New York City – Wednesday, 12/9/15

Took the Amtrak to NYC – great way to travel. Walked from Penn Station to Herald Square. Sidewalks were packed with holiday shoppers, gawking at the Macy’s window displays – some of which were identical to the Boston Macy’s windows.

History alert: Thomas Edison’s first “moving picture” was show in 1896 in a theater where part of Macy’s now stands.

That’s one of the joys of touring cities – the historic finds. Took the subway to our Comfort Inn/Lower East Side, a short walk from Delancey St. Small rooms, free hot buffet breakfast, good location, terrific bed! Street art along the way, and in the subways. Roof deck has some nice views.

Then on to Fraunces Tavern, the 1719 building where George Washington gave his farewell address to his generals after the British finally evacuated NY in 1783. The diary of Benjamin Talmadge relates the moving scene where each officer, one by one, came up to embrace Washington and share a few private words. The room was near silent, as Washington and his men bade farewell, all in tears. Washington then returned to Mount Vernon, where he expected to live out his years as a gentleman farmer. Retirement lasted only 4 years.

Did you see that timeline, referring to a New York Tea Party?! And a Puerto Rico Liberation Movement bombing at the Tavern that killed 4 in 1975. We then walked around the Wall Street area, admiring the classic buildings amid the glass towers and the Stock Exchange.

Stock Exchange

Stock Exchange

After a local falafel dinner, we headed uptown to Lincoln Center for Zeffirelli’s amazing staging of La Boheme – over 200 performers, including a horse, on stage in the market scene. The sweeping, swirling staircase, the chandeliers looking like fireworks, the fashion on the patrons – and the music! What a lush experience, and a heck of a way to end our first night in the city.

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