A Bus Tour of Manhattan Island - Monday, June 23
The bus picked us up bright and early, and we had a real friendly and talkative driver. He wasn’t the tour bus, he was just going around picking up people from hotels and the Newark Airport. He and I hit it off and we had a great conversation on the way. He told us about the sub base at Groton, Ct. and told us to be sure to stop and see the Nautilus there.
He finally dropped everyone off at a Day’s Inn in Jersey and we boarded another bus for the tour to Manhattan. We had a good chance to see the early morning commute traffic, and it makes San Francisco look easy. The bus took the Lincoln Tunnel into Manhattan, and it was there that we picked up the tour guide, who lives there. He turned out to have a dry and sarcastic sense of humor that just cracked me up, and it made the tour all the more fun.
Besides the driving tour the bus stopped and let us off at several places where we could walk around. The first was at Central Park where the guide took us a ways into the park and talked about it’s design and construction, and it’s history and reputation as a dangerous place. He said it is it’s own police precinct, and always has a lower crime rate than any other precinct in New York. The big rocks are Manhattan schist and are natural and not imported. In fact they had to blast it out to create the ponds, and they used the rock they blasted out to make the walls and bridges in the park. It is quite beautiful.
Back on the bus we passed the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is having a Turner exhibition I would love to see. We also passed the Metropolitan Museum of Natural History with it’s statue of Teddy Roosevelt out front, and the Dakota Apartments where Yoko Ono lives and where John Lennon was shot.
The next stop was Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, and from there a short walk over to Rockefeller Center. We’d been there on Friday, but it was interesting to hear the guide talk about it and we learned a lot. The bus made another stop at Grand Central Station, and a final one at the World Trade Center, then took us through Greenwich Village before heading back to Jersey through the Holland Tunnel.
The tour was a great way to learn a little more about the city, and it helped that we’d been there and walked around ourselves before taking it. New York is a fascinating place to take pictures, and the captions on the pictures above are self explanatory.