The plan this morning was to wake up for the Blessing of the Bikes at the Cathedral of St John the Divine. This is a special ceremony on the day before the Five Boros Bike Ride where cyclists of NY can come and have their bicycle blessed for safe travels throughout the year. Given the way traffic works in this city, who couldn’t use a little luck? I ended up oversleeping but I decided to make it to the church anyway, and I chose to do the Vertical Tour, which sounds a little more adventurous than it actually is. What is amazing about this cathedral is that isn’t even finished. Half built in a Romanesque style and half built in the Gothic style, you can see where the two are merged. This tour took us up through the walls of the cathedral up to it’s walkways and onto the roof giving us a view of Manhattan from Harlem. The tour was great because it was viewed from an architectural perspective rather than from a religious one.
This is an interesting church given it has a blessing for bikes and there is currently an exhibit featuring two phoenixes. In Chinese culture the phoenix represents bliss and virtue and is usually a symbol used at weddings and in Western culture the phoenix represents rebirth and resurrection. So while the exhibit is magnificent, I think it’s placement is kind of odd. But I do not adhere to any religion, so perhaps being in a church is hypocritical and I should not judge.