Because this series of pictures could go on forever, I had to take a break yesterday and thus break up the posts (the latest Twin Peaks was on and it isn’t gonna watch itself, people…twice). The previous post was about the first few days of our week off, and so this one will focus on the remainder…
Wed, May 31, 2017: Starting the day off
So this day, the plan was to visit the area down by the World Trade Center. We were there when the project finally started getting built, but even by 2010, it was still not very much higher up than above ground level. But in the last 6-7 years, definitely lots of progress was made:
Back in 2009 – just a large pit:
Then in 2011 – a giant amount of height achieved:
By late 2013, the building had been topped out, but it still took a while before everything inside opened up, and it wasn’t until the last year or so that the observation deck and the 9/11 Museum were open, although by this point, the memorial waterfalls were open:
Anyway, it’s been a long road for this complex to be all open. Beside the construction of One WTC (formerly the “Freedom Tower”), there is also the construction of the Oculus, the other-worldly train station adjacent to 1WTC. It’s kind of stunning to see and very hard to describe, so here are the pictures I took when we exited the subway right into the Oculus….
Pics from our Arrival at the Oculus
We had reserved tickets for the morning to explore the 9/11 National Museum, which is quite an experience. It’s built underground and includes quite a few artifacts from Ground Zero, as well as a lot of meaningful displays around that day. Eerily, it has the footprints of the original towers as something you walk around, and a few galleries are within that original footprint. The main gallery, and by far the most intense, is that which walks you through the day as it began, as it occurred, and the immediate and long-term aftermath. They advise children not to enter this and I can’t see anyone under 10 ever going in there, as it’s quite intense to have everything brought back to you. There are some quite graphic displays that make you mad and sad all over again. Throughout the museum as a whole, it’s a combination of awe at how well designed and presented the museum while experiencing it with tears in your eyes.
The 9/11 Museum
Afterwards, it was a nice thing to go from remembering the horror of September 11 and then visit what has been built since…One World Trade Center. It’s a quite impressive feat of engineering. We had purchased a timed priority pass, so we could pass by the main line and go straight to the elevators. And man, that elevator ride alone is worth the price of admission as it’s completely covered in video screens that show a chronological evolution of NYC from before the 1600s. As you go higher (and you get to the top in a VERY short amount of time) you catch up to current time, with a brief view of the original Twin Towers.
At the top, you then line up against a railing looking at a video screen of NYC activity, and then triumphantly, a stunning reveal is made at the end of the video. I won’t completely ruin it, but it really must be seen to be believed. It was a fantastic, jaw-dropping moment before heading out to the main observatory floor.
The sun had finally come out by that point – happily, that was the case as the days before were gloomy and rainy. So yeah, getting a view was a relief, although it wasn’t crystal clear. But the view? Amazing. I need to find my pictures from when my dad and I walked all of Manhattan and visited the top deck of the old WTC, as this is quite a spectacular view. I won’t bombard this post with every pic I took, but a few highlights are in order. Before we left, Larry & I had to go and get a few drinks on the top of the world – so we grabbed 2 glasses of the exclusive ONE white wine each. It’s a unique feeling to just drink and look down over a thousand feet to the world.
Visiting One World Trade Center’s Observation Deck
And the day was not over – but I think I need to get ready to go to bed. So yeah, this is Pt 2 of my pictures posts, but really, it’s just the first part of this one day as we walked a LOT that day.