July 18, 2013

Day in the city

As is the custom here at LYA, our last full day was an excursion day.  Each year we get to explore our host city and this year our students went to Lower Manhattan.  The subway is right across from our dorm so after breakfast and pictures we walked down to the station.  The stop, 242nd Street, is the last (or first) stop on the 1 train and we took it all the way to the last (or first) stop at the tip of Manhattan.  We then immediately went to the Staten Island Ferry for the free 50 minute roundtrip boat ride.  The ferry runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and takes folks from Manhattan to Staten Island.  We got off at Staten Island and got right back on to head back to Manhattan.  We saw some great views of the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline on both trips.

We ran into the group from Saint John's College High School in Washington, DC on the ferry so they joined up with us.  We then walked over to the 9/11 National Memorial but before we got there we came across the Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton National Shrine.  We took a look in at the church which is a dedicated to first American born saint and a founder of Catholic schools.  We eventually made our way to the memorial where after going through security we came across the sacred place.  There are two giant "pools" that are in the footprints of the two towers with the names of the victims inscribed on them.  It was very solemn and poignant.

After this we looked for a place to eat and came across some food trucks.  Most of us got pizza or grilled cheese and found a shady place right next to the Hudson River.  By this point our group and the group from Saint John's was hot and tired and wanted to go back to Manhattan College.  I still had a ton of energy and really wanted to check out the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site (last year at LYA in Buffalo I took a group to the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site!).  Michael Toomey '14 wanted to stay in the city as well so while everyone else went back, Michael and I began making the 2.9 mile walk to the birthplace.

It was a hot, long walk and once I figured out where we were on the subway line we took the train for the last stretch.  Roosevelt's birthplace is on E. 20th Street in his family's former home.  The home, actually, is a reconstruction as the original one was torn down in the early 20th century but a replica was built after Roosevelt died in 1919.  We got there just in time for the 3:00 tour and learned about the house, Teddy's early life, his parents, etc.  They had his Rough Riders uniform on display as well as the shirt he was wearing when he was shot in 1912 and the 50 pages of notes that helped slow the bullet.  As  a TR enthusiast I was very happy to be there and very grateful to Michael for sticking it out with me.

We were back on the train around 4pm and got back to the college at 5pm.  We are now all off to dinner followed by tonight's closing events.  More to come...

The north pool at the 9/11 Memorial

Michael Toomey made a new friend

Manhattan skyline with the Freedom Tower

TR's Rough Rider's uniform

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