Monday of our NYC vacation we decided first to explore the area near our hotel: the financial district. Since the work week had just begun we walked the oldest part of town with business men and women in suits on their way to or from with coffee in hand. The street carts and food trucks were already busy with those who wanted a quick bite on their way to the office.
Our hotel was only a few blocks from many iconic locations such as Trinity Church, the stock exchange, the charging bull, the federal hall (Where President Washington was inaugurated), and the famous restaurant Delmonico’s. Although there were a some touring groups on these narrow streets very few cars came through let alone tour buses.
As we wandered in the light rain we headed down the brick streets to Battery Park, the park at the tip of Manhattan Island, where the ferries and tour boats leave for the Statue of Liberty. Luke was excited to see the statue in spite of the dense fog. For me, this was my second time seeing her and I knew the view would be better another day.
We took in the skyline and noted a bronze burnt globe. In reading the plaque we realized that it once stood in front of the twin towers and had been damaged in the attack. Since then other modern globes from various artists have joined this globe in battery park as a memorial and symbol of resilience.
Continuing on, we changed direction northwest and passed parks and towering business buildings on our way to the 9/11 memorial site. It was a sobering experience though the place was loud and crowded. Large stone walls surround the base of where each building stood; engraved in each are the names of those who died. Looking down you see water pouring into emptiness, going so far you cannot see the bottom. It is an effective reminder of the loss and emptiness that came from this tragedy.
There was plenty of security and the line into the museum was of disneyland proportions. We did not feel compelled to go in. But understood how many families with children who were too young to remember would want to.
We instead found it more interesting to walk the streets surrounding the memorial. Even after 15 years, the damage to nearby buildings is obvious. Some have chosen not to rebuild, with only a one or two floor building left like stump of a previous limb. Others are under mass construction like the greek orthodox church across the street from the memorial.
After this tour, we went back to our hotel to re-group and prepare for our next walking tour: Chinatown and Little Italy, more of this to come. . .