NEVER FORGET 20 YEARS LATER SEPTEMBER 11.

It’s been 20 years since those planes slammed into the World Trade Center, The Pentagon and that field in Pennsylvania, but many of us here in the United States will never forget.

If you ever do a 30 Plus Teams Tour of Washington DC or New York City, I would ask that you take a trip down to the 9-11 Memorial or The Pentagon.

Visit One World Observatory, which is where the Twin Towers once stood.

I would ask one thing of you all though.

Please be respectful. These are tourist attractions, but remember, people died here as well.

CHECKING OUT THE NEW PENNSYLVANIA STATION IN NEW YORK CITY.

Normally I take a bus from Port Authority bus station on 41st Street and 8th Avenue in New York City when I go to either Washington DC, Boston, Baltimore, or even Pittsburgh to do a 30 Plus Teams Tour.

This time I decided to take Amtrak because the fares were so low.

Leaving from Amtrak would mean I would have to go either through Penn Station at 33rd Street from the Long Island Railroad or E train if I took the subway from Queens.

Not any more.

As of January 1, 2021, the long awaited new Pennsylvania Station opened up

Its official name is the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Train Hall and it’s a work of art, no lie.

It was named for the late New York senator, Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

Now for some of you who weren’t born in New York City or just moved here in the past few years, the station may not look that spectacular to you.

But to those of us who remember the old Penn Station, the crowds, the filth, this station is beautiful.

It’s also very convenient if, like me, you’re coming from Queens or Long Island on the Long Island Railroad.

Amtrak trains not only leave from here, but so does the Long Island Railroad.

So when I got off the Long Island Railroad train from Locust Manor, I followed the signs to the escalator to the station.

I didn’t even have to go outside.

The station is located in the old James Foley Post Office on 33rd and 8th Avenue.

The post office is still there, not just as big.

The old Penn Station not only had Long Island Railroad trains, but the subway, Amtrak and New Jersey transit trains.

Now, the New Jersey Transit trains just leave from the old Penn Station, which is still across the street, underneath Madison Square Garden.

However, if your Amtrak train gets in after midnight, sorry, the new Penn Station is closed.

Your train will go to the old Penn Station.

My only complaint with the new Penn Station is the tracks for the Long Island Railroad trains aren’t close to the Amtrak trains.

Coming back from Washington DC, my FLIX Bus stopped next door.

I had to run to catch a 6:45pm train which left from track 18.

Track 18 WASN’T on the main floor.

Needless to say the Sports Diva wasn’t a happy camper being a real New Yorker, running through a terminal to catch a train that was leaving in 10 minutes, loaded down with a purse and a carry-on suitcase.

There are no escalators going down just a ramp and stairs.

(I made my train, by the way)

What I love about this terminal is that you can’t loiter if you don’t have a ticket, and there’s enough security to make sure that happens.

All in all, if the fares are good, I will take Amtrak and enjoy going through the new Penn Station in New York City.

PICTURES OF WASHINGTON DC PART TWO

Because there is so much to see in DC, places and buildings that so many, including locals don’t really know anything about, here’s more pictures of this 30 Plus Teams Tour of Washington DC aka “The District”.

This is part of the Environmental Protection Agency. This particular building is the William Jefferson Clinton Building. Yep, that is Bill Clinton’s full name.
This is the Carnegie Library better known as the DC History Center
Walter E Washington Convention Center, many events are held here
The city of Arlington, Virginia looking across from Washington DC
No matter where you go in DC, you’ll see signs like this giving you a history of the neighborhood you’re in
The Arlington Bridge separates Virginia from Washington DC. It was built after the Civil War to unite the North and the South

PICTURES OF WASHINGTON DC PART ONE

When people do their own 30 Plus Teams Tour of Washington DC, they visit the usual spots, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, even the Martin Luther King Memorial.

Many of them even take the Washington DC Metro even though many of us, (the Sports Diva included who visits The District quite often)don’t get the concept of swiping your Metro Card entering a station and then again EXITING a Metro Station.

These pictures are from places that’s known to tourists but mostly locals.

When doing a 30 Plus Teams Tour of Washington DC, aka “The District”, you might want to check out some of these places and get familiar with some of these Metro Stations.

The main terminal in DC for buses and trains. This is on the Red Line Metro
This is the station for the airport closest to Washington DC, but it’s actually in Arlington, Virginia
This is close by the Capitol building and now you’ll see a lot of skateboarders using it to try their newest moves
This station is on the Silver, Orange, and Blue Lines. You’ll find a lot of government buildings here.
The area of Arlington National Cemetery that many tourists rarely see. The Blue Line Metro can take you there

GOOD EATING IN THE WASHINGTON DC SUBURBS

It may not seem like it, but everytime I do a 30 Plus Teams Tour of somewhere, there always seems to be food involved.

My 30 Plus Teams Tour of Washington DC was no exception.

I met up with a friend that I haven’t seen since my last visit to DC.

When I come to DC, I let my friend, Harriet F, choose the restaurant.

The last time we met up was a restaurant in Downtown DC(and after that a Washington Capitals hockey game. If she’s a friend of the Sports Diva, you just KNOW that a sporting event is going to take place.)

This time, Harriet outdid herself and choose a restaurant in the DC suburbs, near her house.

It’s called Fontina Grill and it’s located at 301 Pleasant Drive in the city of Rockville, Maryland.

To get to the restaurant, which is in the King Farms neighborhood of Rockville, you can get off on the Red Line Metro stop of Shady Grove.

The Red Line Metro stop of Rockville is a stop before Shady Grove, but Shady Grove is an easier stop for the restaurant, and then of course you have to walk a few blocks if you don’t have a car, which we didn’t.

