…Continued from Part I:
Washington Square Park – One of New York’s many parks, you may know this one by the famous Arch (modeled after Paris’ Arc de Triomphe) and a large fountain. The park is a meeting place for many events and even protests. Surrounding the park are NYU buildings and residents. Steve and I enjoyed an evening stroll here and watched many street performers. Steve loves jazz music, so we stopped to listen for a little while. There are also playgrounds and chess tables throughout the park encouraging play.
Stonewall National Monument – In the 1960s New York City’s prohibitions against homosexual activities were harsh – people were arrested for wearing fewer than 3 articles of clothing, and serving alcohol to homosexuals was illegal. On the night of June 28, 1969, police did a raid at Stonewall Inn and people fought back. In the early hours of June 28, when the raid first started, several people gathered outside to watch. As vans came to haul those arrested away, people got angry and started throwing objects and blocked the vans from moving. Crowds were throwing pennies, garbage cans, bricks, bottles and even an unrooted parking meter at the police barricade. As the confrontation grew, Tactical Patrol Force was sent to the scene to handle the mob. Stonewall paved the way for LGBT activists that still continue to fight for equality to this day.
We paid tribute to Stonewall Inn, and the monument there. The monument is used today for the LGBT community to gather in times of celebration, reflection and sadness – most recently to remember the victims of the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting in June 2016. There is currently no museum or visitor center, but the NPS is planning on adding more in the coming years.
Grand Central Station – I have seen Grand Central Station several times in movies and shows and have always had a desire to go there. Grand Central Station was built in 1903 and became a National Historic Landmark in 1976. When you walk in, you are taken in by the stunning ceiling with astronomy figures, the large walls, and the sheer number of people coming and going.
Times Square – Times Square has a long history of attracting people for various reasons. Once a place where horse carriages were once exchanged, now millions of people are drawn to their shopping, nightlife, street performers and theaters.
Steve and I made a brief visit to Times Square. In all honestly, it was a lot of people in a small area and just wasn’t our thing. We didn’t have tickets to see a show, so the only thing for us to do was to walk up and down the street, watch street performers and look at shops. We stayed less than 45 minutes. If you decide to come, bring your patience – lots of people aimlessly wandering around.
Brooklyn Bridge – Completed in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest bridges in America. The Brooklyn Bridge was the first steel-wire bridge to be constructed. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964. Today, over 4,000 people cross the bridge, daily.
We had the perfect weather on the day we decided to walk the bridge, we couldn’t have been luckier. Of course, with such great weather, other people decided they would join us. It was a packed bridge. Bikers are also allowed on the bridge and have their own lane, thus making the pedestrian lane a few feet wide. As you can imagine, strollers, slow walkers, gawkers, stoppers, can all make your walk feel like a death march. Going with the flow, we stopped when traffic stopped, took photos and passed when available. The walk both ways were very nice and the views are quite enjoyable.
Brooklyn Bridge Park – After making it to Brooklyn, we decided to spend a few hours in the warm sun here. They have views to boast and a beer garden. After a few hours we headed back to the bridge and walked back to Manhattan.
New York Supreme Court – This was a must stop list so I can be a total fan girl and gawk where SVU prosecutes their suspects. Yes… I know, real cases happen here too, but I can’t help but love me some Olivia Benson. The building itself is beautiful, especially when you walk around it saying “Dun Dun”.
Wall Street, New York Stock Exchange & The Charging Bull – The New York Stock Exchange is the world’s largest stock exchange. The 11 Wall Street Building was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1978.
I enjoyed walking around and witnessing the controlled chaos of Wall Street. Everyone around there walked with purpose. We walked to the Charging Bull shortly after, and attempted to take a picture with it. 100 other people had the same thought so we didn’t get as lucky. I was surprised there was just as many people wanting to take a photo with its butt & “parts”, as there was taking a picture with its horns.
Trinity Church – The Trinity Church you see today was built in 1846. The original Trinity Church was built in 1698 but burned in a fire in 1776. It was built again in 1790, but was torn down after severe damage in 1839.
From Wall Street, this is a 5-minute walk and worth going to. The church has a neo-gothic sphere, beautiful altar, and a huge cemetery. Alexander Hamilton is buried here, so of course we stopped to check out his grave site and pay our respects.
**To be continued…**