NYC: One World

I haven’t been able to spend much time in New York City in the last several years, and never experienced the powerful scene of the post 911 tragedy in person. Print media and images broadcast on television portrayed the horrific impact of the event, but I would have liked to have seen the rebuilding progress in person to offer my respect to the lives lost and to the thousands of people who worked so hard to give aid and rescue.

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My arrival fourteen years later to the World Trade Center depicted a completely different scene. As I write this today I am still humbled by the beauty of the site, and moved beyond words by the memorials to the victims. A peacefulness cloaks the sounds of construction and traffic, yet it still pulsates with a quiet energy.

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In the space where the Twin Towers once stood, waterfalls cascade into two enormous square memorial pools. The pools are surrounded with bronze panels inscribed with the names of all the 9/11 victims, as well as those who were killed in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

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Beneath the tree-shaded memorial plaza is an underground museum with multimedia exhibits that tell the story of 9/11 and its aftermath.

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An impressive observatory on the 100th floor of the newly completed Freedom Tower provides 360 degree views of the city and beyond.

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Views of the three bridges that connect Manhattan to Brooklyn, the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges.

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Freedom Tower

The new World Trade Center area is lovely. An area designed for reflection and grieving also provides hope for a better world. There is an energy and excitement pulsating throughout the 16 acres of the former Twin Towers. It bounces off the sparkling panes of glass of Freedom Tower, the memorial waterfalls and the dramatic new architecture ringing the area. I love this city, New York, and I’m deeply proud of my country.

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Please do visit One World Trade Center, the Memorial, the Museum and the rest of gorgeous Lower Manhattan. Official website links are found below, for information and tickets. I recommend buying your tickets to the Memorial and Observatory in advance, as the lines do grow very long.

911 Memorial Museum

One World Observatory

89 Comments

    1. You are right, sometimes words aren’t enough to convey the impact that a place or event has touched someone’s life. Often the right words are difficult to find.
      Thank you for stopping by,
      Elisa

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    1. I didn’t mention it in my post, but we did visit this charming, and welcoming house of worship. It has provided a good deal of comfort over the years, especially during the difficult months following the 911 attacks. I remember reading about it, but didn’t associate it with the stories I read in the news until we stopped inside and viewed the memorials. Thank you for sharing your link!

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  1. Your photos gave me goosebumps and your words are exquisite. Such talent you have, my dear!

    I was in NY about a year after 9/11. I cannot believe so much time has passed…. It is an interesting energy in that space, for sure.

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  2. Beautiful photos, Elisa.

    It’s on our list to see one day, which is getting to be lengthy. One of my friends, a teammate from the previous life, had taken in the new WTC in its entirety over the course of three days with his family. He said it made a veritable impression on his teenaged son and daughter, which moved them to tears. Though it wasn’t his intent to have his kids to become tearful, he’s glad they’re more appreciative of what we have.

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    1. David, thank you. I am aching to return. As usual we were pressed for time, and One WTC deserves a three day, not 3 hour, visit. I apologize for my sporadic replies and will be in touch soon!

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      1. The important thing is that you got to see it. No need to apologize for the sporadic replies. This week has been one where there hasn’t been enough hours in a day, especially today. But, it gets this way before we head out for a horse show. Chat with you soon. 🙂

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  3. Thank you for such a nice post. We are hoping to visit in the next year. It will be quite a transformation from the stark hole the last time we were there.

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    1. You’re welcome, Pam, and thank you for stopping by. The whole area is alive with development and beautiful projects, you won’t recognize it, I think. And the memorials are so beautiful. We didn’t have time to go to the museum because the lines were so long. Hopefully we’ll be able to return soon, because I hear it’s a remarkable tribute.

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      1. I’m glad you told me about the museum lines, because I wouldn’t have thought of that. We’ll also need to get Statue of Liberty tickets. Didn’t do that last time because of the lines.

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    1. Thank you very much, Michael. And yes, I like that picture too. It makes me understand some photographers passion for architecture, especially skyscrapers. Have you ever visited Mabry Campbell’s WordPress site? His specialty is architecture, and his work is really quite inspiring. Take care!

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  4. A wonderful post, Elisa. We visited the Twin Towers in June 2001. I’ve only seen the new construction from a distance when we were in Brooklyn a couple of years ago. Seeing your photos has made me want to go and see this amazing memorial for myself next time we’re in New York.

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    1. Sylvia it’s so beautiful, and there is so much going on that it will take your breath away. I’m hoping we can return again soon, so we can take our time and experience everything. What an amazing thing New York has done, and how resilient are it’s people! Thank you so much for stopping by.

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    1. Sue, I remember your post about your visit to the World Trade center site, and thought about you when we were there because I remember the impact it had on you and your daughter. I was so impressed by everything in Lower Manhattan than I am impatient to return. You will complete your journey there soon as well, I’m guessing!

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  5. I was there recently and it’s everything you have presented. But as you said, one must experience it for oneself. It’s an extraordinary place to contemplate this world that we inhabit. What strikes me deeply is the presence of the Freedom Tower from so many vantage points from Washington Square to the Whitney Museum of Art. It has powerful meaning and symbolism.

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    1. I know Sally, I believe the Freedom Tower was in every one of my photographs taken in Lower Manhattan. I wondered if I was including it subconsciously, or if it was part of the grand design.

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  6. Thanks so much, Elisa, for this tour. Your photos are crystal clear and do a great job of showing the moving memorials of a horrific time in history. I also like the new look of your blog. 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Jet. I’m glad you enjoyed my tour and photographs. I’d love to return again soon, and explore some more. I feel as though I only scratched the surface. I hope you had a great weekend.
      Elisa

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  7. I can’t imagine not being moved by this, Elisa. It’s such a strong statement of indomitable will in the face of such an horrific episode. I can’t think of it, even now, without ‘seeing’ those falling bodies. How must you feel if one of them was your loved one?
    Your second shot, looking straight up, is very beautiful.

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    1. The entire event is difficult to comprehend, even today, but I’m so very proud of how the city of New York rebounded so powerfully. It reminds me of the resilience of your great country after the Second World War. Thanks for stopping by, Jo, always so nice to reconnect!! Take care.

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  8. I definitely have to return to New York at some point. I was last there in 2005 – the site was one of construction – but still such a moving and eerily tranquil place.

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  9. Wonderful photos. My visits in New York have been quick visits, one or two nights max. I love Your tribute of 9/11. I remember that day very well, because i listed to my car radio when returning from my job at airport.

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  10. A wonderful tribute to a place and an event that we should never forget. I haven’t been to New York since 9/11 but plan to go there next year – and of course I will visit the new memorial area. A wonderful post with gorgeous photos.

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  11. Dreaming of waking up in a city that never sleeps, one day. New York, New York, you’re more than just what Frank Sinatra had sung of you a long time ago. You’re awesome, and I’m grateful to have taken a glimpse of you once more through this wonderful post.

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  12. Beautiful post, Elisa. I was also very moved by the 9/11 Memorial. It was shocking to see the open crater where the towers fell right after the attack. I will never forget the impromtu tributes, flowers, photographs on the street corners, and the awful hollowness at the sight. So much destruction and loss. It was overwhelming.

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    1. Hi Patti, and thank you! As time has healed New York a bit, and as beautifully as the World Trade center area has come together, it still is overwhelming. It must have been moving to have been part of the healing process when you were there. Take care, Patti, and have a great weekend.

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  13. I love the photo of a lady passed by the memorial pools where there were the Twin Towers. It likes a lullaby that sings about what had happened, how people moving on and when the wound will finally heal ❤

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    1. We loved it! We had no idea there was an observation area at the top until we stumbled upon the line going in the building. I cannot wait to return, I’m sure so much has changed since we’ve been there last.

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