Friday, August 26, 2011

Some Things to Make You Pause




As we power packed the sights of Brooklyn and Manhattan into the next four days there were several moments where we paused to... ponder, reflect, question, wonder and plain be scared.
Viewing Ground Zero was quite a somber experience. It was amazing with all the rubble that came down from the twin towers St. Paul's Church (it is right across the street) managed to remain intact. This church offered a safe haven for workers and volunteers and a place for healing for loved ones who had lost family members and friends after September 11. Memorabilia, pictures, memorials and displays greet visitors as they enter the church. I posted some pictures of things we saw inside and outside and how much has been done on the new tower being erected. When completed it will be 76 stories high. There will be two memorial pools surrounded by flat stones with names of all those whose lives were lost.
Walking the streets of NYC was an exhilarating but daunting experience. Never assume all people speak your language and can help you with directions. Also move about in a cautious manner since bicyclists and taxi cabs do not heed pedestrian traffic. Some signs are quite strange and I posted one about a $350.00 fine for honking. Probably the most eye opening one for me was the amount of garbage and I mean garbage! Bags are piled everywhere even in nice areas of the city and there are few trash cans around. Supposedly we heard the city thinks trash cans are an eyesore. Let me tell you this is way worse. Which brings me to the really scary part. Since so much garbage is out rats are a huge problem. And we had a very close encounter. It was early evening and we had just walked the Brooklyn bridge and it was a 20 minute walk back to hotel. As we passed by piles of garbage bags near the curb my sister screams and then my daughter. A rat ran right past them and it was a really big one. Today on the Internet there was an article about this huge rat that was killed yesterday in Brooklyn with a pitchfork!!! Follow this link to read more and see the picture. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/25/giant-rat-at-brooklyns-ma_n_937316.html
The Top of The Rock refers to the top of Rockefeller Center. This was definitely a highlight for us since the panoramic views of the city were breathtaking.
A few blogs back I mentioned Donald Trump and a Minneapolis call from a NYC taxi cab and Broadway. I will wrap up our NYC trip with details in next blog plus some fun ideas to do in Central Park on a summer day.
I am thinking we picked just the right time to leave the city with Hurricane Irene fast approaching which means evacuations and cancelled flights.

Orzo Salad

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. orzo cooked and drained
  • 1 diced red and yellow pepper
  • ½ cup green onion
  • cherry tomatoes halved
  • ½ diced cucumber
  • 1-cup olives (pitted)
  • ½ cup pine nuts (toasted)
  • ½ small bag spinach leaves (stems removed)
  • Crumbled feta cheese

Dressing

Prepared Greek dressing-I used one from the chain restaurant Its Greek To Me

Directions:

  • Mix orzo, peppers, onion, olives, feta, pine nuts, tomatoes, cucumbers
  • Add enough dressing to moisten the salad mixture
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours


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