My parents visited me this summer, and while they were here they had two items on their to-do list (not including food, obviously, that would have added pages to the list!). One was to visit the 9/11 Memorial, and the other was to visit the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. For those of you who’ve been, you know that it’s impossible to write anything about the 9/11 Memorial that would do the experience justice. Visiting the USS Intrepid, on the other hand, is a lot less heavy, and easier to write about. So here we go!
The USS Intrepid served in the U.S. Navy for over three decades, and played a role in WWII, the Cold War, the Space Race and the Vietnam War. It has since been decommissioned, and is now a floating museum docked in the Hudson. As you know, my brother is in the Navy, so my parents and I were excited to see the ship. We could have waited until Josh was in town too, but he’s seen ships before, right?!
The USS Intrepid is an aircraft carrier, and its flight deck is still lined with planes and helicopters from all eras of military history.
It was fun seeing how the planes were decorated, like this one which has step-by-step rescue instructions.
And this tiger plane.
And a shark!
You can also explore the bridge (I had to keep texting my brother to make sure that I had these terms right!).
We loved this cheeky sign hanging from the bridge!
Inside, you can see how the ship was commanded, and learn more about its history.
Where we were there, there was a USS Intrepid veteran on board! He told us stories about his experiences on the ship, and answered our questions about life in such tight quarters.
The bridge also offers amazing views of the aircrafts with the city in the background!
We also toured the lower decks, where we learned that the walls are painted a signature “serene green.” This color apparently makes you feel like you’re in wide open fields when you’re really in a tiny, tiny ship.
See how small the living quarters are? They remind me of my New York City apartment!
We ended the day with something that my dad insisted upon: riding the airplane elevator. Why was it so important to him, you ask? Well, he argued, “how many people at a party can say that they’ve ridden an airplane elevator?!” To which I answered “That never comes up at parties.” And my mom then wittily replied, “well I’m guessing it will now!”
So we rode it, and are now three people who can talk about this at parties! I know, partying with us sounds like so much fun…
Here we go!
I do have to admit, it was fun to ride the plane elevator. The guide told us that the design was based on the backstage elevator at Radio City Music Hall. During the war, there were guards placed backstage to make sure that no one snuck back there to learn the specifics of the elevator. It made me laugh to think about the Rockettes housing an item of national security!
And then once you visit, you can amaze people at parties with your airplane elevator stories!