June 28, 2022, Day 1: 18,876 + steps. – I thought I was a pretty good walker . . . but walking in NYC takes on new meanings, especially if you are unsure of where you are going! (Did I mention I suffer from Topographical Disoriention . . . more about that later!) My first day here included a trip to the the main Metro office for my senior metro card. I also thought I would learn about the available mass transport in the city from them. Well, I did get my senior metro card but the ‘learning’ part was up to me! They provided a metro map and off I went.
June 29, 2022, Day 2: 13,215+ steps. – Today was my first meeting with the Park Service and orientation. I took the subway, I walked (mostly in the wrong direction) – and I met several of the park rangers. A good day and a full one. I start work tomorrow!
June 30, 2022 – Day 3: 13,215+ steps. – Today was my first day on Liberty Island to work. I got up early and left around 7:00 a.m. Rode the subway to South Ferry, picked up the Ferry to Liberty Island and was ready for work by 9:00 a.m. Left the Island at 5:20 and walked into my apartment at 7:15. I had a few challenges getting back.
July 1, 2022, Day 4: 9,670+ steps. – Today is Friday and I have my second full day at the Island. We move locations every hour. Stations are located at the Dock, greeting people and answering questions, the Museum Information Desk, The Theatre Line, The Torch Gallery (where the originally Liberty Torch is on display), The Pedestal tour screening line and the Elevator inside Liberty. I have not done these last two stations yet but hopefully will do so in another few weeks.
July 2, 2022, Day 5: 9,708+ steps. – Saturday and my last working day for the week. The day went quickly and work was busy. Visitors are arriving to celebrate 4th of July in New York. I managed my assignments well while making many new acquaintances. All the rangers have been helpful and encouraging. I felt like a member of the team from the very beginning. Coming home I got a little turned around getting to the subway and exiting the subway. I was so tired I plunged head first into bed and didn’t get up until Sunday morning. I have 2 days off (Sunday & Monday) and will get lots of rest and be ready for next week!
July 3-4, 2022: My days off! Having slept off and on most of Sunday I didn’t see much. I did Laundry in our provided laundry rooms which were really nice.
I thought a lot about my week and how very lucky I am to be able to do this adventure. Lots of family support and encouragement help me on these adventures and I am most appreciative of each one of them.
There are always challenges, of course, but mostly they were directional challenges these last few days. In theory, directions are clear and everything is marked well here in NYC. I have my phone with maps apps and I dial up where I am going every time. However, the reality is when you combine actual “feet on the street” with someone who does not have an intuitive sense of direction at all (Topograhical Disorientation), it can become a challenge. I’ve never been able to identify North, South, East or West in new locations. I’ve also never had an automatic sense of left and right. If I’m thinking left I often point right. Plus, I’ve always had a strong desire to travel in an opposing direction. These are just challenges, not failures. However, coming out of a subway in a different place each day can pose issues. Exiting the subway isn’t a one-way street. There are many exits, all leading in different directions. For someone such as I, they can pose a challenge that includes a lot of corrections and many extra steps.
The good news is that I now have a better sense of where I am directionally thanks to practice and some great tips from a local police officer who works as an EMT with the Park Service. She made my day with some simple instructions. In Manhattan, if you are on a numbered avenue and the numbers are going down you are heading East. If they are going up, you are going West. On Streets, if the numbers are going down, you are heading south, going up you are heading north! Great insight (and one that I can remember and use.)
My days off are Sunday and Monday. Theoretically, I’ll have Sunday to go to church and Sunday afternoon and Monday to explore. This Sunday though I hardly moved and Monday wasn’t much different. I did walk to Hell’s Kitchen and Times Square on Monday and put my name in the lottery for broadway shows. I’ll keep you posted on that front as the weeks go by.
I ended my July 4 sitting in my room watching the local Fireworks. I’m sure many of you watched them as well. The live event was not too too far from me but I opted out of going alone knowing it was night and I would not be back to my room until close to midnight. So I listened to the chatter of folks outside and watched online in the comfort of my room.
Till next time . . . stay well and be safe. Hugs from New York.