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Day 29 - Seeing the Queen

I started the fifth day in New York a bit slower. After having a shower and then showering a cat which obviously likes water a lot and was literally begging for water, I had breakfast. I had to answer a few work related e-mails and got some good news regarding my new project which really made my day. A bit after 10 am I finally got on the subway. I took the A line until 59th Street and switched from there to the 1 train and transferred one more time at 42nd / Times Square to the line 7 in order to get to 5th Ave and 42nd Street. I went to see the Central Library, a really beautiful building worth a visit, even though some of the large reading rooms are currently closed. Then my Italian friend, who I had met in Miami first, got in touch with me and we agreed to meet at the MET. I got on the line 4 and went from 42nd to 86th Street. There I caught the line 86 bus. Boarding was kind of odd because I couldn’t swipe my 7 day MTA pass in the bus, instead I had to step out again and insert my ticket into the ticket machine which printed out a receipt confirming the validity of my 7 day MTA pass. After a couple of stops the bus approached the MET but didn’t stop there. Instead the bus drove on crossing the entire Central Park. I got off at the next stop on 86th Street at the Westside. Luckily I had the printed receipt because a ticket control took place right at that stop. I crossed the street in order to catch the opposite 86 bus to get back to the Eastside and the MET. I almost missed the bus because again I had to first print a receipt from the ticket machine. How annoying. Luckily the eastbound bus stopped at the MET and finally I was able to meet my friend. We first went for lunch together. We found a nice bakery on Lexington that had really great bagels. After lunch we went back to Central Park and took a walk along the shore of the large reservoir. We then passed the great lawn before discovering the shoreline of The Lake. Once we reached the Boathouse it was about time for my Italian friend to head back as she was flying out of Newark the same night back to Milan. On our way back we passed the Model Boat Lake before returning back to the MET where my friend had stored her baggage. We then walked together to the 86th Street station and got on the 6 train to 51st Street. There we transferred to the E train that took my friend right to Penn Station and me further down to the World Trade Center station. It was time to say goodbye to my friend. I am really glad we met in Miami and again in New York, we had some really great time together. I was heading to the 9/11 Museum that had free admissions every Tuesday from 5 to 7 pm. The line for tickets opened at 4 pm. I arrived sharp 4 pm at the museum and there was already a line all the way down to the 9/11 Memorial and even around it. Something told me that there was no point in getting on the cue but I did. I was standing in line for about 30 minutes. At half past four, the line had moved and I was really close to the ticket counter. Then somebody came to informed everybody that all tickets were gone. So long. Nevertheless, I don’t think I will go to the museum again because $24 is really overpriced in my opinion. Instead I went down to Bowling Green and thought I could still do the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island boat tour because I knew the last departure was at 5 pm. I arrived about ten to five and surprise all tickets were gone. Just not my day in terms of getting tickets. I spent some time by the shoreline taking pictures of the Statue of Liberty and the harbor when something caught my eye. I couldn’t believe it but there she was, the Queen Mary 2, one of the largest passenger ships in the world and the last remaining ocean liner that still does frequent transatlantic crossing like in the good old days of the Titanic, Queen Mary and United States. Unfortunately it wasn’t possible to take proper pictures of the Queen Mary 2 because she was mostly hidden by an island. I decided to get on the Staten Island ferry in order to get closer to the ocean liner. I just missed the 5.15 pm departure but I got on the 5.30 pm ferry. Before boarding I still got some snack in the terminal. Indeed sailing towards Staten Island on the ferry provided me with the perfect view of the Queen Mary 2. Also from Staten Island I could take some great pictures of the ship. I googled the departure time of the ship and found out that she was overdue. It was only a matter of time until she would start to move and sail out of the harbor passing by Staten Island closely. I decided to stay on Staten Island in order to see and photograph the departure. I was really lucky and yes I believe there was a reason why I didn’t get a ticket for either the 9/11 museum nor the Statue of Liberty tour because this was so much better. It didn’t take long and the Queen Mary 2 started to move. My timing couldn’t have been any better. I got some amazing shots of her departure with the skyline of New York and the Statue of Liberty in the background. Once she had passed by the Staten Island ferry terminal and I couldn’t see her anymore I rushed back to the terminal in order to still catch the 6.45 pm ferry that was bound to leave in 5 minutes. I still made it because the boat was running slightly late. I just got on board and was still able to capture the Queen Mary 2 passing under the Verrazona-Narrows Bridge which had played a significant role for the design of the actual ship in terms of height. Without being able to clear this bridge Cunard’s flag ship would not have been able anymore to call at the port of New York which historically had always been one of the most important destination of this very shipping company. Just departing from the Staten Island ferry terminal I got a perfect view on the Queen Mary 2 passing the bridge and leaving New York for Southampton, UK. As I said earlier the timing couldn’t have been any better. Getting back to Manhattan was rather unspectacular. I took a few shots of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan before disembarking from the ferry. I went straight to the South Ferry subway station and just caught the line 1 train. I transferred again on 59th Street to the A line and got back to 207th Street and my accommodation. 

Central Library of New York

Central Park

Central Park

Manhattan from Staten Island Ferry

Skyline of Manhattan with Queen Mary 2

Queen Mary 2

Queen Mary 2 leaving New York for Southhampton

Statue of Liberty

Manhattan during sunset

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