Wednesday, 19 September 2012

No 32 NYC Revisited

Hi from Clare,                 Tuesday, 18th September 2012

Our first few days in Port Washington were dedicated to maintenance on Eye Candy. We now have new sails and boom bag. We have replaced the safety lines along the deck, the clears in the dodger and toilet seats in both heads. We have repaired stitching on the bimini, replaced rusting hose clamps and dry cleaned the Turkish rug. We have cleaned and sorted all the lockers and restocked the boat in readiness for our trip back down the east coast.

Firstly we met up with cruising friends Ron and Barbara who we met in Maine. They live near Port Washington and they spent last Thursday showing us the highlights of Long Island with its lovely sea side towns, wooded countryside and magnificent houses. We stopped off at their lovely white timber yacht club situated on rolling greens lawns in a picturesque bay to see where their boat 'Our Whim' is moored. Ron then showed us a F14 Tomcat which he had worked on as a design engineer. We had lunch at their favorite restaurant, Claudio's, which has been owned by the same family since 1870, and then finished the day with dinner on the verandah of their home. Once again we were humbled by the American hospitality. The American's we have met have a very comfortable lifestyle.

An F14 Tomcat and Clare with Barbara and Ron

We left Eye Candy on a mooring buoy in Port Washing and took the train into the city. Andrew's son Matthew gave us detailed instruction and a map to find their apartment in Manhattan. We only made two mistakes. Firstly, we caught the wrong train and had to retrace our steps, then towards the end of our voyage I managed to delete the instructions - good thing we had read them a few times. As soon as we arrived, Mim whisked us off to the Museum of Modern Art. We spent a few hours there looking at all manner of objects but the highlight for me was a collection of art by Cezanne, Van Gogh, Monet, Picasso and Andy Warhol amongst others.

Mazanine in the MOMA and the Metropolitan Museum

Matt was working in Boston so we caught up with him later that evening at home. Mim prepared a delicious dinner and over a few soothing wines Matt told us about his recent 800 kilometer bike ride through some fairly mountainous countryside in France. He said he wasn't sure if he could last the distance and was pleased with his accomplishment. Mim said after he got home he had had enough and his bike wasn't unpacked from its travel bag for well over a week; I can understand that!

The NY Stock Exchange (rear entrance) and Mim outside her prospective employer 

George Washington and one of the Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center

The next morning (Saturday) we all went into the Metro Museum which is rated in the top three museums in the world. A huge place which would take numerous trips to explore. We spent a few hours there and for me the highlight was the Arm and Armor section which had the finest collection of Japanese armor outside Japan. How a Samurai could fight in all that gear is a mystery to me and it was good to see it close up. King Henry VIII's armour was there too.
After lunch we went to Manhattan to see Wall Street, The Stock Exchange, Ground Zero, World Trade Center Visitor's Gallery and Federal Hall, which is on the spot where George Washington was inaugurated as America's 1st President. We also went past the spot where Mim has obtained employment but can't start until she gets a work permit, see photo.
So we then stopped for a much needed refreshing ale by the waterfront before walking across the Brooklyn Bridge with magnificent views of New York Harbour and the Manhattan Bridge. We went to dinner in a cozy restaurant in the fashionable and trendy area of Dumbo (Down Under Mahattan Bridge Overpass) and then made our way home to a much needed comfortable bed.

Sunday morning we went to Harlem which is an African American area of New York. We went to the Mount Calvary Baptist Church to attend a very spirited Gospel Service with much congregation participation with "Halleluiahs" "Yes Sir" and "Praise the Lord" amidst singing, arm waving and swaying. Twelve people in the African American choir sang up a storm accompanied by an organist and a drummer. They had a number of ministers in attendance who in turn whipped up the audience into elevated participation. The ministers told jokes and laughed and the congregation were encouraged to laugh and rejoice along with them.
There are churches in Harlem that have tourist services and if you want to attend the 11am service you have to start queuing at 9am. We decided to pick a church with less profile and more authenticity. The people were dressed in their Sunday best with hats and gloves, shirts and ties. The lady in the seat in front of us keep turning around to show us the right page in the bible; we had to pay attention; thankfully she fell asleep an hour later. All in all it was a very happy cultural experience.

Views from Brooklyn Bridge

So we returned to the boat and spent yesterday getting organized to leave. We invited Ron and Barbara for drinks and dinner last night on Eye Candy. We had perfect weather and a brilliant sunset. The three days we spent in NYC were also magnificent sparkling days. However today we are experiencing rain, 40 knot gusts and we are being jerked around on our mooring to the point where we cannot walk around inside the boat without holding on. We expect this will continue for most of the night.

Clare brings home the shopping and the new lifelines, windows and sailbag

Once the wind calms down, we will head for the Chesapeake. We are looking forward to the Annapolis Boat Show in early October. It is one of the biggest boat shows in the world and just about everyone we have spoken to is going to attend.

Love Candy xx

At 3:16 PM18/09/2012 (utc) our position was 40°49.73'N 073°42.54'W

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