Woohoo! We’re in New York City!
HG made a scarf for me and told me I should wear it while we were there. She said we were going to ride the ferry and see New York Harbor, and it’s really breezy on the boat. Plus people in Manhattan dress au courant. I have no idea what that means, but HG says she wants me to look good.
This isn’t the ferry we rode that day. For some reason, they were using a ferry that didn’t have the open deck on the top, so we had to stay inside the passenger cabin. Lucky for us, we got to stand next to one of the big open windows facing the sea.
This was the view as we left the Whitehall Terminal from Manhattan. It was a beautiful clear day with only a light breeze. HG said that was good, because if the winds were strong and the water choppy, we’d be in for a rough ride.
We saw a lot of different boats on the Harbor that day.
Oh, that funny green thing in the background is the Statue of Liberty. When she appeared, all of the passengers jumped to our side of the ferry to take her picture. I was amazed the boat didn’t tip over, but HG said the ferries were designed to be very stable.
We also saw a lot of helicopters buzzing overhead.
HG said that they charge tourists $150 a person for a fifteen-minute trip over the Harbor and the Statue of Liberty. But we got to ride the ferry for free! HG says she loves New York City because you can ride all over town without ever owning a car, and the cost of a Metro pass is a bargain compared to the cost of owning a car in California.
It took us just 30 minutes to get across the Harbor to the Staten Island terminal. Once we were there, we had to get off, then get in line and re-board the ferry for the trip back. That seemed kind of dumb to me, but HG said a lot of New Yorkers use the ferry as a way to get to work, so we had to give them a chance to board the ferry and get a seat.
The trip back was beautiful but uneventful. “Which is GOOD!” said HG. No shipwrecks or re-enactments of “Titanic” for her!
I waved to the Coast Guards at their station by the Whitehall Terminal.
After we got off the ferry, HG and her daughter went to see the National Museum of the American Indian, which is located in the old Customs House on Bowling Green. I was afraid HG was going to stuff me back in her bag while she looked at the art, but to our surprise there were these beautiful paintings of ships on the rotunda of the Customs House.
They were painted by an artist named Reginald Marsh. HG said he was part of the New York social realism school that flourished during the Depression. Marsh liked painting pictures of homeless men and women and burlesque performers as well as ships. He also did a number of covers for The New Yorker and Vanity Fair. The murals for the Customs House rotunda were commissioned by the Works Progress Administration in 1937.
The rotunda itself was also beautiful. HG said it had been designed in 1900 by Cass Gilbert, the Minnesota architect who influenced Frank Lloyd Wright.
Oh, we also looked at the Indian art. HG promised she wouldn’t take long, but as usual she was in there for over an hour. I actually liked a lot of the art there, though. No hoity-toity aristocrats, no crazy blobs of paint or naked ladies. The American Indians liked making things that were both useful and beautiful.
It was a fun day and I wished it could go on forever. But HG promised that next time, we’d go to the Museum of Natural History. Wheee!