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A “Revolutionary” Journey Part II (Washington D.C. & Philadelphia)

Author: Host Ciao
Date of Trip: December 2008

Previous: A “Revolutionary” Journey (Williamsburg & Washington D.C.)

Revolutionary Journey Part II
My Sunday in Washington was busy with lots I wanted to cover. I had made a 9 a.m. reservation and received my ticket by mail to go up to the top of the Washington Monument. This really saved time because people without tickets were coming to the Monument and then having to go back to a ticket office about 100 yards or so away and then back. A very personable National Park Policewoman lined us up and at 9 on the dot the 9 a.m. group was taken in to go through security and head to the elevator.

On the way up the guard gave us a lot of interesting information about the Monument. We could stay at the top as long as we wanted to. Windows offer views in four directions. On the way down in the elevator he pointed out stones from states, organizations, and other countries; these were sent to help with the building of this important structure. Some states seemed to be trying to outdo each other. The architect placed the stones on the inside so that the outside could be uniform. I would recommend this journey to the top, and if you want a specific time make the reservations on line. This doesn’t indicate that you can have tickets mailed, but I was able to last fall.

I headed down the Mall toward the Lincoln Memorial. My first stop was the World War II memorial. It took years to get this built with fund raising and much pushing by the likes of Tom Hanks, and it is marvelous. The walls have bas reliefs. There are two towers, one for the European Theater and one for the Pacific, and columns for each state and territory. This very impressive monument also has several water features, and the fountains were running despite the cold.

I then went on to re-visit the Korean and Vietnam War monuments. While I did like seeing them at night, I recommend that day light is much better for understanding and getting the feel of both of these very different monuments. I also had more time to wander. I also re-visited the Lincoln Memorial with more time to appreciate its different features. Hey–there is also a restroom here.

After trudging back up the Mall, I made a brief stop at the Washington Monument store for a book or two. Then I headed to the Holocaust Museum. It is hard to find an adjective to use for this museum, but I feel it is a must on a visit to Washington. It starts with the rise of Hitler then moves to the beginning of the persecutions which included along with the Jews, Romas, homosexuals, mentally retarded and disabled. The many, many exhibits and films discuss the ghettos, the transportation, the camps, gassing, burning bodies, mass killings in towns and the liberation. I spent three hours or more there and really hurried at times and did not head to one section. This is the type of museum that is best seen a bit at a time over a couple of days with other places in between. It deserves more time than I gave it. It was very, very affecting.

I set off for the Natural History Museum, but decided to stop on the way at the Smithsonian Castle, an interesting building with several services: information, shop, and a café. I decided since it was mid afternoon that eating a bit might be a good idea. My bit consisted of a bottle of water, a small (35 cent size) bag of chips and a 3 to 4 inch cookie. My bill for this bit$9.05, and this is not a typo! The Smithsonian museums may be free but the food cost is high.

At the Natural History Museum I wanted mainly to see the elephant that seems to be in all the guide books so, of course, I did that. I also wandered through the mammal section. The museum was full of families; I imagine because this was a Sunday. There is an awful lot more to see there, but I was getting too tired to wander much and wanted to go back to the American History Museum.

My main purpose there was to pick up another brochure like the one I had lost to the wind on Friday. But, of course, I had to see more. I spent more time in the Presidents exhibit and a bit more careful look at the Entertainment section. The museum offers entertainment at times in, as described, the “shape” of music. While I was there I heard an acoustic trio of violin, guitar, and another instrument. I also found the transportation section, which I hadn’t known was there. This features trains, trucks (old & new) motorcycles, etc. After finding this “new” section, I forgot all about my plan to spend more time in sections devoted to the armed services.

As I left I had to chuckle at the man selling out in front. He was waving and yelling, “Obama stuff for sale; Barrack Obama stuff for sale!” His “stuff” was in an open suitcase on the sidewalk. I spent a bit of time at my favorite evening spot Barnes & Noble and eventually headed to the hotel after a full and pretty tiring day.

Monday was another Gray Line tour, this time to Alexandria and Mt. Vernon. We drove quite a bit through Alexandria. The driver explained the strict housing regulations so that houses on one side of a street were 200 years old and the ones opposite were only 25 years old. They looked the same age. We saw the church that both George Washington and Robert E. Lee worshipped at, the oldest Catholic church and cemetery in Virginia, and lots more.

Once at Mt. Vernon the driver picked up our tickets and turned us loose for four and a half hours. I watched the introduction to the site as well as a good movie about Washington called “We Fight for Freedom.” It also told the story of his meeting Martha. The guided tour of the house was very interesting. Most of it was decorated as Washington chose with heavy rich ornamentation and furniture. The exception was the bedroom which Martha decorated; it was lighter and brighter with a bed she had specially made because he was so tall.

I took a picture of the front of the manor from the front yard as well as the great view from there. I wandered down to the original tomb and then over to the final tomb. A docent there explained it and answered questions. The two marble sarcophagi toward the entrance are where Washington and his wife are buried while other family members are buried there in back.

Instead of going to his farm, though it would have been interesting, I headed back toward the house hoping to find the gardens. I also did see some of the livestock that are very similar to the ones Washington owned and some vegetable gardens. I did find the house gardens, and they are fairly formal. An archeological dig is going on in the upper garden where they are looking for the original layout of the kitchen garden. revolutionary war display

Near this garden is a small shop with many possible purchases and no crowds so I enjoyed a bit of shopping for souvenirs. I went on down to the museum and watched a film presentation on how they researched and reconstructed the young Washington for the displays there. And, of course, I saw the famous wooden false teeth. A sign asked for no pictures, and these would be sort of disillusioning anyway. I can’t imagine how he could wear these. Mt. Vernon Gingerbread house

Near the exit a group of people were decorating Christmas trees, and there was a big Mt. Vernon gingerbread house. I believe I read later that the chef there was the pastry chef from the White House. The area was being set up for a reception that evening. christmas tree

I walked through the very crowded shops and saw the food court teeming with kids. Luckily I saw the sign pointing to the restaurant. I think the name is the Mt. Vernon Inn, but I’m not sure. I had an excellent lunch there, about the best of the trip so far. I decided to try the same lunch that Pat Sayjack who narrated the introduction to the site had in that film–peanut and chestnut soup with bread pudding for dessert (served hot with whipped cream). I also had sparkling cider. And it all cost under $10, a real bargain in my mind and delicious!

We met the driver at 1:10 and got back to Union Station by 2. I wandered there briefly. It deserves more time because it is full of shops and restaurants. I saw a very large table with an electric train on it and the huge Christmas tree in the main lobby. Near the electric train was a souvenir shop full of patriotic items including lots about the President and Vice President elect. Newseum Display

I took a taxi to the Newseum. What a great place! Yes, I’m a former journalism teacher, but there is so much there to interest almost anybody. Walking by the front of the museum, you can read the front pages of that day from many cities. Inside there was a big display of election front pages and in the big screened theater there was a movie of Obama’s speech in Chicago on election night and excerpts from inaugural speeches, I believe all the way back to Franklin Roosevelt. Newseum Display

Another part of the Newseum I enjoyed was the gallery of Pulitzer Prize photographs, many of which I can remember seeing. In this museum you can watch, read, work on–so many activities. There is an extensive collection of old front pages arranged by decades. You can pull out the drawer and see the glass covered front page. Brief films on several topics are offered. Two I can remember are on bias and the influence of TV news on the Civil Rights Movement. Lots of film clips are playing at all times including some from Saturday Night Live and John Stewart.

A film about 9/11 is presented all through the memories of reporters and photographers. This is very affecting. Outside the theater is a display of front pages on 9/11 and a display of the equipment of the only journalist killed there along with an interview with his wife. Another area of this exhibit is part of the antenna from the top of one of the World Trade Center buildings along with the names of the engineers working up there who were killed. barack obama

At the shop I was bemoaning the fact that I had not spent more time there, and the clerk told me to go to the ticket desk and explain that I just had not given myself enough time. They gave me a second chance ticket for the next day. I walked back to the hotel, thought it might be long, but it wasn’t bad. I packed up my purchases from the past week and headed across the street to Fed-Ex to ship them home. It can’t get more convenient than across the street.

I went to Barnes & Noble for a while and then decided to try the Mexican place on the hotel list since it was just around the corner–not a good move. Nothing like a cardboard tasting chicken quesadilla! I went back to the hotel and ate some cookies I had bought earlier. Oh well!

On my last day in Washington I planned to visit the Capital. I wanted to get in with the first group so I arrived at the ticket kiosk at 8:15. The line was very confusing; nobody was sure exactly where to start it. I hung around in the line by the kiosk and lucked out. That was where it started. Now if you want to visit the capital, there is a brand new visitors center which opened early in December, and I believe you can order tickets on line. I would suggest this unless you make other arrangements with your representative. I think this can be done and there were certainly small groups with badges that looked like this type of tour.

Each person wanting a ticket had to go to the ticket window and have the ticket placed in his or her own hand. Then we headed up toward the Capital where we had to wait outside for security to open. Luckily there was a bit of a plastic shelter to keep off the wind. The police were a half hour late opening security–who knows why? After clearing security our 9 am group went in after 9:30.

The tour was interesting. The guide had lots of information, but it is hard to remember much of it. He explained the height of the dome and the decorations of the Rotunda–statues, fresco of Apotheosis of Washington, other paintings of history. Then we went to the Hall of Statues, formerly the House of Representatives. He explained that each state could have two statues and could choose who was pictured. He also showed where one of the John Adams’s sat and supposedly could hear what others were saying. He demonstrated for us. He pointed out the spot where Lincoln sat when he was in the House. Then we were on our own.

You cannot visit the chamber of the House without a ticket from your representative so plan ahead if you are interested in that. I did see the office of the Speaker of the House–I should say entrance with the sign above it. After the guide left us we could go downstairs to see other statues and also the original Supreme Court room. Library of Congress

I walked outside and around the capital to the Library of Congress Jefferson Building. I think this is the main one. It is very beautiful inside. We could go up the stairs past a huge mosaic of Minerva, Goddess of Knowledge, and look down into the main reading room, also very beautiful. However, we could not take pictures of that. Darn! Bob Hope Exhibit

I went into two of the special sections, one of which was Jefferson’s Library. When the original Library of Congress burned, he offered his to Congress, convincing them about how important a library is. He said he would accept whatever they agreed to pay. Years later part of his library burned too, but because of the catalogue, these books have been replaced through donations and purchases. I also visited the Bob Hope section on humor. Hope left his files to the Library. This area also included film clips and mementos, a multi-media approach.

Back outside I decided to climb the many steps to the Supreme Court especially since I had never visited there. The Court meets directly down the long hall from the entrance. The Court was not in session either because it was noon or the wrong time of year. We did get to look into the courtroom from the door. I went to the shop downstairs and looked around. I asked for a book about the capital, but the only one was just like one I already had.

I walked back around the Capital to head down the Mall and could see the scaffolding going up for the inauguration ceremony. I didn’t see any places to eat so decided to go to main art museum. I considered going to the Pompeii exhibit there, but decided I had seen the real thing the year before so just went to the cafeteria. I stopped at what I later found out was the short order bar and had a not very good sandwich of roasted tomatoes, goat cheese, and onions–sort of a strange combination. With that I had a small orangina and a tasteless biscotti all for $13. Later, further into the big room, I saw other lines where you could buy salads and entrees. Check out the whole room first. Vote for First Dog

I went back to the Newseum and decided to see all the films including several I had seen the day before. Different ones I saw included TV and Vietnam, mistakes, and sources. I found another display about the President elect and one that I had not seen the day before–voting for the new First Dog.

The shelter dog was winning the one cent votes. Proceeds were going to the educational services of the museum. Saw the shot up car and also other articles obviously from dangerous assignments. I also visited the First Amendment exhibit. Also I looked up the name of the only reporter I could think of at the time–Ernie Pile from World War II. You can type the name into a search box and biography comes up. This was another great afternoon for me.

I walked back to the hotel and packed; then I went to Barnes & Noble for a bit. I decided to eat at the hotel. The minestrone soup was good. I had ordered chicken fingers and the waitress brought fries too, which I didn’t eat. Unfortunately the chicken was dry and not nearly as good as I had had for lunch one day. I think it depends on what cook is on duty. Anyway it was a bit of a disappointing last meal in Washington.

Wednesday after breakfast, I checked out and took a taxi to Union Station. I found out that I could board this train on the same level as the main waiting area. This was good because I do not like down escalators, especially with luggage. When the track was announced I got in line even though it was 40 minutes early. Almost right away the line got very long so I was glad I had not waited. I did not go far down the track, just past the first class car. I ended up in the “quiet car,” which means no talking above a whisper and no cell phones. This was fine with me.

Since I sat at the end of the car, it was a bit bumpy, but not bad. The Acela train is a business train with lots of seats facing each other with tables in between. It also had luggage bins above the seats like an airplane as well as racks at the end of the car. The seats are very comfortable.

I arrived in Philadelphia about 10:30 a.m. The trains are all down one level from the main station, which is full of places to eat. I took a taxi to the hotel, pretty much across town. I stayed at the Penn’s View Inn, which is right by the river and also only a few blocks walk to the main sights. The hotel is in two older buildings, but has great amenities including a workout room. My room, which wasn’t quite ready when I arrived, had a big double bed, desk, table and chair, TV, and a very nice bath. My cost was $150 a night, well worth it to me because of its location, more on the hotel later. The staff was very friendly, and I left my luggage with them and took off.

At the Visitors Center I checked to see what was open on Thanksgiving–only the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, but I planned a fairly long walk for after those. I bought a trolley ride ticket for Friday. I figured this would be a good way to see more of the town in the short time I had.

I watched a short movie at the Center and then went out exploring. Luckily I found a camera store right away because I had to have two of my memory sticks put onto CD’s. I went to Christ Church Burying Ground and paid the $3 entrance fee to go in and wander a bit. That way I could also see Ben Franklin’s tomb without having to work my way through the crowd outside the fence. Lots of coins are tossed onto the flat tomb, and a custodian was sweeping them up while I was there.

I went on down to the Betsy Ross House and paid the $3 to get in. This was fine and the displays, all behind glass, were interesting. However, no pictures were allowed. I asked the two people dressed in colonial garb why that was because any picture would have to be without flash because of the glass. Neither of the two answered me, but a man standing there talking to them told me it was because so many people were loading the pictures on line and identifying them wrong. After further conversation with him I began to doubt this as a real reason. I told him that pictures were allowed all through the buildings in Williamsburg. He proceeded to tell me none of those were original like the Betsy Ross things were. Since I know this is not true, I didn’t argue. He told me to buy postcards–which I would have done if there had been any in the shop. Oh well–he was a real expert!

At Christ Church a docent was giving a lecture to a school group, and I listened to part of it and then bought some postcards there. On the way back to pick up my CD’s I stopped at Bon Bon, a small shop on Market Street and had some really good gelato for lunch. My next stop was the National Constitution Center. The cost was $14 including a new exhibit called on “The Way to the White House.”

Lots and lots of school groups, mostly middle school, were there accompanied by chaperones who had to wear red tags. The introduction was a multi-media presentation called “We the People,” narrated by one live performer. Seats range upwards and pictures were flashed below in a sort of large pit and also along the walls above the seats. It was well done and interesting. This is the website of the Center:

There are so many exhibits–displays, film clips, computer use, lots of words written rather high on the walls which are not too easy to read. In one display you can see yourself taking the oath of office for President, and then, of course, buy the still picture later. In another spot you can vote for the best President. This is not a place for only a couple of hours if you want to sample a lot of it. I didn’t want to miss the special exhibit so I had to rush a bit because I didn’t get there until a bit after 2 p.m.

The special exhibit had speech clips of McCain, Clinton, and Obama. Also there was a display of old campaign souvenirs and ends with a cardboard cutout of Obama standing in front of a picture of the President’s desk in the Oval Office. It was an interesting exhibit, but I had to rush because the Center closes at 5.

Back at the hotel my room was ready so I unpacked some. I decided to eat in the hotel’s restaurant, called Ristorante Panorama, which has won awards. The hotel also hosts Il Bar, which has the world’s largest wine preservation setup and offers 120 different wines by taste, glass, or bottle. This is also an award winner. The restaurant is a bit fancy for me. There was only one antipasto I thought I would like–Antipasto Misto for $12.75. (I am not a fan of mushrooms so that cut out quite a few. This was good with a couple of slices each of two sausages, some prosciutto, bland marinated mozzarella, a couple of good olives, two small pieces of good cheese, some roasted peppers, and some marinated eggplant, which had a good taste but chewed like rubber bands.

Only two of the pasta courses sounded good to me so I had gnocchi with a tomato and smoked cheese sauce. I ordered the appetizer size for $12.75. Since I am no wine expert and no fussbudget about it either–just so it’s red and dryI ordered two of the cheaper glasses at about $7.50 each. One was a chianti and very good; the other was a multipulciano from Abruzzo, also go. My bill with tip was $55 much higher than I would normally spend, but the food was very good. Of course, there are also more courses depending on what you want to eat and pay.

What a great bed–on Thursday I actually slept until 7 a.m. almost unheard of for me. A “continental buffet” breakfast was included in the room rate. It is served in the restaurant dining room with white table clothes and cloth napkins! There were lots of food choices: cut up fresh fruit, whole fruits, scones, mini muffins, cereal, bagels or I could make waffles or boil eggs. My only quibble with this feast was the extra wide coffee cups that caused the coffee to cool fast.

I knew the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall would open at 11. I strolled down to there and found out where to go. At that time I read some info on posts under a shelter about an archeological dig last year that had been able to figure out the layout of President’s House, just to the north of the Liberty Pavilion. A metal outline can be seen. The Park Service is planning a structure there that will tell the story of the hour and also about Washington’s slaves and indentured servants.

It was nice and sunny and fairly warm so I read for a while on a bench in a garden area near there. When the line began to form I went over to the Liberty Pavilion and through security. This consisted of opening my coat and all bags. There are lots of interesting displays to be read there, and I skimmed many of them. With more time I would do a better job of reading. Most people just pass them up on the way to see the bell. By the time I got there, lots of people were standing around the bell and taking pictures of each other in front of it. I finally got my picture though there are legs showing under the bell–night pictures are much better since there are no people and the bell is well lighted and very visible through windows.

I had to go through the same type of security in a tent next to Independence Hall. After the tent we were actually at the front of the Hall with a large plaza there, Independence Square. It was a struggle but by getting down on a knee I managed to get the whole building in from that front part. In the Hall the ranger lecturing in the courtroom was very interesting. He pointed out the original seal of Pennsylvania over the judges’ bench which had replaced the seal of George III, a copy of which he showed us. The ranger in the room where Declaration and Constitution were signed did not speak as much. But pointed out that the desks with quills, ink pots, pipes were set up just at they were. Both rooms are furnished with antiques.

Once outside the building back on the more familiar side I found the plaques showing where Lincoln and John F. Kennedy had spoken. There is an excellent statue of Washington there too. My next spot was Washington Square where there is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the Revolutionary War–both American and British. There are plaques to read in the park too, and it was also used to bury victims of a yellow fever epidemic in 1793.

From there I walked for quite a while through the area called Society Hill, where there are many old houses that have been restored and kept up well. I saw Old St. Mary’s Church, the city’s oldest Catholic Church still in use. This is where a ceremony marking the end of the Revolutionary War was held. I also walked through two gardens around the church and looked at the cemetery through its gate, which was locked.

I headed toward the river to see some of the monuments shown on the map and also more sculptures. I first found the Korean War Monument which was not shown on my map. And then I walked to the nearby Vietnam Monument, which is shown on the map. I had several maps of most of the places I visited and I found that some show some sights/sites, which others might not–makes for a bit of confusion. I could also see the Christopher Columbus Monument but did not walk over to it.

I was heading toward a few other sights I wanted to see and had about given up on finding any place to find food on Thanksgiving Day when in the midst of some tall Society Hill apartment buildings, I saw a small shopping center with one open store, a small grocery store called Food Garden. They had roasted a whole turkey so I bought a sandwich to take back to the hotel to eat and rest. I did manage to find Welcome Park with a stature of William Penn and then the Irish Memorial. This big sculpture shows starving people in Ireland during the potato famine, but as you walk around it, the scene changes with people first getting and then off the boat in the United States.

Back at the hotel I first enjoyed my very good turkey sandwich and rested a bit. Then the desk clerk checked the bus schedule for me, and I took the bus from almost next to the hotel down to City Hall to take some night pictures. I walked around that area and took pictures of that building, the Masonic Temple, “Your Move” sculptures (checkers, dominoes, chess pieces) in Thomas Paine Plaza and of the well-known Love sculpture in John F. Kennedy Plaza. A Christmas Fair was set in a large plaza area of City Hall, but it was not open that night. Near by there was an interesting sculpture of a big red clothespin and around another corner one of a boy with his dog and the boy holding a “Parking” sign complete with an arrow.

