Day two was a really full day for us over in Manhattan. We took a ferry over from New Jersey and it dropped us off pretty much directly next door to the World Trade Center site, so we decided to have a look around there and visit the memorial. We passed the One World Trade Center (the Freedom Tower) on the way, and that building is so impressive! The way it's been designed is so crazy, it makes it look so tall if you stand at the base and look up, due to the optical illusion of the fine point at the top. It was beautiful to see on such a clear sunny day.
It's really a strange thing to visit the 9/11 memorial. I can't believe the whole thing happened over a decade ago, it still feels so fresh and recent. The actual memorial area was beautifully designed, two huge pools of flowing water surrounded by the names of those lost in the attacks. Some of the names had white roses tucked into them, and I later learned that it would have been their birthday. There was a beautiful callery pear tree there that has been dubbed the Survivor Tree that had been nurtured back to life, and oddly enough it was the only tree there in bloom when we visited.
A callery pear tree became known as the "Survivor Tree" after enduring the September 11, 2001 terror attacks at the World Trade Center. In October 2001, the tree was discovered at Ground Zero severely damaged, with snapped roots and burned and broken branches. The tree was removed from the rubble and placed in the care of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. After its recovery and rehabilitation, the tree was returned to the Memorial in 2010. New, smooth limbs extended from the gnarled stumps, creating a visible demarcation between the tree’s past and present. Today, the tree stands as a living reminder of resilience, survival and rebirth.
The museum was very hard, though. I'm glad we did it. I was dubious at first, because it all feels so macabre to ogle the dead. However, it was all presented so thoughtfully - with the upmost of respect. There were a few things I couldn't bring myself to do - they had little telephone handsets where you could hear the last phone calls and messages from people who called from the towers or the planes. I just don't like that. I head them enough, over and over, when they played them on the news at the time, and it bothered me. These were private messages, the last words these people said to those they love, I've no right hearing them and nor does anybody else.
Largely though, the whole experience was really worthwhile seeing, and really difficult. A lady near me left in tears. It's obviously still far too raw and far too real for some people. I walked around in tears at some of it. It was horrible. It sounds awful to call it a 'good day out', because of the subject matter, but it really is worth the trip.
I didn't take many photos inside the museum. I found it incredibly tacky for the most part. People were taking selfies up against photos of the tower collapsing. It was grotesque. I really liked this line though.
Afterwards, we grabbed a bite to eat at a local cafe (authentic, recommended by one of the World Trade Center employees, where I had a very yummy philly cheese steak and salad, nom!) and took a slow walk down towards Battery Park to go see the Statue of Liberty! We weren't planning on actually going to the Statue of Liberty herself, I went last year with Moose and found it incredibly disappointing. Instead, we planned to take the Staten Island Ferry across to take some photos and see her up close from the vantage point of a dry, warm (and free!) boat. We ended up getting to see her at sunset, which was incredibly pretty (and the photos don't really do it justice, sadly).
We decided to head back up to the WTC area afterwards, where we grabbed a drink at a local Irish Pub before heading back to the apartment. It was a busy, full day and we were shattered!
Day three coming soon!~
Hey there! I'm Selena, an artist, blogger and video gamer - but maybe not always in that order! Dream Somehow is a geek, travel and Disney lifestyle blog dedicated to my nerdy little life! If you'd like to learn a little more about me, click here.