This past week was my first FULL week of work at Liberty Island. Tuesday, July 5 through Saturday, July 9 found my routine much more settled and I was much more in sync with the city and my travels. Each day the schedule changes and your order of stations is never the same. This uniqueness keeps energy levels high and the days go by so fast!
By Friday this past week I was settled in to the routine and my travel to and from Liberty Island gets easier each day. There will be more stories in the weeks to come I’m sure. For now, I’m just pleased to be finding my groove.
Thought you might like some pictures of the Ferries. First we have the New Jersey Ferry arriving from Liberty State Park. Each Ferry can carry approximately 800 passengers each. The Ferries operate approximately every 30 minutes! That’s a lot of people being moved.
I did some fun things this past weekend on my days off. My friends, Skip & Ginny Thomas, who live in New Jersey came to have lunch and visit. Ginny’s father was a New Jersey police officer and she knows the area well. They rode here on the train and spent the afternoon. It was such a treat! We had lunch and then walked to areas I had not seen before. We visited the Moynihan Train Hall where the New York trains run. It’s a beautiful hall and houses Amtrak and the Long Island Rail Road. It has been a visionary project – a generation in the making – Moynihan Train Hall is the city’s newest grand civic icon. The $1.6 billion project transforms the 100+ year-old James A. Farley Post Office Building into a modern, world-class transit hub – an idea first proposed by the late United States Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan more than a quarter-century ago. So beautiful and so interesting. We didn’t quite make it to the Chelsea Market but I ended up going there today. Lots of arts and craft markets, clothing shops, and eateries. Had the best fish tacos ever for lunch. Thanks Skip & Ginny for making my weekend!
A few random pictures below to keep you abreast of family stuff!
Remember to keep me up to date with your life and happenings. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime. I’d love hearing from you. Take care and stay safe!
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.
Tuesday, June 28: Suitcases packed and headed to airport. My flight left San Antonio at 5:30 a.m. I hardly slept the night before I was so excited (and nervous too!). Just me and my carry-on . . .
I arrived in New York around 2pm local time after a few hour layover at Chicago Midway airport. This was the sign out my airplane window as we taxied upon arrival at LaGuardia.
Then it was off to baggage claim to pick up my suitcases and on to the taxi stand to head to my new home for the next few months. The picture below shows you the front of the taxi line.
What you can’t see (or hear) is the slight little woman yelling directions to all to move here and move there. She was quite the director.
I was so captivated by her yelling I didn’t realize she was pointing at me until she yelled louder for me to move.
Well, I moved then. . . following her out in the middle of the street and 6 taxis down where she pointed at a car and told me to get in.
As I was moving my luggage back over to the side of the curb she yelled again, and I thought it was at me. I looked over, tripped over my suitcase, and did a face plant on the passenger side of the taxi. Fortunately I landed on top of my suitcase so no damage done.
The taxi driver, a sweet older man, came around the side of the cab asking where I went and what was I doing. By that time, I was up and casually said “oh nothing, just taking it all in sir”. Only I can show my true style so quickly!
I did not get his name, but he’s been driving for 45 years, and is now pushing 70 years old. He has no plans to retire and says he works a full day (7am to 8pm) and then takes a day off so he can keep up with his wife’s “honey-do” list! I arrived safe and sound and was well entertained along the way.
My New Home
The Webster Apartments will be my home for the next three (3) months. It’s a beautiful old building and serves as a women only residence. Because the building has been sold (and everyone must be moved out by December 31, 2022), they are only taking females doing temporary internships, college classes, or special work assignments. However, prior to the sale, some of the residents have lived here for as long as 3-5 years. One lady I met has been here 4 years and she really does not want to leave. She works in Manhattan and says it is all the space she needs. She’s a native and advised me the true natives of New York do not need much space as they spend little time inside.
By the way, the phone on the wall does not work! Lol.
That’s it for arrival and my new home. Tomorrow I will be up and exploring. I’m going to the Metro office to get my senior Metro pass. Yeah me! And boy do I have more stories to tell.
Have a great evening and I’ll share more about my experiences in the next post. Here’s a teaser – Day #2 included walking over 19,000 steps!