I took the bus back to the hotel and since I had eaten turkey already I passed up the bar offering turkey dinners and went instead to the Irish pub on Third Street and had Guinness Beef Stew for Thanksgiving dinner–of course accompanied by a glass of Guinness. A very enjoyable Thanksgiving!

On Friday morning I caught the first trolley at 9:30 and rode it to Reading Market, which is near City Hall. Wow! What a place! Either it is a good thing or too bad that I wasn’t hungry. I’m not sure how many blocks this covers, but it is huge. And it is full of marvelous looking food–fresh vegetables, meats, cheeses, baked goods. There are also stands selling other items too.

I walked back over to City Hall and took some more pictures of the sculptures in the plazas while I waited for a shop in the Christmas Fair that I wanted to visit. The fair definitely had a German theme including the Kathe Wohlfahrt shop and lots of German food. I had visited the Wohlfahrt store in Rothenberg, Germany, mainly a Christmas store. The shop in this fair was strictly Christmas. I had to look a bit, but finally found a small affordable Nativity set made in Germany instead of China! I have been collecting Nativities for probably 20 years.

At the stop near City Hall I did not wait for the trolley but took a double decker bus to continue my tour. The trolley and bus are from the same company and offer an on/off drive around the main parts of Philadelphia. I had investigated it on line and decided to take it to see more of the city. I think I found it by playing around with this website, which has lots of city info. I think this is a very good way to tour. I chose not to get off at several of the places I had thought about, but decided to stay on the bus and listen to the excellent guide. It was not too bad on the upper deck except when we crossed the river where the wind really picked up.

I can’t resist repeating what I think was the guides most interesting story. For years no building should be built so that it was higher than the statue of William Penn on City Hall. However, then several were built taller so Penn put a curse on Philadelphia athletic teams and for years they never won. Then when the newest building went up a year or so ago one of the union workers put a small statue of Penn somewhere near the top of the building. Hurrah! The curse was lifted and Philadelphia won the World Series.

After the bus tour I went back to the Visitors Center shop and bought a couple of Christmas ornaments. Then I visited Franklin Court, where there is an outline of Ben’s home. He moved in in 1785 and his grandchildren tore it down in 1812. Since the Park Service had no plans of the structure, they had an architect design a steel “ghost” outline of the home and the grandson’s print shop. There are viewing areas to look down into remains of the underground kitchen and several others parts. The row of houses in front of the court hold a museum shop, a working Post Office, which uses Ben Franklin cancellation and a print shop where you can see a 18th Century press in operation. The underground museum has portraits, replicas of inventions, and displays about his different “careers.”

I ate lunch at one of the many restaurants that dot Market Street. Unfortunately I didn’t write down the name, but at some places menus are posted, and I think what I had is worth mentioning–grilled chicken and prosciutto sandwich with red peppers and red pepper mayo, a really big sandwich and something new to me fries with a balsamic reduction, excellent so I ate the fries and sandwich filling but not the bread. Interesting how I remember the food but not the restaurant. Sorry about that.

I then went to the Liberty Museum just in back of Franklin Court. This is a theme museum with several galleries, including heroes, tyrants, resolving conflicts, freedom. There is an art collection with several outstanding glass pieces, the most famous probably Dale Chichuly’s Flame of Liberty. This is another museum that has much of interest and is well worth a visit.

That evening I took a fun ghost walking tour. Though I found a link for it on the main Philadelphia tourism site, it has its own page. We visited several areas that I had already been to but at night and with stories from the guide to go with the places became more interesting. One of his stories told us that Ben Franklin, whose statue is high on the front of the first library, comes down when he is displeased. Another story was that Admiral Berry, the founder of the U.S. Navy is buried in Old St. Mary’s cemetery, which we viewed at night, and either he or his wife often walk there. We didn’t see anyone that night.

The guide had a rather gruesome story about City Tavern, a famous old restaurant. I knew about this restaurant since I had found information about its Thanksgiving Dinner on line. The dinner was $75 a person; needless to say I didn’t partake. Any way the story–a bride was in a room of the tavern preparing for her wedding when the place caught fire. She perished and now haunts the rebuilt restaurant. Supposedly she appears in pictures of new brides. However, the guide said, there are still many couples who celebrate there.

Back at the hotel I packed for my next train journey and whatever I had for supper must have been really boring because I didn’t write it down. I will be back before too long to tell you about my marvelous week in New York City but with one photograph mishap.

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