

Though I’m looking forward to going home, I had a great time here In New York City, and I can’t believe I have to leave, and so soon; I don’t want to leave. And not because there’s so much more to discover. Shit, I only covered Manhattan. But I’m determined I will return to New York City–it’s just a question of when.

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