Monday, June 21, 2004

Chapter 1 - Father's Day weekend

Part of our family mythology is that something bad always happens on Father's Day or my birthday. In this case, it was true, but it didn't happen to us. On Sunday morning, I was told that we would be going to the South Street Seaport and tour the boats and the museum. My son Bob is an intern at the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian in Bowling Green at lower Manhattan. It is an unpaid internship, but it carries the interesting perk that he can get in to any museum in New York for free, and usually get us in as well. There are certain parts of Manhattan that I will drive to on a Sunday, and then there is lower Manhattan. We took the train to Penn Station and the 2/3 subway line to Fulton Street Station. The day was absolutely magnificent, and I walked the remaining few blocks with my camera ready for action. At the Seaport, we found a restaurant on the top level with million dollar views of the East river and the three bridges.

Afterwards, we got our tickets and toured the huge schooner Peking as well as the tugboat Cameron. Then we got a good look at the Seaport Museum, which has some of the most magnificent scrimshaw I've ever seen. It was fun seeing maps of Manhattan and Long Island from the 1600's. It was now getting towards late afternoon, so we walked up to Wall Street, and found the subway entrance closed. No problem - we went further west and found another one closed. The policewoman told me that an open one could be found on Broadway, so we walked another block. We thought that they were adding extra security in case Bush or someone were visiting the Exchange the next day. We figured that we'd find out when we watched the news that night. Turned out to be the lead story. Chambers Street, the subway stop just before Fulton Street had a mugging at 11:30, and police chased the suspect down into the tunnel. He lunged at them and shouted that they'd have to shoot him. They obliged him, and that was the end of his story. All of this was happening within minutes of the time we had been passing through. The trouble with New York is that it is a dangerous place, but things run so well there that you are not on guard as much as you should be.

No comments: