My mother recently came to visit last week during here annual spring break pilgrimage from working for the public schools. She has been her at least a half dozen times and has done all the touristy things so I've finally backed off my traditional rapid-fire marathon tours in which we usually walk 6+ miles daily. Luckily this city is constantly changing and evolving, especially with the wealth of new public spaces opening under Bloomberg's administration.
So of course we found ourselves deep downtown, a place I rarely go, and remembered hearing all the buzz and about the crazy multi-hour lines from this past fall when the memorial opened. I quickly popped onto the 9/11 Memorial website, thanks to the signs everywhere, to find that we could "reserve" a spot in less than an hour. So I clicked away and we found ourselves whipping through a sea of crowd stanchions with tickets in hand toward the new plaza. Now, I have to admit that I wasn't quite sure what parts were opened or exactly what we were going to see but was astonished to find ourselves standing in a massive plaza at the base of the new World Trade tower.
The most dramatic aspect of the plaza are the two recessed water fountains made in the footprints of the previous towers. Walking up to one of these is a very powerful experience due to their shear size and auditory overload with all that water sinking into the two tiered void. It's been over ten years since their collapse and having not really known New York prior to their fall, it felt quite intense to know I was standing at the base of such structures which I watched on a TV in Ohio. It must be a phenomenal experience for those who knew the space prior and to all those who knew those effected.
These photos, or any photos for that matter, just do not do it justice. So if you find yourself entertaining a guest any time soon, I highly recommend using it as an excuse to get your butt down to the Memorial and checking it out. In my opinion, these pools are up there with Lin's Vietnam Memorial for their quality of remembrance through landscape design. As for the buildings, the verdicts is still definitely out.