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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New York City visit

Saturday Joyce and I went shopping at several thrift stores in Rockford. I found a pair of jeans for 2.25 USD (18 kr), and some small things. We had lunch at a very Swedish style restaurant, Stockholm Inn. They had of course meatballs on the menu, however I did not try them. During the day we drove by several places offering Swedish pancakes, so the heritage is still evident in this town, even though it's a long time ago the Swedes dominated the area. Since it was raining quite a lot, we spent the afternoon at the natural history museum, where we saw the displays with First Peoples, dinosaurs, Illinois wildlife and different types of rocks. After a very nice chocolate cake at a riverfront restaurant, Joyce brought me back to Nancy's place in the evening.

Sunday it was time to leave. I got a lift to the airport in the morning. The flight to New York went well, JetBlue even serves snacks onboard (none of the others does). Arrived at JFK early afternoon. It took a long time to travel to Manhattan by subway. I found the Cosmopolitan Hotel right away. The subway station is literally outside the door from it. Checked in, but only dropped off my luggage, and then took the subway up to the Garment District. Went shopping at the world's largest store, Macy's. Also looked in other stores, of course.

Monday I got up early in the morning and walked down to Battery Park and took the ferry to Ellis Island. The ferry makes a stop also at the Statue of Liberty, but I stayed on the boat. I did take a few photos of the statue, though. The museum at Ellis Island is quite interesting. The displays depict every possible angle on the subject of immigration; statistics, quota laws, passenger manifests, countries of origin, reasons for leaving, reasons for immigrating, language difficulties, name changes, items brought on the trip, the ships, the receiving process, where the immigrants ended up and what they worked with and much else. The temporary exhibit was about Galveston, Texas as an immigrant port of entry. I have been to Ellis Island before, but it was worth a second visit. I returned to Manhattan on the ferry in the afternoon. I walked up Broadway about 15 blocks, but after Chinatown I took the subway even further up, to Times Square. This is where the majority of the tourists are. This is also where most of the big stores and souvenir shops are too. There is an incredible energy here, there are so many people and so many flashing billboards that it can be overwhelming. It was a national holiday (Labor Day) so there were not many shows. The ones offered I had already seen, so instead I had dinner at Hard Rock Cafe and then walked down to Macy's for a second shopping round there.

This morning (Tuesday) I took the subway out to Brooklyn. I remembered from another visit that there was a mall right above a station, Atlantic Center. It is raining quite a lot, so this was the best alternative. Did some purchases at the Avenue store. Had lunch at Applebee's. Took the subway up to 42nd Street on Manhattan and got soaked when I walked one block over to the Public Library. The hotel doesn't have any computers for the guests, so that's why I'm here. And also to do some research in the genealogy room. Found some small details.

Tomorrow it's time to go home, sadly enough. It has been a great trip, definitely.

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