Day of NY engineering marvels

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When I was 11ish I wrote a report on the building of the Brooklyn bridge and got pretty fascinated by the tragic tale of the engineer John Roebling and his crazy idea to build the biggest suspension bridge ever and how his son and his son’s wife had to take over after he died and the men who worked in the caissons and got the bends when they would come up and how they dug and dug and dug and dug. Shortly before that we learned all about France’s gift of the Statue of Liberty and how Eiffel was so innovative for putting in an iron framework to keep it from falling down, and how copper develops a patina over time. These are really the things that I remember – clearly I was cut out for materials engineering from a young age. I had three goals in visiting NYC: 1. See the Statue of Liberty (and Ellis Island), 2. See the Brooklyn Bridge, and unrelated, but also important: 3. See a musical.

My traveling companions were kind enough to indulge me in all three pursuits with minimal complaining that I was walking their feet off. Look how cheerful they look here! Little do they know what the day has in store…
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I may have gotten a little bit carried away with the Statue of Liberty pictures.
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It was so pretty though!
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I mean, just look at that patina!
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Ok, enough with the Statue of Liberty. I had also been excited to see Ellis Island, but none of the artifacts were on display because the place got destroyed by Hurricane Sandy a couple of years ago and they haven’t really fixed it yet. It was still cool to see all the rooms and some of the graffiti on the walls. I don’t know for sure whether any of our ancestors came through here, although my vague and fuzzy knowledge is that at least a few of my great-great-grandparents on one side should have emigrated from the Netherlands somewhere during Ellis Island’s heyday.
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After we finished our cruise, we had Dim Sum in Chinatown. Delicious. I was pleasantly surprised by how similar things tasted to the Dim Sum place in Albuquerque, although here they don’t have enough customers that they can go around with little carts of everything, you have to order it off of a menu. After a bubble tea and a little bit of shopping we tried to walk to the Brooklyn bridge, and finally, after walking further than was really necessary we figured it out and made it on top. It was bigger than I had always imagined it to be.
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We walked all the way across. It’s always seemed crazy to me that the bridge is held up with all of those cables.
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Then we caught the subway to the World Trade Center site and spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to find a bathroom. Shouldn’t have had that bubble tea…
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We spent some time in a department store, making fun of the extremely expensive clothing which was both hideously ugly and falling apart, then ate some pizza at John’s of Bleecker street (apparently famous pizza. It certainly was tasty.) and did MORE shopping along shops along Bleecker street.

After we’d finished there, it was back up to Times Square for some reason that I can’t remember. Looking for musical tickets again, I think. We got to see it all lit up at night, which was different. We also saw some women wearing basically nothing but body paint get in a fight right in front of us. That was different too.
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August 2014
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