So I’m at the departure gate waiting to go back home. This was my fifth trip to NYC. Each time I come, I love the city more. The first time I came here we did all the major attractions. We took the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty, walked around Ellis island on the way back. Took the lift up the Empire State Building and did a sunset cruise down the Hudson River. Visited the Natural History museum. Then each time I come, Nishanth finds me new places to visit.
Yesterday, after the morning shopping and afternoon leisurely lunch, we went to Times Square again. This time to buy some Hershey’s chocolates to take home. From here we walked up to Columbus circle. On the way we passed the ‘Late night show’ studios. People were queueing up to watch the show. As we walked past we realised Murali was missing. So Nishanth went to investigate. Apparently Nishanth found him standing at the end of the queue. Not sure if this version is correct, but Nishanth is sticking to it. The weather had been dreadful and it had been raining all morning, but by the time we reached the park, the sun had come out and we spent some time walking around the park before we called it a day and went home.
By night time we could hear the winds howling and we woke up to the news that there were over 50 miles per hour winds overnight which caused havoc especially in Long Island. Back home there were more devastation caused by storm Katie and flights had to be diverted or cancelled. We were lucky that we were only travelling tonight.
It was Nidhin’s turn to take us out. Destination was the One WTC or the freedom tower built near the site where the twin towers fell. Our first visit was after 9/11, so we only saw the devastation and destruction that was left behind when we first came here. Last time I came here with Kavitha, the tower was completed but not open, so we walked around the memorial park that day.
We bought the tickets and waited for our allocated time slot. We were then ushered through what essentially is a corridor but designed in such a way that it looks like we are walking through an underground tunnel which is made of rocks that form the foundation of the tower. We then wait our turn for the lifts. As soon as the lift door closes, the count down begins. There is so many things to take in. You feel as if you are going up this time tunnel, and all around us the scene changes from prehistoric ( I think as it took me a few seconds to gather my thoughts and realise what was going on, so missed the beginning) times and as the time moves forward the landscape changes with the addition of buildings and you feel that you are going up in a lift with clear views all around you till you reach the top and current times. So in less than what seemed like a minute, we were at the 102nd floor. As the height reached 1000ft, I could feel my ears popping and the total height of building is over 1700ft including the spires and it is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Once outside we are taken to another room where there is another show and as it reaches its climax, the blinds/ curtains go up with this dramatic music in the background and we see this wonderful view opening up in front of us. It was all pretty dramatic and effective. We then walked around the observatory taking in all the sights and 360 degree views, with the Statue of Liberty and the whole of NYC and New Jersey in the distance.
Once we were out of the building, we got caught up in the wind. I felt like I was being blown all over the place. Next thing I know I almost bump into this guy. I say ‘sorry’ and blame the wind and move on as I could hear him chuckle away. I was wondering if it was Idris Elba, could I have used this excuse to fall into his arms.