Saturday, 25 August 2012

New York, USA, 17.-27.6.2012, Day 6.

On our sixth day, we had three things we wanted to do: the NBC Studio Tour we'd already booked on my birthday, the 9/11 Memorial, and the original CBGBs. So, after breakfast, we started our walk to Rockefeller Center, popping into a few shops and other places along the way. We got ourselves Yankees shirts, for example, yay!

The New York Public Library on 5th Avenue.


Outside the library...

...and outside Rockefeller Center.

Kenneth the page!

The pages' costume :D!

Getting ready for the tour.

Outside the store after buying a lot of stuff on 30 Rock :D.
Unfortunately, you weren't allowed to take pictures during the tour. In a nutshell, though, first you watched a video on NBC and its history, and then you were taken upstairs to see several different studios - those for Saturday Night Live and Dr. Oz, for example. It was fun and interesting, but the tour was way too short. I mean seriously, there weren't that many studios that they took us to so I was a bit disappointed with that. What we saw, though, was great stuff!

After I'd got myself a What the what? magnet, an I'm Lizzing tee and a 30 Rock mug, we were off to the WTC site. The weather was just fine when we went down to the subway but when we got up at the WTC site, it started raining like mad, there was thunder and lightning, and the weather was absolutely dreadful. I'm definitely not a fan of thunder storms so there was no way I wanted to be outside for that. So, instead, we went to a nearby Burger King to wait it out.

The WTC Memorial site is still not completely finished, and maybe that's why you don't have to pay anything to visit it, either. Or maybe they won't make you pay even after everything there, including the museum, is finished? Who knows. Anyway, the way it worked now was that you had to go to the Preview Site on Vesey Street to get free tickets for the Memorial. You could make a donation, though, and we all did as it definitely seemed like the right thing to do. There were lots of things to look at and read at the Preview Site already - it's like a mini museum dedicated to what happened on 9/11.

Then we went to St. Paul's Chapel, which survived the crash of the Twin Towers and served as a place of refuge for those dealing with the aftermath and the debris of the day. In addition to being an old church, St. Paul's Chapel is home to many 9/11 related exhibits and it's definitely worth visiting. To me, it was the one place to pay my respects to the victims of the attacks.

Outside the chapel.

This is how close the church is to the WTC site.

Notes for the victims.


A People's Memorial.

RIP.



Our visiting time for the Memorial was 4 pm, so after St. Paul's Chapel, we walked to the entrance and started queueing. The only things that were open for the public this summer were the two memorial pools that are located where the two towers used to be. The pools are engraved with names of the victims, and the water falls into a huge, black void in the middle of the pools.



The South Pool.





This is the Tree of Life, or the Survivor Tree, that was nearly destroyed in the 9/11 attacks but was brought back to life and re-planted in the Memorial site.

In my opinion the Memorial site is a good and peaceful one, and the pools are very impressive, reminding us of the magnitude of what took place in 2001.

We had one more thing to visit that day, namely the old and original CBGB's at 315 Bowery. For those of you unfamiliar with the place, it was the club to be in the era of new wave and NY punk in the 1970s, and for quite some time after that, too. Some of my very favourite artists have started their careers there - Blondie, Ramones, and Madonna, of course, to name but a few. A legendary place that now has been turned into a John Varvatos clothing shop. However, the old walls, posters, graffiti and stage are still there and it's definitely worth a visit for anyone wanting to indulge in that old atmosphere of the place. This was my second visit and I'll continue to go there whenever I'm in New York.











From the other side of the street :D.
And then we spent some time across the road from CBGB at Think Coffee, witnessed another crazy thunder storm, took the subway back to our part of town, shopped for souvenirs, got some food and went to our room to watch baseball on TV :D.


I finally got that donut from Dunkin' Donuts! Madonna has worked there, HEH, so I needed to experience it :D.

Baseball!

And look, it's the Empire State Building in Pride colours!

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