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This trip has been full of bucket list type of sites. We have all grown up with TV and movies shot in NYC so there are lots of familiar places. The Statue of Liberty being perhaps one of the more famous. The official name of the statue is Liberty Enlightening the World. She was a gift from France in 1886 to celebrate 100 years of American Independence, and stands as a universal symbol of freedom. The copper exterior is about the thickness of two pennies. The 7 spikes on her crown represent the seven continents and seven oceans.

The view from the NYC side via the Circle Cruises ferry.

Looking back onto Manhattan.

The iconic shot everyone has to get.

It was a wee bit hot today but the clear skies made for some great photos.

Us on our way over to Ellis Island

Ellis Island, known as the “island of hope and tears”, was used as an immigration station from 1892 to 1954. So many families’ histories began here. The stories told on the photos and information plaques are very similar to modern day situations. Just the countries people are fleeing are different. The museum showed how immigration built the US to what it is. Somewhat ironic given the current US immigration policies…

We took the ferry back across to Battery Park and walked up Broadway to find the Charging Bull statue.  There was no chance of getting a shot with nobody in it. In fact there was a line up to get a photo. We chose not to wait in the line at the other end to grab its brass balls.

On our way to lunch we passed the New York Stock Exchange building.

We all wanted to see Wall Street of course. Not as many suits and uptight people as we expected. Wall Street is named for the wall that was built across the island in 1653 to protect the Dutch colony (Niue Amsterdam) from the natives. The city has expanded a bit more since then.

At some point in the trip we wanted the NYC Pizzeria experience and Grotto Pizzeria didn’t disappoint. It is located in an alley no less. As always Kris’ planning paid off. They have a substantial gluten free menu. Eric had pasta and Dave got the pizza on the bottom of the below photo. Kris and Ryan shared a full pizza. So did the homeless guy who got our leftovers. HUGE slices and 8 of them. A bit more than Kris and Ryan could have eaten at two meals, never mind one. If we had known the ‘large’ was 16 inches, we might have just ordered a slice or two. They look drippy and kind of iffy, but were sooo yummy.

Eric already had his mouth full before we could take a photo.

From lunch we continued on to the 911 Memorial. Ryan was 5 weeks old in 2001 when the twin towers were struck so it’s always been part of his history.

The ‘new’ Freedom tower does stand out!

The foundations of the original twin towers have been made into two memorial waterfall pools. The whole site is somber but inviting at the same time. The name plates around the outsides of the pools are actually cooled in summer and heated in winter to encourage visitors to touch them.

Part of the new reconstruction is a mall with a whalebone type of architecture. We stopped at the Grom for ice cream. Eric loves his Grom as it’s 100% gluten free, including the cones.

Here is a shot from the outside:

On our way back to the apartment, we stopped at a few more of those iconic TV and movie locations.

First was the Ghostbusters firehouse – Who you gonna call?

Then it was another short subway ride into Greenwich Village to see the Friends apartment. Apparently people who live here have to deal with dummies coming to their door asking if Monica and Rachel are home. Other than a few city shots, none of the show was filmed in New York and the inside of the Friends’ apartments are, of course, on a sound stage in Los Angeles.

And the theatre where Joey does a play. Which is very much not on Broadway and a block from his apartment. Nice commute!

Our apartment is in Chelsea, known as a funky neighborhood so we wanted to eat here as well. The Westville Chelsea fit that bill quite nicely. Yet more good food and definitely a funky atmosphere.

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