Although it’s been two weeks since our visit to The Intrepid, I wanted to wait until Memorial Day weekend to publish this post—it seemed like the right thing to do—and the timing is good. So away we go to the last installment of our Weekend in New York!
We left off with me falling into a deep sleep due to the effects of red wine. My husband had a quiet evening!
I wasn’t tired. It was the wine!
And Sunday morning, we got up and ready, returned to Paris Baguette to savor some great coffee and pastries for breakfast, checked out of the hotel, got the car and waited until Roman arrived from his apartment then the three of us headed across town to The Intrepid Museum.
One last drive on the East Side before heading Westward!
In all the years I’ve lived in Manhattan, I had never been to this museum. Well…it’s somewhat understandable because in 1982, when NYC officially opened the ship-as-museum, I was embarking upon a different kind of journey. I was pregnant. From then on in, visiting a military ship as a museum wasn’t high on my priority list.
Anyway…….my husband had been wanting to visit the museum for quite some time but we just never got around to it. Roman had a shoot on the ship a few years ago when he was working on Ink Master and had some time to explore the ship. He recommended visiting and so the three of us made a day, or rather a half day of it.
Not wanting to park on the street, we took advantage of the parking lot just steps away from the ship and made our way over. It’s funny because I must have driven by The Intrepid hundreds of times but had never seen it up close and personal. On this magnificent day, the ship was surrounded by people in kayaks. Ok. I lied. I just remembered I did see this ship up close and personal. On a speedboat back in the 1980’s. The super of our building, and his then-girlfriend’s (now wife) brother was a cop. He had a boat. We went cruising around the island of Manhattan one night and motored up to the ship.
IRL, it’s such a majestic ship!
Regardless, there’s no way I would kayak up to that ship. I’m way too uncoordinated and a lousy swimmer.
And it was quite a surprise to see many in kayaks. I would not attempt this. Not now. Not ever. Never!
Having a designated time to visit due to Covid restrictions, we arrived when the museum opened but it was no big deal—we were able to get in earlier. We received a very friendly welcome—the museum reopened a couple of days beforehand and everyone was just so happy to be back at work. It was also great to see tourists and locals taking advantage of early visits before the crowds start to arrive with the onset of summer!
More than a Senior discount. More than a ticket. It’s a little sign that we are about to get back to normal!
Not knowing what to expect was part of the fun. As a self-proclaimed pacifist, I cannot stand war but I love military museums. Invalides in Paris was the greatest surprise ever and is always on my recommendation of things to see.
Invalides is one of the must-see sites in Paris. Napoleon’s Tomb is astounding but..
…it is the Infantry dolls dressed up in their military finest that did it for me!
The experience at Normandy was incredibly emotional. Chilling, sad, and gut-wrenching. The end result being that every visit to France outside of Paris, we make it a point to visit an American Military Cemetery and there are plenty.
And the seemingly endless rows of grave stones at Normandy that was gut-wrenching for me. It took a while to shake it off.
Back to the visit. The size of The Intrepid is astounding. It’s still hard for me to wrap my head around how jet fighters were able to take off and land..but I guess the best way for you to get a feel is to come along with me so …lets’ go!
Remarkable. Astounding. Awesome. Incredible—all used to describe this massive ship!
As you enter the main “floor” of the ship, it’s been renovated with quite a few sections. There’s a lot going on but it’s spaced very well so you don’t feel cramped.
There’s a little welcome film as you enter to give you an introduction of sorts.
Honestly, it’s a very welcoming and easy-to-navigate museum.
Scattered around are various stations with little film vignettes to describe what went on and how life was on the ship.
It was bittersweet and quite interesting to see these men discussing their experiences.
There was also a harrowing film about the experience of the Kamikazi planes hitting the ship. It was horrific…
and there were some pretty intense real-life effects!
Furthermore, it went on to explain the systemic racism of our times in the military. The African American servicemen were made to serve the white troops dinner during meals and other times were strapped into these turrets of sorts to defend the ship. All these men were killed by kamikazes. It was heartbreaking to learn this.
These men were true heros..
In my opinion, this was awful.
All of these men were killed by Kamikazis and were all buried at sea.
Awards were downgraded. But..
…for survivor Alonzo Swann, he finally received the honor due him in 1993.
Moving on, the ship is chock-full of interesting artifacts!
There’s even a cockpit for the children to sit in!
Oh! Why look! There’s a certain Frenchman reading about this aircraft!
Now we’re getting to MY favorite part of the museum. The Cake!!
