Just as my body clock is adjusting to New York time (5 hours behind GMT) it will be time to go home tomorrow!! Anyway, this morning was slightly better waking up at 6:15 am… I guess that’s two hours more sleep!
We headed back to Penn Station after grabbing breakfast with a vision of catching subway line E directly down to the World Trade Centre or Freedom Tower. Now, I was unaware that the Long Island Railroad is separate from the conventional subway network thus I mistakenly bought said tickets and then realised when the barrier declined the tickets and someone shouted that you need a subway ticket and not a Railroad ticket!! It needs to be noted that most ticket barriers in New York do not have disabled gates unlike the London Underground, instead you either need to scan your ticket and then open the fire exit gate or ask someone to open it from the other side which would probably be a little bit tricky if you were on your own. Down on the platform, I saw that they have installed platform humps since my last visit which raises the platform to the level of the train making it flush.
Once on the train. I had a mild panic as the display said that the World Trade Centre subway was not accessible even though the website said that it was! As a result we decided to disembark at the closest accessible station and walk the rest of the way which was about 30 minutes.
The observation deck in the Freedom Tower is pretty new and therefore quite touristy. You would expect from a conventional observation deck to simply enter a lift up to the top, observe the view and come back down, no, not the World Trade Centre. Before you were allowed to enter the observation deck you are subject to a short talk about how use your iPad to find out more information whilst you are up there and then a five minute video about how New York has changed over the years eventually revealing the New York skyline behind it.
The observation deck itself is a conventional 360 degree circular walkway…
The Freedom Tower is now connected to the World Trade Centre Transportation Hub which is where we found ourselves when reached the base of the tower. The Transportation Hub connects many subway lines from all over Manhattan and the surrounding areas so as you can imagine it’s rather confusing to say the least! The signage does not help one bit as it tells you to go one way and then vanishes, however, there was the sign for subway line E so we followed that as my theory was that because it is a pretty new building then surely the subway would be accessible? After many elevator rides, we discovered that there was a flight of steps up rendering it useless, however, on the way out we passed another subway entrance with a symbol for line E and some helpful American explained to us that they have recently opened a passageway from one of the other subway lines to where we wanted to go… god knows how you’re meant to know that if you’re not local!! It then dawned on us that this subway station has not been fitted with any platforms humps as yet resulting in quite a step up to the train but, of course, Superbunny is used to this so it merely took a wheelie and it was all fine!
To celebrate our last night in America, we decided to head down to Times Square and Ellen’s Stardust diner, if you haven’t read my American blog from 2014, this diner isn’t any old diner in the sense that all of the waiters are either training to be on Broadway of have actually been on Broadway. Each waiter takes in turn to sing perhaps a famous song or a song from a musical, I highly recommend it if you are ever in New York City!
Tomorrow is a 5:45 am start to take a cab back to JFK International Airport to catch the flight back to London Gatwick, how fun 🙂