Ground Zero – Day 127

Ground Zero

Day 127 – August 5, 2003 – Tuesday

During the first week or so of the trip, I was speaking with someone we met along the way (sorry I have forgotten who it was). They asked a number of questions about the sights we were planning to see. I asked: “If you were making this trip, what would be the most important sight for you to see?” The answer was Ground Zero. We hadn’t planned to go into New York City, but I decided right then and there that the itinerary would change to include Ground Zero.

Jaychelle at the Fairfield Inn in West Haven, Connecticut directed me to the train station.

I rode the train from Stratford, Connecticut to Grand Central Station, and I took a taxi to Ground Zero. It was certainly sad to be there. What a horrific event! I felt so sad for all the lives lost and people forever affected by the tragedy. It rekindled the anger I feel for the terrorists in the world. It made me hopeful that the many tourists I heard speaking foreign languages might support the US in our efforts to stop these madmen.

I was surprised by several things. First, I was surprised that so much had been rebuilt. It appeared to me that the area beneath ground level had been largely rebuilt. Second, I was surprised to see very little as a memorial. I know there are big plans for a permanent memorial, but I thought I’d see more as a temporary memorial. Third, I expected to see even more tourists.

I rode the train back to Stratford, and then I drove to Atlantic City, New Jersey. NJ is state #44.

Lunch consisted of New York Cheesecake at Junior’s in Grand Central Station. It was very good. I met Mimoza, Pepino, and Juble at Junior’s.

I had dinner at the Athena Diner in Southport, Connecticut. It was a typical local place in this part of the country. Mary was my server. I had a Philly cheese steak grinder and coconut custard pie that was massive. It was very good. I’m sure folks who like custard love it. It was the only custard pie I’d had, so it would be the best of the custard pies. It was a little heavy for me, but it was good. I could only eat about a third of it because it was so big. I had a chat with the manager as he asked about the trip.

There are awfully sour people in this area. The guy at the “I Love New York” tourist information office in Grand Central Station could not have been ruder or less friendly. He wouldn’t even get off his chair to help anybody. At a gas station in Fairfield, Connecticut, the attendant was just as sour as could be. There is way more of that than you find in most parts of the country I’m afraid.

As I drove through New Jersey, I noticed how dirty it is in the area near New York City.

The lesson for the day was the reminder of how tragic 9/11 was. I believe we need to do everything possible to prevent terrorists from reaching our shores, and I am all for a missile defense system.

The Daily Journal of Round America:

Each day, we collect our thoughts on a web page just like this. We drop in some of the photos from the day. Our goal with the Daily Journal is to write about the towns we visit, the sights we see, the people we meet, and the pie we eat. We write about where we are, where we’ve been, and where we are going, but we also make observations about what we’ve seen and done as well as about life in general.

You can follow our travels from the Daily Journal section of this website. Other pages of interest include the running report of “vital statistics” on the Trip Scorecard, our nominations for the Best & Worst of the trip, as well as a rating of the pie we eat. If you’d like to see information for a specific state or town, click here, and then click on the state of interest, and the full itinerary is shown.


More Information on the Sights Visited Today:
Grand Central Station — Ground Zero — Junior’s Cheesecake — Athena Diner