|Subject: 1 Saturday in New York|
Hello again everyone, I hope you enjoy hearing about our
favourite day in New York City.
New York Ziner Fanny Farkas offered to spend a day with us, taking us wherever we wanted to go. As there was an Arts and Crafts event on in Battery Park we suggested going down there. On the way Fanny took us to see Ground Zero, we were not sure if we wanted to go but were very glad we did. It was obviously a very emotional experience for Fanny. She also wanted to show us one of her favourite spots in Lower Manhattan, 'The Irish Hunger Memorial'
'The Memorial represents an Irish croft of 1/4 of an acre. It was the addition of a clause to the Irish Poor Act stipulating that no person occupying land of more than one- quarter acre was eligible for any relief. which added so much hardship and suffering to an already desperate situation. The site features an abandoned stone cottage and walls, fallow potato fields and the flora of the north Connacht wetlands. Stones have been brought from each of Ireland's 32 counties, and are identifiable by the names chiselled into them. Although it is a monument to a particular famine it is a living site and will continue to focus attention on the challenge of hunger in the world today.
The following is taken from the Battery Park Website: http://www.batteryparkcity.org/ihm.htm
Nearly two miles of text have been installed in illuminated bands that wrap around the base of the Memorial. The text includes some 110 quotations, including autobiographies, letters, oral traditions, parliamentary reports, poems, recipes, songs and statistics. Backlit text panels are installed behind frosted glass sections that appear to the visitor as shadows. At night the light will function as a beacon to those on the river. The texts merge past and present accounts of famine and can be updated to respond to new hunger crises"
It is quite amazing to find a little Irish croft on the edge of the concrete jungle. The text is very moving but is a grim reminder of how little has changed for the world's poorer nations since 1845. On another visit I will allow enough time to read all the text.
From the memorial we went to the Winter Gardens where unknown to us a magnificent festival was underway. Titled "The Splendour of Florence: Artists and Artisans of the Medici," We arrived at the Gardens to find a Florentine Piazza with all sorts of information on Florence and some great complimentary biscotti. From there we toured the exhibit of images of the aftermath of the terrible floods of 1996. 'Mud Angels' came from around the world to help restore the city to it's former glory and David Lee documented it on film for Life magazine and posterity. Surrounding the upper gallery were specially constructed booths with artisans from Gucci, Locchi Crystal and other Florentine workshops plying their trades as others before them had done for hundreds of years. What a treat.
The Arts and Crafts festival at Battery Park which was what had attracted us to the area in the first place was dull by comparison!
Our next stop was the Federal Hall National Memorial on Wall Street another venue of the 'Splendour of Florence' festival. Here were hung 21 Medici portraits lent by the Uffizi Gallery no less. Unfortunately this whole extravaganza ended on October 10th.
After a very late lunch we went up town to catch the newly opened movie, 'Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry'. from Douglas Brinkley's book, "Tour Of Duty".
We had an excellent and inexpensive dinner at a little restaurant in Fanny's neighbourhood, the name of which escapes me at the moment. From there we walked to a piano bar where 3 ladies of a certain age who can't carry a tune between them sang our hearts out until the wee hours!
What a wonderful day.
Fanny is definitely the person to show you how to eat well on a budget in New York. A good place to start would be her own restaurant, the Market Cafe at 496 Ninth Ave. We had a wonderful lunch there. If you are taking the Circle Line boat tour this would be a great place to have lunch either before or after the tour.
New York - New York, so much to see and do. We quickly realized we couldn't do everything in 5 short days but should plan to return often. Barbara and I hope to make this an annual trip.
Regards and may all your trips be as successful for you as our was. Sue in Waterloo ON