Today we become experts on the New York Subway by discovering a new station, Hudson Yard, not yet on our map. This made for a quick way to get to Pier 78 ready for our river cruise. We came to the conclusion that we were experts when a number of New Yorkers sort advice from us as to where different trains were going despite having many other New Yorkers to choose from for information who were probably way better qualified.
It was a grey and foggy morning for our cruise along the Hudson River to the East River and New York Harbour. Rachel our tour guide today was awesome with plenty of facts and history along the way. The top of the City skyline, including the top of the Freedom Tower which stands at 1776 feet, was invisible due to the fog. The height of the tower matches the date of Independence.
The Statue of Liberty is impressive and enormous even from a distance. No chance to climb up to the crown which is a newly opened attraction as there is a two week wait for tickets. Think there may be way too many stairs for it to be fun.
Interesting facts learnt today included that the name Manhatten was derived by the Dutch from the American Indian name for the area “Manahatta” which means Island of Hills. One in 3 buildings in the early settled Manhatten was a bar so it was a wild area in its early days until General Peter Stuyvesant from was put in charge of New Netherland from 1647. He was a tough leader who made Sunday drinking illegal and Church compulsory. When the English contested ownership of the area he wanted to go to war but all the businessmen in the area, one of whom was Stuyvesant’s son, signed a letter to him letting him know that as they would pay taxes. Either to the Dutch or the English so he could go to war on his own. He was tough but realised not that tough, so he conceded to the English and they changed the name to New York in 1664.
Wall Street is where there was a 13 foot high wall that stretched across Manhatten, built by the Dutch to keep out the pirates, Native American Indians but mainly the English. It failed to do its job with the English taking possession of the land.
Another subway ride this time to 5th Avenue for a quick shop at Best Buy and then a walk to Central park for a quick look.