Thursday, October 4, 2012

New York City

By Claire

We checked out of our Philadelphia hotel at 7:30 but it took 15 minutes to get Vicky programmed to take us to our hotel in Long Island City.  The hotel is very new and I guess she didn't have the address in her system.  We finally found it using the POI (point of interest) choice--which always confounds us for awhile.  We arrived at our new hotel just before 11.  I admit to being stressed out from the drive even though Chuck was doing the driving.  When you miss a turn in a big city, it is just a bear to get back to where you're going.  We made it in one piece, parked our car in their lot and walked the 1-1/2 blocks to the subway station. We bought a 7-day unlimited ride MetroCard and then proceeded to have a typically busy day and finally arrived back at the hotel about 7:15pm, completely spent. It was supposed to rain today but it turned out to be mostly foggy--and a very humid  73°. This report will be mostly photos.  Neither of us has the energy to do much more, and we're saving ourselves for a big day tomorrow.

Nice neighborhood, not where we're staying

Central Park

Walking around Jacqueline Kennedy Reservoir in Central Park

Stopping for lunch at "Heavenly Rest Stop" inside a church, I stood next to my first crazy lady in NYC:  She was muttering frantically to herself--or was it to the sandwich?

 Veggie Panini with one bite missing

Sitting outside across from Central Park

Apple Crumb Pie

We felt so good about the fact that our timing had been so great that in 20 minutes we could join a docent tour at the Guggenheim, half a block away.  But, when we got there, we found that it was closed on Thursdays.  To paraphrase the Terminator, We'll be back.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Solomon D. Guggenheim Museum

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station bathroom rules

 New York Public Library, a complete wonder

We were pleased to see several exhibits on food in the library.  There was a complete bank of automat food dispensers; and there was a looped showing of scenes from movies and TV shows that centered on uses and abuses of them.  For example, Marlo Thomas of That Girl trying to create a free soup from hot water, ketsup, salt and pepper.

 Ceiling in Library

Window looking out on 5th Avenue

Rockefeller Plaza

 Prometheus Unbound
Untitled art work on unknown building--lovely

Radio City Music Hall, of course

We took a tour of the United Nations, a highlight of the day for both of us (besides the library).  It was exciting to be in the Security Council.

General Assembly 

 Pendulum and interesting staircase inside U.N.

Sphere Within a Sphere, Arnoldo Pomodoro.  We saw another of his spheres at Trinity College in Dublin.

Gift of Luxembourg

By Chuck 
I took this tour back in 1964/5 when Mick Winter drove up from Maryland to see the New York World's Fair.  I recognized the rooms this time; but that was about all.  They have added many new programs in recent years as they try to stop terrible tragedies within nations--after Rwanda showed that only dealing with problems between nations missed too many problems.  

Also, there is a stronger attempt to deal with children's issues.  For example, they try to provide refugee children with "school kits" that contain materials for play and learning for 2 teachers and 80 kids.  They have also learned that they can significantly reduce the incidence of malaria in Africa by providing mosquito nets for less than $10.  One six year old girl began selling lemonade to support this effort; by the time she was 10, she had inspired others and the program had provided $200,000 worth of netting!  We can all do our part. 

The saddest facts centered on the consequences of the use of land mines.  Most of the victims are civilians, and most of these are children.  The U.S. has not yet signed the proposed ban on the manufacture and sale of these terrible instruments of death.
The U.N. was not created to take humanity to heaven but to save it from hell. ~ Dag Hammarskjold, U.N. Secretary General and Nobel Peace Prize winner