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Published: August 6th 2007
This time we rode the subway like veteran New Yorkers; stone-faced and all
. We had a good time in Atlanta and now, back in NY, we had 1 day to burn before leaving for Aruba. With not a lot of 'touristy' things left to do or see in Manhattan, we decided to go visit Vibert's aunt in New Jersey. Penn Station was bristling with activity being a major transit point. Amtrak, the PATH Train, subways and the New jersey Transit trains all converged there. We took the 10:35 NJT first to Newark/Broadstreet and then connected to the South Orange stop. The trains were classier with leather seats, much cleaner and came with a nattily-attired conductor. We rode underground for a bit and then surfaced to a more spacious, greener state. Aunty Robin, Vibert's father's sister, picked us from the quaint, gingerbread village with surrounded the station.
We drove about 10 minutes and past Seton Hall University to Aunty Robin's house. The neighbourhood was cozy. Big cottage-style, wooden houses lined the narrow streets and cars were neatly parked on the right. At the house we met Danyel, a rather articulate 13-year old and we also sampled some really nice homemade, Guyanese-style
roti and curry. Randy, a first year Princeton man and a cousin, showed up a little later. The food was good and so was the conversation but we still had other things to do and places to see.
We arrived just in time at the ferry station in Manhattan and boarded, along with about 3,000 others, the free, orange-colored Staten Island ferry. The big boat powered thru the waters of the East River and right pass Ellis and Liberty Islands. The island of Manhattan slowly dissipated in the backwash and suddenly the weather changed from bright to chilly and foggy. It was almost like sailing into the twilight zone. Staten Island appeared creepy and mystical in the thick fog. It was damp and cold. We disembarked, walked thru the reception building and then right back into the ferry. Staten Island was just not for us
. We strolled leisurely down Wall Street and irritated high-powered business people who wanted us to walk faster or get out of the way. The skyscrapers of the world's largest and most powerful companies loomed large overhead. And in the middle of the world's most powerful road was a deep trench and lowly workers fixing
The New jersey Transit trains were classier than NY's subways
what looked like communication lines. Otherwise, the street looked like money. And one of the most impressive structures was the New York Stock Exchange. We ate in the shadow of UBS where Shanna had the 'best sandwich ever' - a tuna sandwich - from Great American Health Food. We checked our mail for free on trendy Macs at the Apple Store and googled our night's activity.
What we found was 'Not So Jazz' at the Austrian Culture Forum on East 53rd Street. The building was tall, thin and
ultra-chic inside and out. A scary man with red shoes, red clothes and red hair directed us up to the second floor where 'Kelomat' was already playing. The three musicians were masterful. The music ebbed and flowed. At times, it sounded random and then superbly coordinated before ending in a tumultuous crescendo. The packed hall applauded in true appreciation and we left about 10:30pm. Early the next day, we'd find our way to JFK and on the waiting JetBlue flight back to Aruba.
And just like that, it was over: the North American leg of our world tour. We had a flawless trip filled with fun and exploration.
😊 Kwame and Nicky,
😊 Shanni, Andy, Odessa and the kids,
😊 Aunty Robin and family,
😊 Mama Marcia and 'Toe' and
And, of course, YOU, our family, friends and 'fans' for experiencing this with us and for your support. 😊
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