Saturday, February 11

Filling in time between meetings

Garry and I have just completed a business trip to New York.  It’s been almost five years since I was last there and even longer for Garry.  We scheduled our visit to the Big Apple as part of a stopover while enroute to the annual toy fair in Nuremberg.  The supplier we caught up weren’t going to be in Germany so we thought we did well to kill two birds with one stone.

Garry was excited to finally see New York in winter.  He was praying for snow while we were there but the best we got was freezing rain.  He was rather miffed when the city subsequently experienced one its biggest snowstorms in more than a decade less shortly after our visit.

In between meetings we also managed to see a few of New York’s famous sights.  We spent Saturday afternoon visiting the Statue of Liberty.  I took my parents out to Liberty Island in 2012 but Garry had never been out there.  We picked a good day to go as the crowds weren’t too bad and the weather was relatively mild on the island.  

We then finished our afternoon with a stroll through the High Line park.  This is clever location.  The park is built over the derelict structure of an abandoned elevated railway.  It weaves its way for more than a dozen blocks along the west side of Manhattan.  It even passes through the middle of several high rise buildings.

We also booked pre-breakfast tour of the new 9/11 Memorial Museum.  This is a private tour conducted before the venue opens to the public.  For almost an hour seven of us, plus a guide, had the entire place to ourselves.  It was very special to experience this poignant place without the bustle of a crowd.

The museum is very well done.  It strikes the perfect balance between recording history and capturing story of individual lives impacted by this tragic event.  We found it very moving.  For me it added another dimension to the events I’d witnessed live on TV from a Hong Kong hotel room all those years ago. 

Perhaps the most extraordinary artefacts are the impact zone pillars.  These mark the location where the hijacked aircraft hit each of the twin towers.  It was astonishing to think that these pillars were ultimately identified from within the mound of debris that smothered the site to depth of 15 metres or more. However, one of the most spine chilling images in the museum is that of a lone woman waving for help from the gaping hole that surrounded these mangled pillars.  She did not survive.

Garry and I were also entertained by our suppliers.  Their generosity allowed us to enjoy dinner one evening at a fantastic restaurant and take in a Broadway show.  We saw Josh Groban perform in the Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 at the Imperial Theatre.  We had seats on the stage itself which meant we found ourselves immersed in the drama itself.  It was a wonderful experience.

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