Thursday, July 27, 2017 Our Days in New York City
So excited!!! Back in New York, a city that I love. What should we do first?!?!? Head for a great restaurant in Greenwich? Long stroll in Central Park? How about first things first – check into the marina; clean the boat; and do laundry!!!
We docked at Newport Yacht Club and Marina in Jersey City, NJ – directly across the Hudson River from mid-town Manhattan. Unlike Thunderbolt, a repair/work marina, this marina is much smaller and filled with private recreational boats. It is in the heart of the city, just a short, two-block walk to catch the PATH train to either midtown Manhattan or the World Trade Center and a one block walk to a shopping center, restaurants and stores.
During our stay at the marina, Minnehaha attracted quite a bit of attention. As the first model of the HH55 catamaran line, Minnehaha stands out as something new and unique (and, as proud ‘parents’, we think beautiful). We had several people who would stroll by and snap photos of the boat. One young couple, living on a sailboat in the marina, stopped by to chat. They had been following the HH Catamarans and knew all about Minnehaha.
We spent three days in New York. After completing our ‘chores’, Rowland, who is from Newport, RI, elected to catch a train from Penn Station and go home for a few days. We hopped on the PATH train and headed to the city each day to explore.
The first day as we were walking around, in the midst of thousands of people, I couldn’t help but feel I’d somehow been ‘transported’ into this alien environment. It’s hard to explain. For five weeks, we had been in relatively quiet Savannah, followed by four days of isolation on the ocean. To suddenly find myself surrounded by all this humanity seemed so foreign. Don’t get me wrong. One of the things I love best about NYC is the hustle and bustle and the sheer diversity of the people on the streets.
As always, we had a wonderful time in New York. Always fascinating just to experience life in the city. The pictures below give a sampling of our time there but I must share one particularly memorable experience.
One evening we had dinner in Little Italy, at a restaurant named Sophia’s. Food was excellent as was the service. Towards the end of the meal we began chatting with our waiter. It is a conversation that I think exemplifies why so many people want to come to the U.S. The waiter appeared to be in his early 30’s and was originally from Albania. He told us about Albania and it was obvious he loved his country and encouraged us to visit. We inquired about his experiences while in the U.S. for the past three years. I asked if he ever planned to return to Albania. His response (I paraphrase): “I LOVE the U.S. It’s not just the opportunity I have, if it wasn’t for the U.S. and what they did for Albania (in the Bosnian War) my country would not be free. I told my father that if the U.S. would go to war with Russia or some other country, I would sign up and fight to protect the U.S. I owe my life to the U.S.” It was a powerful testament, delivered with so much emotion, to the ideals that I find so great about the U.S. which I think we often take for granted. Hearing this response from a person whose life was truly changed, because of my country, made me feel proud.
Other memorable moments: