Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Manhattan

(200609260628)
Hi All!
I'm now in a motel in Ardsley, north of New York city. It's 6:30 AM, and
I'm here with my father, who will join me for the next two weeks, up until
October 10th.
I have left you yesterday minutes from my reunion with my father and
brother (not the one that lives in Germany). After a few expensive phone
calls, they have located me in front of Castle Clinton, founded in 1811, and
not named after the American president. It turns out battery park, is not
named after the power source after all, but on the fact that they filled
land there in order to expand Manhattan island.
After the exciting reunion, we went on to tour Manhattan. We started with
the World Financial Center and the Ground Zero site (constructed in only one
day 5 years ago by Osama Bin Laden). Ground Zero is now a construction site
for a monument for that event 5 years ago.
Next we visited the various neighborhoods in lower Manhattan. The view is
amazing! Very tall buildings in every direction. You can't understand the
feeling unless you're there (although we do have photos).
We ate lunch in Chinatown. Only a few minutes walk from the financial
district, and you're in China. Chinese signs everywhere, Chinese people,
cheap Chinese merchandise, and Chinese restaurants. We ate lunch in one of
these. The waitress spoke English (we thing) but in such an accent that we
didn't understand a word. However, we didn't really use the menu, but
simply picked the dishes we wanted from a cart. After an interesting and
satisfying meal, we were ready to continue our walk.
We went from park to park (yes, there are parks in Manhattan), and stopped
at Washington Square (which is square, but not in Washington, but rather in
Greenwitch Village), the academic center of Manhattan. We saw a nice
juggling act (though I've seen 5 yr olds with better performance), and then
proceeded towards are last stop -- The Empire State Building.
The Empire State Building, the tallest building in New York since 11/9/01.
Since they have no competition, they can charge a lot of money to get to the
top. However, when you do arrive there, the view is amazing! Huge
skyscrapers look small.
Next, we took the subway back to South Ferry station and took the Staten
Island Ferry back to the rental car. Next adventure was driving in Manhattan
(well, I didn't drive, but I did navigate). After a few one way streets, we
reached the hostel, where my luggage was and were ready to go to the motel.
A few toll roads later, we arrived very tired at the motel and went directly
to sleep.
That's all for now. Today we'll be touring in nature, and tonight we'll
arrive in Cambridge. Tomorrow will be my first university meeting day at
Harvard.

Alon


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