Thursday we just about walked our legs down to stumps—rookie mistake, what with many days more to come. We began when we jumped on the subway for the first time and rode it down to South Ferry, where we climbed aboard the Statue of Liberty ferryboat and rode out to see the statue, where we spent a few hours looking over the stern lady, then trundled over to Ellis Island where plenty of my namesake apparently came through. Then back on the ferry, where the walking began. We hustled up to beautiful Trinity Church, where George Washington himself worshipped, and we listened to a young woman make the old organ sing a jazzy Dizzy Gillespe tune, something to check out if you’re in town on Thursday. By then we were hungrier than we should have been and began looking, past Wall Street and Federal Hall, for a place to light. After a great lunch outdoors in the shadow of Wall Street, we saw a street magician put a quarter into a beer bottle and sat and contemplated the World Trade Center site. We walked more, arriving in Chinatown, then Little Italy, and finally returned via the subway to the apartment in the evening, rested five minutes, and then rode underground to the Empire State Building, where we waited in line to get in and later to get out. In between, though, we enjoyed the night-lights from the 86th floor observatory. On the way home, we went by Herald Square where we may have to go again, then stopped for materials for signs so that, this morning, we might have a chance of getting on TV at the Today Show.
We learned that people come from everywhere to New York either to visit or live. We heard a lot of Russian and Chinese, some French, Farsi, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, German, Norwegian (or Swedish—who can say?), and some African languages. We learned that if you mess up with your Metro Pass, you’ll have to wait or walk to try again. We learned that many people are willing to wait to see the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. We learned that the subway rats are a little shy, but not too much so. We learned that Chinese shopkeepers in NYC WILL bargain. We learned that New Yorkers have a taste for “Walter dogs,” their rivalry with Boston notwithstanding. We learned that you should really be on a long-term good relationship with your shoes before you walk far in them. We learned that the city is a big one, that trying to cover it with just your legs is pretty ambitious.We also learned that our wireless connection at the apartment is very iffy.