Friday, August 3, 2012

Day 70- July 22

The Cloisters and Brooklyn Bridge

By Al

Today we took Gregg and Suzie to the Cloisters.  The Cloisters museum and gardens, is the branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe, was assembled from architectural elements, both domestic and religious, that date from the twelfth through the fifteenth century.  It is the far north end of Manhatten in Fort Tryon Park, which has beautiful views of the Hudson River.  Rockefeller bought all of the land on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River so that the view across the river would not be developed.  So, the other side of the river is forested and makes the river valley quite pretty.

After the Cloisters, we took the train down to 116th street. We walked through part of Harlen and then through the campus of Columbia University to get to a noodle place we like. Columbia has a beautiful campus and it is high on a hill. How prosaic.

Columbia University library.

From dinner, we went off to walk the Brooklyn Bridge.  This is one of my favorite things to do in New York.  We started at the Brooklyn end and walked toward Manhattan.  This was my first time to do it during the daylight.  All other times, I have done it at night.  It is a different experience, but still pretty awesome. 

Statue of Liberty from Brooklyn Bridge

Manhattan from Brooklyn Bridge

One World Trade Center under construction on right.  Two World Trade Center under construction on the left.

Sally's Day
 Al and I sat in the park to read and nap while Greg and Susie walked  through the Cloisters. I finished the latest Robert Caro book on Lyndon Johnson.  This book presents Johnson's reluctance to get  into the campaign for the 1960 presidential nomination, his years as vice president, the assasination, and then the transition to his presidency. Johnson had a paralyzing fear of failure- he desperately wanted the nomination, but was so afraid of losing that he wouldn't participate in the primaries.  I had some sympathy for him, as I can remember times when I have not tried something for fear of failing.  I remember the days following the assassination- it was the first (and perhaps only)
 time that we were allowed to watch TV during meals at home.  The book talks about how Johnson took charge so masterfully that he was able to maintain the confidence of the country and the world-  during that time.  He was able to use his skills from his years in the Senate to get  Medicare and civil rights legislation enacted.  He changed all of our lives.  Thank you, Lyndon.  At the same time, he was a lying, manipulative, mean person.  I hope Caro lives long enough (he is 74 and has taken about 10 years to write each of his 4 books on Johnson) to write about the rest of Johnson's life.

Unlike Al, it was my first walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.  The bridge has a second level above the cars for walking and bikes . I was amazed at the crowds walking across the bridge. There is a subway stop at each of the bridge-so access is very easy.  And as with anywhere you go, there are people selling beverages, food and T-shirts. 

View across the Hudson to New Jersey.  Unfortunately, Rockefeller wasn't able to do anything about the traffic noise on the highway running along the river.  The view is beautiful, but the traffic noise is distracting. 

I think the most fun on the bridge is looking up at all of the cables.

Wonderful book.

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