We had a free week's stay in New York City that we needed to use before we left the country for two years. We had never been in New York City before.
Kristi is my favorite immigrant. She didn't enter through Ellis Island but sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge. She has always wanted to see the Statue of Liberty. My great grandfather wrote about visiting it just a year after it was completed. It was a thrill to see, but we were disappointed that it was still closed due to damage from hurricane Sandy.
I was surprised to stumble onto Federal Hall, kitty corner to the stock exchange, where George Washington was inaugurated. I hadn't thought of it for years, but it had been on my list of sights I wanted to see. It surprised me that it made me so emotional at that moment of discovery as I contemplated the birth of our nation.
This is part of the ground zero reconstruction and memorial. Large crowds and very impressive.
We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. (We walked miles and miles in the city and took all the subways.) We discovered a great park at the end of a blue subway line called Fort Tryon. The Cloisters museum is also there.
I found we were drawn to things with an African flavor.
I felt obligated to see how a Newsie sang and danced.
I think this real Newsie has better moves, and my voice always sounded good at 3 AM (if not in the light of day). We also saw Chicago and The Fantasticks, a very old show that is timeless and very enjoyable.
Went to the David Letterman show. We were born the same year and went to the same school (Ball State). I won't need to see that show again, but it was interesting.
I was excited to see this Gauguin painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Kristi and I bought this print when we were first married. I always enjoyed the colors and the theme. We often got strange looks from dinner guests and I could tell some thought the rendition was a little sacrilegious of Mary and Christ in a Polynesian setting, and not quite scriptural as Christ is present at the annunciation. I was so excited to see this woman in a red sari looking at the painting that I almost didn't get the shot. Perhaps I can paint this like a Karen Jurick rendition in the future.
John Lennon mosaic at Strawberry Fields in Central Park. Being there made me feel younger instead of older. That was a nice surprise.
We looked for quite a while for the flag of Zambia in Rockefeller Center but finally realized it wasn't there. It wasn't at the United Nations either. The flags at the U.N. are in alphabetical order ending in Zimbabwe. I am starting to get a little loyal and defensive.
We made it to church on Sunday. The family ward was quite large and a few senior missionary couples were there too. There is a distribution center and public affairs office in the building with the temple on the top floor. I remember in 1971 what news it was that the church bought property in downtown New York City. It is just across the street from the Lincoln Center. I counted eleven prams or strollers along the wall by the Primary. That didn't count the two strollers for twins out in the main foyer.
I think the time spent waiting to report to the MTC is very beneficial, as we are slowly getting in a mental state to give one hundred percent of our time in the service of others.
I had a great week. New York was clean, friendly, and full of energy. I definitely could live there for a while.