Last night I put together a rough plan for the day, I figured it would be the best chance to see everything that I wanted to. It turned out to be a very good idea, especially being able to get around the public transport. Which to be honest New York would be a nightmare to get around walking and see everything I wanted to today. But with a plan at least I know what my next destination is and no wasting time trying to choose.
Saint John the Devine
Over the past couple of weeks in Europe, I have visited many churches. However, it was not until the tour guide mentioned a church on my tour the other day that I thought about the churches of New York.
I decided to start the day by visiting one of the world’s largest Anglican cathedral and church. There is some dispute between the Cathedral of Saint John the Devine and Liverpool Cathedral which is larger. Construction started on The Cathedral of Saint John the Devine in 1892 with the laying of the cornerstone.
From the outside, the Cathedral is a rather dominating structure and is the largest church I have seen. The inside is a rather beautiful building, with large stained glass windows. One of the stained glass windows contains over 10,000 pieces of glass.
You will note when I opened this post I mentioned a plan. Unfortunately, it was not the best plan. My next stop this morning was Wall Street, almost the opposite end of Manhatten. The Cathedral of Saint John the Devine is located near 111th Street, while Wall Street is almost at the southern end of Manhatten. Some 12 km (7.5 miles) if I was to walk, or around 35 minutes by subway.
Wall Street itself is not quite as impressive as you might think. The street itself is fairly short and covers just a few blocks. However, it is potentially home to the most financially powerful market in the world. Of course, the most important building for many on the street is the New York Stock Exchange.
While on Wall Street I just happened to find the second church to visit today, Trinity Church Wall Street. The building is much smaller than the first church, but due to the location is much harder to photograph. Inside there are some stunning stained glass windows. I just happened to arrive at the right time to enjoy a choir recital that was in progress and open to the public.
The last thing that I wanted to find while on Wall Street was The Bull of Wall Street. It took a little hunting because it is not actually on Wall Street, but is not too far away. It did take a little waiting to capture a photo between people. The fences are in places to allow for people to line up to take their picture with the bull to make it a little more orderly.
East River & Brooklyn Bridge
At the bottom of Wall Street, I discovered you could catch the ferry from Manhatten across to Brooklyn. I had on my plan for the day to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. So to save some time I decided to take the ferry across the Brooklyn and walk back across the Manhatten. The walk does seem very popular with a lot of other people walking across the Brooklyn Bridge.
From the bridge, you also get quite a good view of the Manhatten Skyline. Both the southern end of Manhatten and towards the uptown end of Manhatten Island.
New York Churches
After arriving back in Manhatten, my list of specific stops for the day was complete and I caught the subway back to midtown. Where I came across my third church for the day, St Patrick’s Cathedral. So far it seems that the churches of New York at all somewhat unique buildings with three very different styles. However, the thing they have in common is the beautiful stained glass windows.
Not too far from St Patrick’s was my fourth and last church for the day. St Thomas Church again looked rather different from the outside. Inside there was not quite as bright and open as the other churches. In fact inside it was very dimly lit, and a lack of windows limited outside light as well.
New York’s Highline
I had tentatively added another stop for the day, depending on time and distance to get there. Located on 14th street, it is a relatively new park area that makes use of an old elevated railway line. Called the Highline the area creates a beautiful park and walking area with some fun and interesting features.
Empire State Building
The very final stop for the day turned out to be one that I had planned not to do. However, being that I was in New York City and that I did have a little spare time I found it hard to say no. I decided that I would go and take a look at the Empire State Building Observation Deck. My timing was rather good in the end, just in time to catch the sunset and see the city transition to night again. I am happy that I did visit, but in hindsight, I would not go again for a couple of reasons.
My biggest problem with the observation deck here is far too many people in too small an area. You are swimming through the crowds of people to get around. It was made worse with half the outdoor area closed due to high winds.
If you take the first line as an indication of how busy things are going to be you get a false sense of security. As it turns out there are four lines to get up and at least two more you cannot avoid getting back to ground level. Going up you need to line up for your ticket, security and two separate elevator lines. While on the way back down there are two elevator lines and then a line to enter the gift shop.
At the top, as you can see the view is not bad, if not a little bit cold from thw wind. At this specific time the Empire State Building is currently the tallest building in New York. However, once the new One World Trade Center building is complete it will be taller.
New York It’s Been Great
So after three full on days, two exploring New York and a tour to Washington D.C. my time in New York comes to an end. The last three days have been outstanding but I am not sure how I would have approached more time in New york honestly. There is a wealther of things to see and do, but it is just how to put it together into a day.
Tomorrow I continue my journey and board a plane to fly south to Fort Lauderdale. In just a few days I will be boarding the cruise ship for my Transatlantic and Mediterraean cruise, which is quite exciting.