The cuisine is mostly Italian, with a lot of seafood thrown in.

You are in the state of Maryland, known for its seafood, so don’t be surprised to see a lot of shrimp and especially crab cakes on the menu.

When you look at the menu, you are amazed at how inexpensive this restaurant is.

(Being from New York City, I know I was.)

Even the appetizers are inexpensive and you can have just those rather than order something from the main menu.

You won’t leave the restaurant hungry, and if you do, that’s on you boo boo.

While Harriet had the Meatball Fra Diablo, which was three huge meatballs loaded with cheese, I had what is known as one of the “Fontina Favorites”, Mussels Caprese.

It’s a huge bowl of steamed mussels cooked with garlic, lemon juice, white wine and olive oil.

It was only $11.95 and it makes my mouth water still just thinking about it and how muy delicioso it was.

I was in seventh heaven when the waitress asked if I wanted a side salad with it for only $2 more.

Never one to turn down a salad, especially with a side of Raspberry Vinaigrette, as a dressing , you know I said yes.

Let me just say that the Sports Diva isn’t a big fan of garlic, but this wasn’t the type of garlic sauce that overwhelms you.

The other ingredients complimented the garlic perfectly.

If there’s ever a time that I come back to DC, and I want to go to a different restaurant with or without a friend, I’ll do a solo trip to Fontina Grill.

It’s that good.

A VISIT TO THEODORE ROOSEVELT ISLAND

My idea was to go to see the Marine Corps Memorial, better known as the Iwo Jima Statue at Arlington National Cemetery.

As I said, the idea was to see the Iwo Jima Statue.

It didn’t happen that way.

Instead, getting off at the Rosslyn neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia, I came across a place that I wanted to visit on one of my many trips to the Washington DC area.

It’s the Theodore Roosevelt Island right in the middle of the Potomac River and named for the United States president that was one of the first presidents who was concerned about the environment.

To get to Theodore Roosevelt Island, take the Theodore Roosevelt Trail, walk over the bridge that overlooks the Potomac and Key Highway.

Be ready to do a lot of walking, no really a LOT of walking.

Not only is there a statue of one of the tallest president’s in the country, you will see 4 big walls surrounding the statue of the president with some of his quotes on it.

Theodore Roosevelt Island is not to be confused with Roosevelt Island here in New York City, (which was named for Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Teddy’s cousin)

This is a very popular trail, so don’t be surprised if you aren’t the only one on the trail, walking, jogging and many cases, riding a bike.

DOING SOMETHING ELSE ON MY BUCKET LIST

While walking on the Arlington Bridge that separates the Commonwealth of Virginia from Washington DC, I looked across the Potomac River and saw the Kennedy Center.

This was one of the places to visit on my bucket list, but with all the times that I was in DC, I never got the chance to do so.

This time, I was so close, I could feel it.

Forget the fact that it was hot, humid, and going to rain any minute, I decided to cross this off my bucket list.

When you first enter the center, which isn’t just a Opera House, it’s basically all things John Kennedy

On the walls outside the building were quotes from the late president.

Also inside is the great hall with the flag of all 50 states

In another room, which was closed off, are the flags of all the nations that had diplomatic relations with the United States.

Even though a lot of the building is closed off, the Kennedy Center is a place you must visit if you’re in Washington DC

RIDING ON THE AMTRAK DOWN TO DC

Normally when I travel to Boston, Philadelphia or DC, I take a bus from Port Authority, but this time I decided to do something completely different.

I’m going by Amtrak from the new Penn Station in New York at the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Hall .

More about this station in an upcoming post.

I rarely took Amtrak because their fares were outrageous to put it nicely, even in coach class.

This time, I kept checking prices and discovered with my senior citizen discount, the most it would be one way was $29-69.

I could afford that and only paid $29

I was going one way on Amtrak because coming back on Sunday, even with a discount, the fares are ridiculous.

I didn’t even have to print out my ticket.

Hello e-ticket, which was right on my phone along with any information about the ride, not to mention those miles I’m going to get from signing up for Amtrak rewards.

I hadn’t been on Amtrak in years especially down to DC, so the Sports Diva was like a kid in a candy shop looking out the window for stations that I recognized like 30th Street in Philly, Newark Penn Station, Baltimore Penn Station and stops that I had no idea where they were, like the Amtrak Metropark station, which I discovered from friends who live near there , that it’s in Iselin, NJ.

When we got to DC after a delay due to switching problems at the New Carrollton, Maryland station, I realized that unlike a bus ride, I wasn’t tired.

I was very relaxed and ready to take the Washington Metro train to meet up with my family.

My train is number 93, the Northeast Regional to Norfolk
Don’t judge me. The Sports Diva and Joe must be comfortable
Even on Amtrak, just wear the damn mask my peeps
Baltimore Penn Station
Safety card from Amtrak. At the top is a quote from President Joe Biden, “we’re all in this together”
The Metropark Station in Iselin, NJ
The beautiful waters off Wilmington, Delaware
I tried to check my bag, but for trains along the Northeast Corridor, no can do
If you’re going to Baltimore Thurgood Marshall Airport, this is your station
New Carrollton Station. DC Metro trains stop here, too.
My stop on the Amtrak, Washington Union Station. Now it’s time to take the DC Metro

WHERE IS THE SPORTS DIVA GOING?

I have a 3 hour ride on Amtrak, something that I haven’t done since the 1990’s when I lived in Boston.

We just went quickly by the Secacus New Jersey Transit stop.

When I asked you to guess where was I going to now, some of you said Boston or Philadelphia.

WRONG!

I’m spending time with some presidents and my nieces and their kids and grandkids down in Washington DC.

They’ll be lots going on, so stay tuned.