Ok, so both my “unscheduled stops” in New York where churches. Not surprised by that, I have an affinity for religious buildings despite my lack of faith.
I heard about St. Patrick’s Cathedral first from Rita, the Colorado-woman I met on the Big Bus tour. She and I strolled along to find the Rockefeller Center because I was going to the Top of the Rocks (30 bucks to view the city, it wasn’t spectacular, but… it was ok) and after “dropping me off” she was going to see this cathedral. I didn’t plan on seeing it despite what she told me and despite being told by BB-tours that apparantly the Pope is holding mass there in September, because I had so much stuff on my list I figured adding more would give me a heart attack brought on by stress. Not something I usually connect with “vacation”…
Anyway, I was rambling along yesterday, after my rather impulsive walk in Central Park and while trotting up Fifth Avenue I found Saks (which was on my list, just for the lulz, but not a priority) and right across the road: St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I figured I should at least go in and see it.
Entry is free, it’s a “working church” that caters to a small parish and even if donations are encouraged you don’t have to give anything unless you want to light candles and such.
I actually ended up paying the small “fee” of two lousy dollars and lit one of the candles. More for the rather exotic feeling and keeping someone in my thoughts a while, like I said, I’m not religious so it doesn’t mean a connection to God for me, but it was nice.
The church is really beautiful, I’m not going to go on about its history and such, you can find all the facts you need here, but I’m really glad I got to see it. Architecture can be so beautiful and a true statement of what us humans can do when we act like grown-ups and get our s**t together. This cathedral is another beautiful piece of our history.