Second Day in New York

The second day in New York for us started early enough. So, after a shower and a hearty breakfast, we went to take the metro to get Battery Park, at the end of Manhattan.

There, after we have met some squirrels, we visited the Castle Clinton. Once known as Castle Garden, Castle Clinton or Fort Clinton, is a circular sandstone fort, perhaps best remembered as America’s first immigration station (predating Ellis Island), where more than 8 million people arrived in the U.S.A. from 1855 to 1890. Then it became a beer garden, exhibition hall, theater, public aquarium, and finally today is a national monument. In this castle, there are the ticket offices for Liberty Island and Ellis Island. Beyond those, however, there’s not much more; Castle Clinton is fairly empty.

Left the castle, we continued our visit of Battery Park, walking along the shore. We saw some art installations, very interesting, like “Ape & Cat”. This installation is inspired by a small porcelain figurine of a cat and monkey in human clothing, and is part of a series of sculptures, paintings and drawings created by Jim Dine. To make it more beautiful is the view that falls down on the New Jersey’s coast with its skyscrapers.

Continuing to walk, we saw another interesting installation, the “Cool Globes” that is still worthy of mention. Designed to bring awareness to global warming, this temporary installation is composed by twelve globes, and each of these globes carries a simple idea towards progress in preserving our planet. They will be located on the plaza opposite the recently restored Pier until November 20.

At the end of Battery Park, you can see one of the monuments present in New York dedicated to immigrants. This one in particular caught my attention. As you can see, it’ represented a dramatic scene: the attempt to save an immigrant who is drowing. Despite it’s only a statue, I can assure you that transmitted me, a strong sense of anxiety and sadness. These sensations were even more alive cause the water, that went up and down, hiding and showing the man’s hand that was absorbed in the water. It seemed a real drowning. Plus, in background, the emblem of american dream, Statue of Liberty, that contrasts with the dramatic scene in the foreground. I have to say that this scene, mostly in this time where immigration for us is one of the main issues, made me to think.

Before to leave Battery Park we made a quick view of Museum of Jewish Heritage (is a memorial to those who perished in the Holocaust.

The building is topped by a pyramid structure called the Living Memorial to the Holocaust and was made by Roche-Dinkeloo), then we started to go up the island of Manhattan. We passed the National Museum of the American Indian; it’s located within the historic Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, and explores the diversity of the Native people of the Americas.

Continuing we entered in Financial District, and immediately we stopped at Charging Bull, a bronze sculpture by Arturo Di Modica that stands in Bowling Green Park (a very popular sculpture in fact, there was an exaggerated crowd).

From there, we got in the heart of the Financial District, at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE, is an American stock exchange located at Wall Street).

Farther there is the Federal Hall, where George Washington took the oath of office as our first President, and this site was home to the first Congress, Supreme Court, and Executive Branch offices. Today the building serves as a museum and memorial to the first American President and the beginnings of the United States of America.

At this point we went to Trinity Church, a historic, active, well-endowed parish church in the Episcopal Diocese of New York.

This church it’s not very big, but it’s charming, also for its cemetery, that is nestled among many skyscrapers.

Walking toward the Hudson River, we got the New World Trade Center, a partially completed complex of buildings under construction, replacing an original complex of seven buildings with the same name on the same site that were destroyed in the September 11 attacks.

Symbol of the World Trade Center is the One World Trade Center, also known as the Freedom Tower, is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, and the sixth-tallest in the world.

Over the Freedom Tower, the new complex includes 7 World Trade Center, three other high-rise office buildings, a museum and memorial, and a transportation hub similar in size to Grand Central Terminal. The memorial, called “Reflecting Absence”, honors the victims of the September 11 attacks and was designed by Peter Walker and Israeli-American architect Michael Arad. The memorial consists of a field of trees interrupted by the footprints of the twin towers. Pools of water fill the footprints, underneath which sits a memorial space whose walls bear the names of the victims (when it’s birthday of a victim is placed a rose on his name).

I suggest you to take some time and think about this dramatic tragedy, make a prayer for the victims and show respect for the place, that is still a memorial. To complete the visit at the World Trade Center, we entered also in the Westfield World Trade Center, a shopping center that replaces an earlier shopping center called The Mall at the World Trade Center.

Here I interrupt my story, so I can resume with the next post on next week.

Good light to everyone.

Carlo

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