We started our day today with a typical American breakfast - peanut butter and jelly bagels! We then went downtown to the financial district. After checking out Wall Street and the Stock Exchange we wandered over to the World Trade Centre Site. They are now building a new singular World Trade Centre, with numerous memorials etc in the second tower space. The whole area is under construction so there is no longer "Ground Zero" but you can tell from the plaques outside the fire station right next door that this was the site of the terrorism nearly nine years ago. It's also quite heavy in the air. There's a feeling of tragedy in the atmosphere but also resilience and refusal to give up, the construction workers were all having a joke and a laugh whilst working and it kind of put Dan's previous job into perspective, can you imagine having the responisibility of rebuilding one of the world's iconic buildings??
Anyway, we then walked down through Battery Park and admired the queue for the official Statue of Liberty tours (which were at least an hour long) and then crossed the park to the Staten Island Ferry. We crossed the Hudson and took some fab pics (Dan will add them later) and then we exited the ferry at the other end and walked round and joined the queue for the return trip, having been reliably informed by several sources that Staten Island was not really worth seeing.
Once back on mainland we grabbed some lunch and then walked along the shoreline to the Brooklyn Bridge and stumbled across the British Gardens which HRH only opened the day we arrived. Of course I say gardens but they are actually a few flowerbeds next to the pavement with some benches but it's a nice idea! We then discoverd the entrance for the bridge was half a mile inland - DOH!! 30 mins later we were on the walkway crossing the Hudson and admiring a great view of Uptown NYC. The ferry gives you great scenery of the financial district buildings but on Brooklyn Bridge you get to look across central Manhattan and spot the Empire State and Chryssler Buildings - highly reccommended (thanks Miss Clough).
We then wandered up to Greenwich Village to the highlight of my trip so far - Washington Square Park. In it was the most inviting water fountain WITH PEOPLE IN IT!! So naturally I was paddling before Dan realised where I was! It was a great people-waqtching location as well as a refreshing chance to cool down. People of all ages were getting their toes wet, with some people soaking wet from head to toe whilst fully clothed or in their underwear! It was a very entertaining half an hour!
Suddenly a gust of wind drove us and most other people out of the fountain! So whilst we wringed our clothes dry we stumbled across a group of brothers from the Bronx "performing" a show of stunts and acrobatics. They were very good too and hilarious as well, taking the mick out of anyone and everyone. Dan said it reminded him of Covent Garden but I've never seen anything like this in the UK. Anyway, they were great fun!
Of course by this point Dan needed a beer so we found a delightful bar whose bouncer was asking people for ids. Naturally when we walked up he just waved us in! Dan was able to enjoy beer for 2.50$ and so we stayed a while and tried to follow baseball which was being shown, we left none the wiser!
We decided to call it a day and caught the subway back to our hostel. however the tapas bar next door was too inviting so we ended our day with a jug of sangria and some delicious food!