The Big Apple!

By Charlie | April, 13, 2013
Taking You Behind the Scenes
..of what it is like to see 2013 New York City in group travel - by Charlie Adams, Edgerton's Group Travel host and author of 'How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!'

From the emotion of visiting the new Memorial to the 9 11 attacks, to the exhilarating feeling of watching Broadway productions, the recent New York City group trip I hosted was enlightening.

New York....New York!! I wanted to share pictures with you here that I took during the several days our Edgerton's group was there. Deni Worthen, who works in the Edgerton's Elkhart office, managed the trip. To make sure you can see these pictures, be sure to click up above...
 
On our first morning in the Big Apple, Edgerton's arranged for a harbor tour that went right by the Statue of Liberty. Because of Hurricane Sandy, there was significant damage there and the Statue is expected to reopen for Tours July 4th.
 


Dedicated in 1886. the statue was a gift to the United States from the people of France. It is of a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom.

New York Harbor, part of the Port of New York and New Jersey, is at the mouth of the Hudson River where it empties into New York Bay. It is one of the largest natural harbors in the world.

Our first morning also featured a touching visit to the National September 11 Memorial. It is a  national tribute of remembrance and honor to the men, women, and children killed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, which killed almost 3000 and February 26, 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed six.  
We were so moved by the waterfalls. Here is a picture I took of one of the two waterfalls.   
The waterfalls at the 9/11 memorial are the two largest man-made waterfalls in the country and while that is special it's the sound of white noise separation that signifies you are in a very special place.

Architect Michael Arad first imagined the twin reflecting pools with cascading waterfalls - he calls them voids - as two empty spaces in the Hudson River, west of the smoldering World Trade Center.  

 

You can see the names of all of those who perished are on the sides, including Katie McCloskey, the John Adams High (South Bend) and Indiana University grad (photo below), who had followed a friend and her dream to New York City, landing a job in the World Trade Center. She had been there just six weeks. A scholarship fund in Katie's  memory continues to send young people to college. Edgerton's group travel host Bill Moor, a retired South  Bend Tribune columnist, has written several columns about Katie and her family since 9 11.

Notre Dame women's basketball coach Muffet McGraw was supposed to be on Flight 175 out of Boston that day (the 2nd plane to crash into the Towers). She was recruiting in the northeast, but an asst. coach (Kevin McGuff) persuaded her to flight back to South Bend out of Providence with him that day. McGraw rarely, if ever, talks about it.

The memorial officially opened to the public on September 12, 2011, while the museum has yet to open. One World Trade Center is the main building of the new World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan. The 104-story supertall skyscraper is being constructed in the northwest corner of the 16-acre World Trade Center site, occupying the location where the original 8-story 6 World Trade Center once stood.  Future Edgerton's group trips will include the new museum.



During the harbor tour, I took this picture that shows how One World Trade Center soars above the others. By the time of its scheduled completion in late 2013, One World Trade Center will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the third-tallest building in the world by pinnacle height, with its spire reaching a symbolic 1,776 feet in commemoration of the year of American independence.

I took the picture below while our group was given a tour of St. Patrick's Cathedral, which is very close to where the Towers were located. The Cross below was forged from the destruction.

 
You can see by the pictures around it that St. Patrick's was a very emotional place during 9 11 and to this day. In many ways it was a triage for those injured and a place where exhausted rescue workers tried to rest after grueling 18 hour shifts.

Nearly 3,000 children under the age of 18 lost a parent on Sept 11. The average age was 9. A total of 108 were born in the months after their fathers died.

(September 11, 2001)
 

Of the 2,977 people killed in the September 11 attacks, 412 were emergency workers in New York City who responded to the World Trade Center. This included:


Edgerton's always makes sure group tours have professional walk-on guides who are steeped in knowledge and know how to show you everything. We were able to see all the sights, The Flatiron Building (or Fuller Building, as it was originally called) at 175 Fifth Avenue in the borough of Manhattan. It is considered to be a groundbreaking skyscraper. Upon completion in 1902, it was one of the tallest buildings in the city.

  
The Flatiron Building was given another nickname: "Burnham's Folly". Many people at the time thought Daniel Burnham's (of  Chicago) triangular design combined with the building's exceptional height would not withstand strong winds. Some were even speculating how far the building's debris would spread after falling over. But Burnham was an experienced architect who knew what he was doing and his skyscraper withstood the test of time.

Speaking of impressive buildings, Edgerton's arranged a night tour to the very top of the Empire State Building! I took this picture from where King Kong once stomped around (it still smells of big ape...)


Sadly, over the years - like the Golden Gate Bridge - the Empire State Building has been used by some for suicide jumps. We learned that on December 2, 1979, Elvita Adams jumped from the 86th floor, only to be blown back onto the 85th floor by a gust of wind and left with a broken hip.

 


As our group spent several days seeing the city, we were told by our driver that many of the carriages in Central Park were built in Shipshewana, Indiana.

