New York City Part 2 – August 2017
Whenever I go to a new place, I try to find things that represent a piece of history. Pieces such as a monument, museum, or even just memorial site. With a city that has as much history as New York City, there is definitely not a shortage of places to visit.
On this trip, I focused on the places of remembrance.
National September 11 Memorial
Three years ago, when I visited the 9/11 memorial and museum it had a major impact on me. I find it difficult to really summarize what the museum and memorial represent. It is difficult because the very ground itself is a burial ground. And, though it is now surrounded by new, modern buildings, the power of standing on the place where so many innocent people lost their lives is overpowering.
Since I have already been to the museum, I decided I would leave that aspect off this post and just talk about the fountains and the One World Trade Center Building.
While I have made prior visits to New York City, I never had the opportunity to actually see the World Trade Center in person. When I got to the site itself for the first time after 9/11, I could not comprehend how large the towers actually were. As you approach the fountains you are taken by the enormity of the space where the towers once stood. Each fountain is enclosed by a marble wall which contains the names of the fallen etched into the surface. As you approach to read the names, which sometimes contain flowers placed in memoriam, you are immediately struck by not only the magnitude of 9/11, but also the fact that for many, it is as if it happened yesterday.
Because the memorial and museum have been open for some time, I am sure a large majority of you who reading this will have already visited. For those readers, you understand the feeling that I am talking about. For anyone that has not been, I would make this a priority in your first days on your next visit to New York City.
I have been to a lot of memorials in my life, but I cannot think of one that carries the weight that this one does.
The last time I was in New York City, I briefly strolled through Battery Park. On this trip, however, I walked the entire length of the shoreline which really provides you with an excellent perspective of the beauty of the city.
I was able to take in an incredible sunset. There is something special about seeing the sun set while looking at the Statue of Liberty in the distance. Going through Battery Park this time, I also noticed many things I missed on my prior visit.
Battery Park Memorials
The first thing that I observed was the New York City Police Memorial. Although it in a rather obscure location, I was thankful I noticed it to take a to pay respects. As in any American city, being a Police Officer is a difficult, and many times, thankless job. In New York, it is even more difficult as a result of the size of the population and the density of the city. This stoic memorial, tucked away in Battery Park, had a quiet, solemn beauty that had a strong impact on me.
The second thing I was able to see in the Park was the American Merchant Marine Memorial. Having had the opportunity to interact with a great number of Veterans over the years, this was another monument that filled me with awe. It is a quite dramatic sculpture which depicts the peril these mariners faced (and continue to face) and the enormous contributions they made during World War II.
Around the corner from the Merchant Marine memorial is a memorial to those lost during the Korean War. Again, this very moving tribute underscores the idea of remembrance that has come to symbolize lower Manhattan and Battery Park. It stands as a reminder to all Americans about the great sacrifice so many have made for our country. As you can see from the picture, this sculpture is in a location that is truly special as you can see through the soldier into the distance.
These are just a few of the many memorials located in Battery Park. I am going to provide a link at the bottom to the NYC Parks-Battery Park list of memorials so you can take a look on your next visit.
The Oculus was something I was looking forward to before I even landed in New York City. Like so many of you, I follow a lot of bloggers and photographers that live in the City. From time to time, I see them post this amazing structure. When I found out I was going on this trip, I made sure I circled this location on my list.
Inside this massive transportation hub is a multi-level mall that includes dining options and shopping. I think what makes the Oculus so appealing to me is its architectural design. Essentially, once you enter, you are actually inside an incredible piece of art.
Once I got past how amazing the building was, we decided to eat there. When I found out they had an Eataly, I immediately knew where I was having dinner that night. For those of you who have not been, I would definitely recommend going. To give an example of what it is: imagine going into a store/restaurant that is like taking a stroll through Italy. You enter the restaurant through the store which offers gourmet food, as well as kitchen items for purchase. In the center, is a bar which serves beer, wine, and mixed drinks. In addition, there are tables where you can buy anything you want from the numerous counters and dine.
The restaurant itself is located in the back, behind the store in a rather large loft-like area. Eataly is only in a few locations around the United States, so if you are ever near one, I would definitely recommend going.
I hope you are enjoying this New York City series. In my final segment, you will get to see more of my highlights on great coffee. What would a trip be without great coffee?
Places to go
9/11 Memorial & Museum
Thank you for reading!