We have safely arrived at our hotel, the Midtown Hilton, just a few blocks off of Times Square. Our flight was very uneventful given all the weather-related drama surrounding whether we would even get to make the trip, and United giving us wrong information about where to check in. We also had a little trouble getting all our pilgrims to the right spot at Newark Airport to meet the bus — confusing directions were given by airport personnel! But we finally made it and got to our hotel right on time around 6:30 p.m.
The New York Hilton Midtown is the largest hotel in New York City. The 47-floor building, located on the northwest edge of Rockefeller Center at Sixth Avenue and 53rd Street, has hosted every U.S. president since John F. Kennedy as well as the Beatles during their 1964 visit to the Ed Sullivan Theater. The world’s first handheld cell phone call was made by hotel guest Martin Cooper in front of the hotel in 1973.
Tomorrow, we visit and worship at John Street Methodist Church in the heart of the Wall Street Financial District. It was founded in the 1760’s by Irish immigrant, Philip Embury — who led an early Methodist class meeting in New York — and the British Captain Thomas Webb (‘ole one-eye’ they called him) who was converted to Methodism in England following his service in the French and Indian War of the 1740s. John Street was the first Methodist church in the soon-to-be new nation — though when we get to St. Georges Methodist Church in Philadelphia, they will probably claim the same honor. Ironically, Captain Webb — who is probably the most famous Methodist you never heard of — had something to do with starting that church as well.
Well, we’re off to dinner. More tomorrow.