Of course, a major attraction of this group trip is the Broadway shows! I took the picture below of the stage just before Annie the Musical began. Those sheets rise up and what follows is a production at a level you don't see anywhere else! For myself and many other travelers, we had never seen a Broadway play. Annie was outstanding!


The other production we saw was Pippin, and it was out of this world! It returned to Broadway this spring for the first time since its original five-year run ended on Broadway in 1977. The story was about how the son of the French King Charlemagne learns what is truly important in life. Our group absolutely loved it, and while Annie may get more attention, many in our group liked Pippin as much if not better.

One morning, Edgerton's arranged for the group to be whisked to the outdoor set of The Today Show! I took the picture of the crew doing a live interview outside, near the Rockefeller Center. Al Roker has a new book out entitled "Nothing  Tastes as Good as Skinny Feels!" He does look in tip top shape.


My daughter, Abby Adams, made a sign to try to get on television! Abby is an 11th grader at John Adams High in South Bend. We had two other high school students go with us - Ali and Micah - with their Mom's on this trip. It was during Spring Break week, so that made it work out super!

During our trip, the villain Dr. Doom captured our group and was about to take us to his evil empire where we would have to shovel coals in the furnace...but suddenly Spider Man, Bat Man and Cat Woman appeared out of nowhere to SAVE US!! Our group was so thankful.

I had the picture taken with our heroes afterwards. They each will be sent an Edgerton's umbrella as a show of gratitude, and Tom Edgerton says they get 10% off future group trips for saving us.


During one of our days, we had a walking tour of Central Park.
We started at a part that is a living memorial to the world-famous singer, songwriter and peace activist - John Lennon. During his career with the Beatles and in his solo work, Lennon's music gave hope and inspiration to people around the world. His campaign for peace lives on, symbolized at Strawberry Fields.


This tranquil section of Central Park was named after one of the Beatles' best-known songs, "Strawberry Fields Forever." Recorded in 1966, the song's title comes from an orphanage in Liverpool, England where Lennon used to go to play with the children. His aunt, who raised him, disapproved but he insisted it was, "nothing to get hung about." Hence, the song's famous lyric.

 

Strawberry Fields was officially dedicated on October 9, 1985 - the 45th anniversary of Lennon's birth. Yoko Ono worked with landscape architect Bruce Kelly and the Central Park Conservancy to create a meditative spot. The iconic black-and-white mosaic was created by Italian craftsmen and given as a gift by the city of Naples. Based on a Greco-Roman design, it bears the word of another of Lennon's songs: Imagine.

 

We were able to experience so much in New York, including an inspirational tour of Harlem where we saw the Apollo Theatre, and below is a picture I took of St. John the Divine in Harlem. Look how big it is!  

 


"Simply divine" is the word on this "immense" "architectural marvel" in Morningside Heights; one of the world's largest cathedrals, it was begun in 1892 and is still unfinished. 

 

What a trip this was....it also included the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is the length of over four Notre Dame football fields.  They allowed still pictures, so I took the picture below of the Pablo Picasso work of Gertrude Stein, done in 1905 when he was 25.

 

"For me, it is I, and it is the only reproduction of me which is always I, for me." Gertrude Stein (1874-1946) said that in 1938. For Stein, this painting was proof of her link to Picasso, whom she would come to regard as the greatest artist of her time. She saw the painting as a collaboration between two emerging giants: a twenty-four-year-old Spanish painter and a thirty-two-year-old American writer, two expatriates in Paris, each as yet unrecognized but both destined for greatness.  Can you see the focus in her in this picture?  

 

The museum is listed No. 2 of the most visited art museums in the world. The Met interior is more than 2,000,000 square feet of floor space.  

 

As always, Edgerton's had unique places to eat, everything organized, and wonderful trip management as Deni Northern did a great job getting us around.  Below is a picture of our group taken on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The only problem we had was whenever we walked around with a larged size soda drink. Mayor Bloomberg would run up, knock the drink out of our hands, and run off!

 

They will all get a 60 minute DVD documentary of the sights and sounds of the trip that I produce on the trips I host. Edgerton's has New York City group trips each year, including one that has the Macy's Parade. Call your local Edgerton's office for info on that one and tell them 'Charlie' sent you. They may have a special prize for you. 

 

I hope this newsletter has updated you on New York City today, especially 11 years after 9 11 and inspires you to visit there soon. 

 

Charlie Adams, Edgerton's Group Travel host and author of 'How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!'

Edgerton's Contact Information:

 

South Bend/Mishawaka office

1-574-256-2929    

 

Fort Wayne area

1-260-497-8747

 

Elkhart area 

1-574-294-3651

 

LaPorte area

1-219-362-8502     

2 Responses
1.  connie parsell
Sunday, June 23, 2013 at 12:27:14 AM EDT

When is the next scheduled trip to NYC? We would love to receive some info. It sounds like a wonderful trip.

2.  k aumsbaugh
Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 10:33:46 PM EDT

To Charlie Nice capsule of the NYC trip. Thank you for the DVD...enjoyed watching it, nicely shot & put together.

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