When speaking of Manhattan, the word “Downtown” means the southern part of Manhattan Island. 9/11 Memorial, Battery Park, Wall Street and City Hall are some of the places in this area which you can combine in one afternoon visit. In this post I’ll show you around this part of NYC.
So, let’s start.
While heading to downtown New York City and visiting 9/11 Memorial area, one cannot miss this enormous bird-shaped masterpiece – The Oculus. It is actually a transportation hub, dining and a retail centre. Designed by famed Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, this luminous space is intended to resemble “a bird flying from the hands of a child”, bringing a sense of hope to a site of tragedy.
Inside The Oculus, one feels like walking into a modern art gallery. You can also find big Apple Store here, some designer shops like Dior, Kate Spade, even the ‘kiosks’ found on the main floor look modern and artistic.
Outside, a short walk from The Oculus leads to –
The 9/11 Memorial pays an emotional tribute to the 2.983 people who were killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York City, Shanksville, PA and Pentagon, including the victims of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
As a first time visitor, it is one of the places you should unquestionably make time for during a visit to New York.
Located where the Twin Towers once stood, there are now two large grey chasms in the ground surrounded by waterfalls which cascade down to the centre, dark void in the middle.
The names of the 2.983 people killed in the attacks are engraved on the edge of these reflecting pools.
Each day, an employee of the memorial goes outside and places a white rose on the nameplate of every victim celebrating a birthday.
These two pools make up 9/11 Memorial, which is free of charge and open to the public daily from 7:30 am to 9 pm.
Visiting the Memorial, one thing particulary catched my eye. Tourists taking smiling group pictures or even selfies in front of this tragic, memorable site.
I can understand that not every person can really understand the depth of this place, where nearly 3 000 people died in such horrific way.
In other words, would you smile for a selfie at someone’s grave?
Maybe I’m being overly dramatic here, but personally I think taking some ‘normal’ photos of the Memorial without me standing in front of it, are enough.
What’s your opinion about it? Tell me in the comment section, I would love to hear it.
In the next post I’m taking you to a place where we I saw the most beautiful view of NYC right at the time of sunset so stay tuned 🙂