Elizabeth Seton (1774-1821), from Staten Island, NY, was canonized in 1975 as the first Roman Catholic Saint of the United States. She lived here, on the southern tip of Manhattan, across from Battery Park, from 1801 to 1803, and this site has become an important religious shrine in her honor, as well as a flourishing R.C. parish.
Mother Seton was responsible for the creation of the first order of sisters native to the United States, and she is credited with having been responsible for establishing the form of Catholic parochial education. Her group, the American Sisters of Charity, worked both in education and immigration, providing aid and assistance to hundreds of thousands of immigrants who steamed into NYC in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Favorite thing: The 9/11 calamity has made it possible to see Battery Park City from many vantage points. When I was there in May 2005, WTC site was still eerily vacant, except for the new transportation center on the northeast corner of the property.
Favorite thing: The sculpture shown in photo, "the Sphere", used to stand in the plaza of WTC. It's a symbol of world peace. During the 911 event it got damaged but survived just like the city of New York. It was then moved to its current location at Battery Park without repair. An eternal flame was also established to memorize the tragic event.
Favorite thing: Ground Zero isn't very far at all from Battery Park. In fact, I took the subway from Penn Station to Franklin Street (the #1 Line) and walked by where the World Trade Centers used to be. It was my first time up close since 9/11/01. Talk about surreal and my being in a state of denial: I actually asked my friend what that gaping hole in the ground was. New Yorker that she is, she matter of factly said, "You know what that is...." And we said little else for our walk past Ground Zero. She did say that the Post Office was one of the ONLY buildings that pretty much survived intact. All the newer building suffered lots of damage. The Post Office was a much older building, circa the 30s. They Don't Make 'em like that any more... But passing this site was very sad and filled me with sadness.
Favorite thing: Oh, by the Way... Battery Park is home to the BOATS that can take you to Liberty Island. It is here that you can walk around our Gift of Blessed Liberty, from France. She's a beauty, and has been around for many years. Certainly ever since I was a little one living in Jersey. May she always stand. Crappy photo. Sorry. I didn't take it, grin...
Favorite thing: Well, if you know me, my favorite photography subject is kids. And this little girl, engrossed with playing with her Dad, caught my eye. She posed for me for what seemed like 10 minutes... I took many photos of her, but this one sums it up, under the protective arm of her Dad.
Favorite thing: At the End of the Ride, when all the riders gathered in, guest speakers held the attention of the Riders, and the friends and family that attended the closing ceremony. A doctor that specialized in HIV spoke and said some very sobering things. During the course of their ride - 6 days - 5100 people around the world had died of AIDs. He went on to say other things... how medicine was prohibitively expensive in Africa, where HIV/Aids is ravaging the nation's population, male/female, young/old. Sobering facts... we all need to do so much more!
Favorite thing: This was the Empire State Rides' FIRST organized ride. It was not a large ride. In the past Mary has participated in rides that are of shorter duration/length, but with hundreds of riders.... This ride managed to go w/ approx. 63 riders. But the 63 riders raised over $250,000. That's Darn Impressive.
Favorite thing: Here is the FRONT of the Shirt. It has photos as well. Not ALL the photos are of folks that died of HIV. Some photos are of dear loved ones... that inspired Mary. My Mom, for example, and our grandparents, etc... And our pug, Belle, that passed this Spring. There are folks on the shirt that are departed friends of Mary's friends.. So, it's a real tribute to many who have fallen, most from HIV, but all people (and dogs) that have impacted our lives.
Favorite thing: Mary's Shirt was made by two Comedy Warehouse Fans/Regulars that adore my sister. Aidee & Lisa, a couple from Ft Lauderdale, asked Mary for photos of loved ones that died of HIV/Aids. They took all the photos and surprised Mary with TWO t-shirts with ALL the photos on the shirts. When times were tough for Mary, the thoughts of those loved ones that were on her shirt kept her pedaling. LOVELY story and really sad to think how many folks adorned this shirt. I slipped in two photos that made the shirt. My first friend who died of HIV and another photo of my best friend who's been positive for 18 years!
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