When we lived in the Bronx, we were regulars in the Village. When we visited after moving back to NH, we often stayed in midtown. Then we stayed in downtown once our friend opened his Irish Restaurant and Pub TJ Byrne's on Fulton Street, and found that we really, really liked the Seaport and the Financial District. It's away from some of the hustle and bustle and it where we usually stay now.
We booked into Gild Hall this time, and we not disappointed in the least. The staff was attentive and friendly (especially Max, who commutes each day from Riverdale where I went to school and at the other end of the tracks). They even upgraded our room at no charge since we were celebrating our 25th anniversary (finally!). Nice. Top floor? Why yes.
The decor was reminiscent of a Gentleman's Club........leather, wood, brick, brass and just the right mix of vintage and modern. We would highly recommend Gild Hall and we will certainly stay there again.
Friday we took off on foot, and headed straight over to Ground Zero. Of course, it's always busy, but especially so the weekend before 9/11. Across from Ground Zero and Freedom Tower is St. Paul's where they ministered and gave refuge to the rescue workers in the days following the attacks. I don't know how many times we've walked past St. Paul's, but we've never gone in before. We walked around it the November following 9/11 and many of the posters, pictures and mementos where still hanging on the wrought iron fence. It was heartbreaking. They moved much of it inside the chapel and have created a beautiful memorial around the perimeter of the chapel and I'll share more of that with you tomorrow.
The churchyard beckons, simply by the shear age of headstones and monuments (including the burial site of the highest ranking French officer buried in the United States).
And then, the Chapel...........simply beautiful. Stately, without being overstated. Elegant and peaceful somehow, even with a lot of people in it. A perfect place for spiritual contemplation (as well as offering heartrending connection to what happened that day and the people lost).
The last picture is a replica of George Washington's pew. He prayed at St. Paul's, even right after his inauguration. Did you know President Washington was inaugurated in NYC? Well, if you didn't...you do now.
If you visit New York City, make St. Paul's a stop on your list. I don't think you'll be disappointed. It was quite moving.
Enjoy the day and I'll do the same, despite the rain that's coming down at the moment.
Ciao for now,
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