New York Day 3
July 1, 2019

We had breakfast on route to attending Church yesterday at another coffee shop recommended by my nephew. We (excluding heathens S & K) headed for one of the Redeemer Church sites (they have 4 around the city). Redeemer was planted by Tim Keller and a few years ago they split the Church into 4 smaller churches spread across Manhattan. We decided to attended Redeemer Lincoln Park because it suited us both in terms of location and time. Michael Keller (apparently Tim’s son) is the pastor there. It was only planted in 2017 (as an offshoot of Redeemer West Side). While I couldn’t see how many people were in the balcony, I reckon there were at least 400 people in attendance (not bad for a Church planted 2 years ago only).

When we walked in and sat down we noticed that Tim Keller was sitting right behind us (he was just attending the service). The service was very thoughtfully done. They produce a booklet for each service which includes the full order of service including the full music of the songs being sung. I am not sure how much that costs to do each week but I am sure it quite substantial. What did strike me was that while the singing was good, it was not as good as our home church and it was definitely done with a lot less expression.

After church, H and I headed to Banana Republic (I love their shirts – they are non-iron so H loves them too!) and managed to have the Pride Parade walk right past us (we were trying to miss the parade). What was even more frustrating was that H found more clothes at Banana Republic to try on than I had and we went for me! They had a sale on and we ended up saving over $130 on the sale – Helen got a dress that ended up being marked down by 75% because she got a sale on a sale situation. Given the quality of their shirts (they really are the best shirts I own), the price I paid was probably 50% of what I would pay back home.

A quick stop to pick up some lunch on the way back to the hotel (the others went to Wholefood Market again to get their lunch) and then a few hours rest before we headed out to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. We had seen the Memorial on our last trip but the museum was still being built. As some of you might know, 9/11 has significance in our lives as I was flying into America on that day on a United Airlines flight and so our family was directly impacted by those events. There was a period of time when H didn’t know whether I was safe or not. I was stranded in Canada and US for about a week before I could finally get home. The museum was therefore especially moving for us.

At points it is quite overwhelming seeing the photos of each person killed, reading the stories of individuals who survived and those who didn’t, listening to voice messages of loved ones before they died, seeing some of the preserved debris from the buildings (and even from the planes), the destroyed firetrucks, the video footage (which I am sure many of you saw on TV that day and the day following), the bent metal columns from when the buildings collapsed, the preserved staircase down which many people fled to safety and so much more. I am not an emotional person (as many of you will know) but there was more than one occasion when I was tearful and reminded that it could have been my picture on that wall. I am thankful that it wasn’t and it was good to remember that others were not that lucky. People from 90 different nations were killed in those attacks.

After the museum we walked down to Pier 11 (walking down Wall St past the NYSE) to catch the ferry to Brooklyn. It is a pretty short ferry ride but you do get a good view of lower Manhattan and also the Statue of Liberty. We met D & B (nephew and girlfriend) and then walked up the Brooklyn Bridge for some iconic photos of the bridge and Manhattan. Back down again and to the spot where you can take a photo of the Empire State building framed by the bridge and then we had dinner at a nearby restaurant. After dinner a walk along the water’s edge to take some sunset photos of Manhattan skyline. It was well past 9pm at this point and 5 of us (excluding M & C) headed back to the hotel in an Uber while M & C joined D & B to go to Williamsburg (which is where D & B live).

We got back to Times Square at just before 10pm and it was still very busy and the traffic was (as K always says) ‘hectic’. We were all pretty tired and headed to bed (M & C arrived home at just after 10:30pm – not actually too long after us).

That was our last day in NY as we head out to New England from today.

Until tomorrow …

P, M (for organizing the 9/11 tickets), C (for stamina to go to see Williamsburg after dinner), H & O (for coming to church with us), S & K (they bunked church to go see Grand Central station rather so this spot is rightfully theirs today)

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