Tag Archives: Freedom Tower

USA, New York – The Bronx twice (Botanical Gardens and Woodlawn Cemetery); One World Trade Centre and last few Manhattan snaps

Bit of a mix for the last post for this NYC trip. Sunny blue sky crisp days make getting out of town without having to go too far a great idea. My first stop for the first time was to visit the NY Botanical Gardens – which also happened to be housing a Georgia O’Keefe exhibit. An excellent way to spend a couple of hours on a sunny day.

I then headed for Arthur Avenue in the Bronx – the authentic Little Italy and ate real Italian food – not the touristy stuff you get in Little Italy in Manhattan.

The day after I was back in the Bronx to do the once a month free history tour of Woodlawn cemetery where numerous worthies from the commercial, entertainment and literary world are buried (including Duke Ellington and Miles Davis in an area where a lot of jazz related people are together). They do an impressive turn in mausoleums – some have curtains, are carpeted and many include Tiffany windows too. Another lovely spot to get away from it all and walk around quietly. I will definitely go back to try out some of the other tours.

Back in Manhattan I visited One World Trade Center (or the Freedom Tower for a spectacular ride to the top and pretty amazing views. They spend a lot of time telling you how safe this building is – a bit too much time….

And then I always love the light in NYC – especially when the sun its parts of buildings and provides a natural illumination. Farewell NYC – until the next time.

USA, New York City – a sombre visit to the 9/11 Memorial

I was working in NYC on 9/11 so of course remember it very well in a personal way. While I had visited the reflecting pools which were built on the exact sites of the Twin Towers, I had not been to the memorial museum before but now felt up to doing that.

Firstly I would say that it is very hard to create this type of memorial and it has been done sensitively but honestly too. There are some excellent short movies about the day and an enclosed exhibition where no photos are allowed which covers some of the the more personal and therefore upsetting stories including video of those who jumped rather than burn to death.

There are many parts of what was left of the original buildings including a set of stairs that many escaped down to get out of the building and a distorted fire truck impacted by the fall of the one of the Towers. The docents were excellent – I did a free guided tour – turned out her father had been a firefighter on 9/11 when she was 6 but had been reassigned from Downtown to the Bronx on that day so survived but he was heavily involved in the clear up exercise.

Next to the reflecting pools there is a single tree that survived the devastation and continues to get bigger and stronger each year. Good to see that.

The area outside of the museum and pools is much changed. The Freedom Tower – which I have yet to visit (it has an observatory) reaches up high and the Oculus modern design is the “cover” for a new giant Westfield shopping centre and the subway stations. Life goes on ….