This. There are no words to express my joy when I saw it..
Naturally, this is a replica cake but you get the idea of how large the cakes were..
This guy had the best job on the ship. After breakfast he could bake cake!
Not only was I obsessed with the grocery lists….
But–the recipes were on display!
I want to make the chocolate cake!
Roman and my husband had to carry me away from this exhibit!
Back outside, Manny, one of the volunteers who also served in the Gulf war had us on the outside elevator and explained the process of how this elevator was used on the ship!
This was fun. We got to “ride” on this outdoor elevator which was used for the aircrafts and other items. The floor is teak because the wood is strong!
This was as close to the top as we got.
And the view from the ship was not too shabby!
Onward to the USS Growler, a submarine launched in 1958 and used during the Cold War. The men spent three months aboard this sub and all did so on a voluntary basis.
Talk about confined space. This was ridiculously narrow!
Torpedoes were stored and miraculously never used.
The small kitchen. Surprisingly, these guys ate very well. Lobster, filet mignon. It was known that for the difficult living of limited space, no showers, etc. that they should have at least had great meals!
To give you an idea of how it was to go from section to section in these little oval openings..
….here’s Roman coming through. I swear my legs got great exercise going through these things.
It was a very good day and I highly recommend a visit to The Intrepid if and when you are in New York City!
One last view from the ship and..
On our way home!
I hope you enjoyed this visit. And before I end I just want to say that this Memorial Day as we remember those family and friends and those we never knew who served our country over the decades–we need to honor and respect them. These are the men and women who selflessly gave life, limb and emotional health to make our country and our world a safer place.
These are the people who would never storm the Capital. They didn’t use excuses to avoid the draft. These were and are true American heros. Think about that on this Memorial Day! And weather permitting, enjoy that cookout!
And in another two weeks, we’ll be back in The City! Jake will be visiting due to work obligations and has treated Bonaparte and I to a night in the City!
Happy Memorial Day All!
Very interesting! I love the city too…no place like NYC
Have a great memorial weekend.
Hi Dory. We’re going back in two weeks but this time we’ll be staying in Brooklyn. I can’t wait. IT’s so true that there’s no place quite like NYC! XOXOXO
My son-in-law served on two aircraft carriers. When he was on the Bush, he took us on a tour. He’s 6’4” and had to duck every time we moved through a different part of the ship. After one of his deployments, my husband did a Tiger cruise with him. That meant he rode on the ship from Jacksonville, FL to Norfolk, VA. My husband was amazed watching the airplanes (there’s probably a more correct word) land and take off. One of the things he mentions over and over was how young they all were! This is a beautifully written post, Cathe. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.
Hi Marsha! Thank you–and I’m genuinely happy that you enjoyed this post. I have to say, your husband was lucky to be on the Tiger cruise–and yeah. It’s frightening at how young these guys are. XOXOXOXO
This was great. An uncle of mine was a ship’s cool
k in the South Pacific during world war II. He kept many of his recipes. I remember the cake recipe that called for four dozen eggs. We also have the recipe for Tom and Jerry that he served the officers on New Year’s Day?
Hi Ann. OMG. That is so cool! Another thing about those massive cakes was that the frosting was applied by hand! BY Hand! But it makes sense!!! Oh you must have the greatest stories! XXOXOXOXO
Thanks for taking us along with you on this emotional trip. We were beside an aircraft carrier in San Diego and the size is something you have to see to believe. Those were some very brave men to be stuck on the ocean to fight. I don’t know if I could go into a sub, even if it is not under water, just too tight.Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
Hi Diane. Yeah. Isn’t the size of those aircraft carriers astounding? I’m with you on the submarine thing. I would be going out of my mind within three days! XOXOXOXO
Catherine thank you for sharing your timely visit this memorial weekend. Just to let you know the Fold3 website lets everyone use it free thru Monday May 31. You can lookup family members military record WW2 draft records etc.
Oh Wow! Thanks so much for that information Ann! XOXOXOXO
Thank you for this info. I found my father and uncle’s records there.
Great post. Very interesting.
Thank you Robin! XOXO
Thanks Catherine for a very informative post. You sound as though you enjoyed every moment. I certainly enjoyed it virtually.
Great post!!! Next time I’m in NYC I plan to visit, looks very interesting.
Unfortunately, apparently there were some active duty and/or retired military personnel who were involved in the insurrection at the Capitol. https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/31/us/capitol-riot-arrests-active-military-veterans-soh/index.html