Start spreadin’ the news, I’m leavin’ today. I want to be a part of it, New York, New York. These vagabond shoes are longing to stray. Right through the very heart of it, New York, New York.
But of course, the first stop is a food cart peddled by a guy named Ali. He takes pride in serving a simple hot dog sandwich between buns and topped with pickles, cheese and other condiments. For some reason, it felt more appropriate to chow down on these juicy hot dogs whilst people watching. So, I decided to sit on one of the concrete benches, stuff my face with the humble, but tasty sandwich, overlooking one of the NYC Landmarks, The New York City Hall.
The New York City Hall, the seat of the New York City government, is located at the center of City Hall Park in the Civic Center area of Lower Manhattan, between Broadway, Park Row, and Chambers Street. The building is the oldest city hall in the United States that still houses its original government functions, such as the office of the Mayor of New York City and the chambers of the New York City Council.
The New York City Hall was busy that day. The suits were rushing as if the end of the world was nigh. But a few couldn’t resist the temptation of what the food cart had to offer, so there I was in the midst of suits who skillfully relished the buns, without drips and drops. Amazing!
A hot dog sandwich later, I was ready to strut and discover the wonders of this beloved city. So…. I found myself at Saint Paul’s Chapel.
The chapel has hosted many famous worshipers. George Washington worshiped here on his Inauguration Day, April 30, 1789. During the two years New York City was the country’s capital, Washington attended services at St. Paul’s, while Trinity Church was being rebuilt. Hanging above Washington’s pew is a painting of the Great Seal of the United States (adopted in 1782), which was commissioned by the Vestry in 1785. The artist of the painting is unknown.
Where were you during the 9-11? I remembered too well when the world stopped on this tragic day. I was watching the news that afternoon and because the news was in German, and I thought it was a movie teaser. Not till one of the American hotel guests started screaming and sobbing did I understood it wasn’t a movie. Sixteen years later, I was standing inside the World Trade Center, the epicenter of the tragedy that changed the world.
Today, the site which is also known as ground zero is resurrected. Office buildings, The 9/11 Memorial Plaza, 9/11 Memorial Museum and A Transportation Terminal stood as proof of the New Yorkers’ resilience and undefeated spirit.
To visit the site, the unmatched mass transit – 11 subways & PATH trains are accessible directly from the buildings. The World Trade Center offers direct, weather-protected access to most of the City’s subway, bus and ferry lines. Two new train stations – the WTC Transportation Hub designed by Santiago Calatrava, and the MTA Fulton Transit Center designed by Nicholas Grimshaw make coming and going fast and convenient. It’s the equivalent of having Grand Central, Times Square and Penn Station all in one place.
9/11 Memorial Plaza A tribute to the past and a place of hope for the future — the 9/11 Memorial Plaza is alive with twin spirits of remembrance & renewal. The 8-acre park is a supremely contemplative sanctuary, composed of a grove of nearly 400 white oak trees, and the largest man made waterfalls in the United States. Set within the footprints of the original Twin Towers, each pool is approximately 1-acre in size. The names of every person who perished in the terror attacks of February 26, 1993 & September 11, 2001 are honored in bronze around the twin Memorial pools.
9/11 Memorial Museum The National 9/11 Memorial Museum is located within the archaeological heart of the original WTC site. The Museum serves as the country’s principal institution concerned with exploring the historic implications of that tragic date, through state-of-the-art multimedia exhibits, archives and monumental artifacts. Paying reverent homage to the nearly 3,000 victims of the attacks, the museum also recognizes the thousands who survived, and all who showed extraordinary courage & compassion in the catastrophe’s aftermath.
It is almost early afternoon and there was more to see. Best of all, apart from the roadside snack which I paid less than five bucks, I haven’t spent one single dime yet. Watch out for part two and see I can keep my purse zipped.