NYC Pre-Portugal

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Got in to LaGuardia at 8 a.m. and quickly made arrangements for my day. New York is one of those places where you can always find something to do. My main concern was my suitcase which was light, however, I had forgotten LaGuardia Airport has no luggage storage, however JFK does and here is the JFK info:

API Terminal 1 & 4 JFK International Airport 718-751-4001. Call for rates and I get no kick-backs.

Let’s get movin’ as the City awaits. Started with a cruise on the Hudson River at the World Financial Terminal, Battery Park City, Vessey Street.

This was pricey and if you are short on cash and only want to see the Statute of Liberty, take the Staten Island Ferry. The Ferry is free, (yes, there are free things to do in New York City, google it), and this offers great views.

New Jersey Skyline.. it’s come a long way

However, since I wanted to see more and thought I could get to Ellis Island,

Ellis Island

I took this venue. The guide was amazing but didn’t make it to Ellis Island. However, here are some interesting tidbits from the guide:

  • More than 100 million people came through Ellis Island
  • 40% of all Americans can trace immigration from Ellis Island
  • 10,000 people came through Ellis Island per day
  • Ellis Island was built on landfill from digging out the subway system.
  • Only 1% of the people were sent back and this was for criminal records, health, or psych problems
  • Ellis Island had the most advanced hospital of its day

On to the Statute of Liberty

  • French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi created this lady from 1875-1885
  • While she was a gift from France she came over in pieces
  • There was no pedestal and the U.S. had to pay for her assembly
  • It took 6 years to raise funds to pay for these items
  • The idea for fundraising to pay for assembly and pedestal came from Joseph Pulitzer. He accepted any donation and gave advertising in his newspaper in return
  • 80% of the donations were less than $1 and from immigrants.

One final fun fact: In NYC over 800 languages are spoken…

Next the Smithsonian Indian Museum

This is another of New York City’s best kept secrets. It is free and an enriching experience for all ages. I even saw Governor Cuomo and his 3 lovely daughters here as well as sailors from France, and all nationalities speaking one of those 800 foreign languages.

Rotunda of the Building – each ceiling mural portrays the story of immigrants coming by sea to America
Visit all floors of the museum. First floor Imagination Center, Second Indian Museum, Third 19th Amendment tribute and National Archives

The beauty of the building continues to the gift shop where the restoration gleems with brass gates, intricate flooring and ceilings. They also have reasonable prices on gifts, turquoise jewelry, and no sales tax as it is a federal operation.

The official name of the building is the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Customs House and rightfully named as Hamilton did much to establish the U.S. financially. It was built to be the residence of the President but never occupied. New York City was the first U.S. capitol and Washington took his oath of office on the balcony of the old New York City Hall.

A special exhibit in the Rotunda describes the American Indian role as servicemen and women. The Indian language was used in code transmission during World War I and II and never broken by the enemy.

First Furlough Quincy Tahoma

Past this exhibit are galleries of paintings done by Indians of varied tribes.

Grand Canyon by Tony Abeyta

Apache Night Dancer Allan Houser

Brooklyn Mario Martinez

There are also traditional Indian exhibits at the Museum. Take in those as well.

Make sure to stop on the first and third floor to enjoy more of the buildings architecture as well as exhibits described earlier. Volunteer staffers are eager to help all explore and discover their genealogy. They offer workshops and free access to web sites.

Their web site:

And The Imagination Center is not just for kids. Information on Inca bridge building, herbal remedies, musical instruments, and a myriad of other topics are available to explore.

One last lap around the financial district…

Locating the subway I began the journey to JFK. On route an email relayed a delayed plane so I stopped at the Resorts World Casino, (which is on the subway line on the way to Howard Beach). Spent an hour, enjoyed the Christmas decorations, got some grub, won $2., and continued on to JFK.

Whew! Ready to sleep for the overnight flight to Lisbon…

NYC: Day 2 Post Danube

Started the day at the Old St. Patrick’s Church in lower Manhattan. This church’s history starts with Irish immigrants, then Italian, and Chinese. Built over 200 years ago this church was the precursor to the massive St. Patrick’s of 5th Avenue.

The church cemetery was once the burial site of the venerated Pierre Toussant, a candidate for sainthood. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton’s former orphanage is adjacent to the church. Other highlights include Martin Scorsese as a former altar boy, the Godfather being filmed at the church, and Alec Baldwin’s wedding in 2012. But, the main reason for the tour was to view the church catacombs.

These are the only New York City catacombs open to the public. There are also catacombs in Greenwood Cemetery, however closed to the public.

While a bit eerie this was interesting to see. During this time the crypts were sealed as embalming was not done. And, if one can prove title to the church crypts they could potentially be entombed here. Any takers??

On to the show…

Walking back to the hotel Lincoln Center loomed large. While a Monday night in New York tends to be quiet Lincoln Center was alive with the Paul Taylor dancers performing. Securing a ticket I quickly took my seat.

Paul Taylor was one of the great progressive, modern dance choreographers of the 20th century. He founded his dance company in 1954 and created over 150 works. He left us in 2018, however his legacy and vision lives on.

The four dances conducted on this evening were an innovative and interesting frolic in the modern dance style. Pictures are not allowed but the memory of the evening lingers on.

And with that closure to my New York City adventure. See you tomorrow and keep dancing.

NYC Adventure: Post Danube

On the way back from the Danube stopped in NYC for 2 days. Yes, I can never get enough of the Big Apple. Here’s some of the highlights from this jaunt starting with The Radio City Christmas Show.

Got a ticket for $46.00 via Put that on your list when looking for events. It’s a great venue and I’ve used it numerous times. I get no kickback only readers who will reap the same good prices.

On to the Rockettes! They were amazing in their candy cane outfits, dressed as elves, and as wooden soldiers. While the theater was filled with children one would never know as they were mesmerized by the activities on stage and therefore quiet.

Santa was the emcee of the show and there were many special effects with 3D glasses, trips to the North Pole, and the like. An especially cute spot was the Nutcracker portrayed in stuffed animals. For us older folk there were a few treasured Christmas carols sung and an ice skating venue.

Lastly, the show stopping living manger scene, always glorious and reverent. What an amazing way to start the holiday season.

Radio City Lobby… Swarovski Tree

Next… Gulliver’s Gate

This is a great place to bring kids as they will be thoroughly amused. Here the world is displayed in miniature. Nations are depicted as well as airports and mostly everything that moves. Volcanoes puff, helicopters fly, people dance, trucks drive, bridges raise, and ships sail all in these displays. Also, the displays can be viewed as a night or day.

Seeing is believing..

ASIA Taj in India, Cambodia, and Singapore.

EUROPE Italy, England, Paris, and Germany

Other Countries Brazil, Russia, and England’s famous bridge being raised.

Here’s one of the workshop think tanks.. And you can even have a miniature of yourself created at the venue.

One more day to go..