Day 2 of our American vacation began with breakfast at Dunkin’ Donuts, and then a trip to the supermarket, where things were a bit more expensive than Prague, but not quite as much as I’d feared. Then we went to visit my aunt in the old age home. Last time I saw her she was 93, and that was ten years ago. So, she’s in a wheelchair now and missing a leg, but still completely lucid and entertaining and we had a great conversation and she loved seeing the kids. We’ll see her a couple more times while we’re here, that’s one of the main objectives of the trip.
Then, we went into Manhattan, had a short walk in Riverside Park, then took the subway to South Ferry, saw Battery Park and Castle Clinton (had not realized that Battery Park is all built on landfill, it changes my historical and geographical perception of the island, so it was a very educational day), then we walked up Broadway a bit, saw Zuccottti Park, the Statue of the Bull and the Defiant Girl, who is really small, it’s like the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, kind of surprising when you see how small she really is and yet such an international sensation, there was a constant stream of people taking pictures and we were part of that stream. That is one of my biggest impressions of the day, just the massive crowds everywhere. Perhaps I am a bit spoiled by living in Prague, but I don’t think I could ever live here again. (When I lived here I was 21, and it was too much for me even then) Then we went into Federal Hall, the building where Washington gave his inaugural address, and that was cool – literally, because it was cool and it was so hot outside, so it provided a nice change. Then we went to the Westfield Mall, aka Oculus, which is an absolutely awesome piece of architecture, cavernous I guess you’d say, with a huge vaulted ceiling and a sky light.
By that time, though, the kids were getting stroppy, and hungry, so we just stopped quickly at the 9/11 memorial, and walked through City Hall park on our way up to Chinatown. Had a huge meal, we’re at home now and didn’t even bother with supper (well, lunch was at 5 o’clock) and after Chinatown we walked through Little Italy, up to Washington Square Park, then took the subway back to the car and we’re done.
Tomorrow we’re doing the Natural History Museum and Central Park.