I’ve done three other posts on NYC previously (here, here and here) so thought there might not be a lot to report, except this time we made some discoveries which I thought might be worth posting about.
First up is the not so hidden side of the city: the trip to Hoboken by ferry is a lovely thing to do. These ferries helped people escape from downtown after the 9/11 attacks and the ferry attendant on one of our trips regaled us with stories of the evacuation. He also took our photo – you can see it was freezing and windy!
Although the ferry ride is lovely, the ferry and train terminus is exquisite. The outside is aged copper and “Lackawanna” is apparently derived from the Lackawanna Steel Company, although our ferry guide told us it was an American Indian tribe. Not sure whether to believe him or the internet!
The terminal is a quite remarkable example of the Beaux Arts architectural style and here is the Hoboken side of the terminus, showing the detail on the building.
The first thing that hits the visitor to the waiting hall is the Tiffany glass ceiling. I’m sure I haven’t done it justice here.
The ceiling had been boarded over and was only discovered recently when they renovated the space. The integrity of the building has been maintained beautifully with original light fittings, gorgeous stained glass signs and lovely mouldings (Australian English spelling here).
They kept the shoe shine stand, but I don’t think it’s in operation any more.
And the gorgeous seating with Tiffany glass shades over the top.
The trip to Hoboken is really worth while. It has a nice shopping strip with restaurants and coffee shops and also a most wonderful chocolate shop!!
Also to be discovered is all the street art. I could put hundreds of photos up here, but chose this one, which was taken in Brooklyn. There are street art walking tours to be taken if that’s your thing.
Ok, now for a couple of hidden things! First up is the City Hall Station which is now decommissioned, but which is stunningly beautiful. There are a couple of ways of seeing this, one of which is to take a tour and the other is to just stay on the subway 6 train as it turns round at the end of the track, which is illegal and therefore I’m not going to say which way I saw it!
There are several secret subway tunnels and descriptions can be found here https://ny.curbed.com/maps/nyc-subway-secret-tunnels
The next time I visit NY I am definitely going to try and visit a couple more of these.
We found the Elevated Acre which is in Water Street in the Financial District. We had to laugh because this is in the same street as the office where Archie works and he had never seen it before. The Financial District is known as FiDi and it must have taken me several days to stop calling it Fido! This is a garden which is a couple of stories above street level and overlooks the Hudson River. It was still beautiful in winter when everything is basically dead and I think it must look really something when all the plants are green and in flower.
Greenwich Village is home to one of the world’s narrowest houses. It is number 751/2 Bedford Street and the house is 9.5 feet wide. It has been home to many notable people including anthropologist Margaret Mead and actors Cary Grant and John Barrymore. I think it would be an inconvenient place to live as it is all spiral staircases and trapdoors.
This English Elm is reportedly the oldest tree in Manhattan, being an estimated 310 years old. It is known as the Hangman’s Elm, although it appears that there is no evidence that people were hanged from the tree. It stands in a corner of Washington Square Park which was also a Potter’s field and I read somewhere that they estimate that 20,000 people remain interred under the park. That’s a lot of people!
This tree is so tall that I had to use the panoramic setting on my camera, which is why the buildings are curved. They aren’t like this in real life!
On the day we arrived in New York, Mark noticed the Downton Abbey Exhibition advertised on the top of a taxi. We didn’t see it advertised anywhere else our whole trip, so it was a really lucky observation. I thought that Hélène might like to come with me and was delighted when she said yes. We had such fun! Here she is admiring the wedding dresses.
Another shot of some of these amazing dresses
Seeing dresses in closeup that I had admired whilst watching the show was a real thrill and the detail is just breathtaking. Some of these dresses are originals from the era.
Much of the exhibition was set up in a series of rooms and this is the bedroom. That kimono totally had me drooling!
There was a display of needlework implements. The pin cushion is tapestry and I loved the box of thimbles. The case at the front contains needles and all sorts of implements some of which I can identify.
I thought I’d finish with this outfit which I would be totally happy wearing today. Isn’t it gorgeous?
If you are a fan of the show and have an opportunity to see the exhibition I would thoroughly recommend it. The use of video to draw the visitors into the show was really imaginative, and there were some interactive activities – Hélène and I applied for a position and managed to get ourselves shortlisted for the position of lady’s maid!
We have now moved on from New York, but I don’t think it will be our last visit.