Finishing Up My Marathon Monday Adventures

After seeing the Ghost Buster’s Firehouse, I headed to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. First up was checking out the museum. I purposefully put this museum after the marathon because I knew it would be sobering. If you’ve never visited the 9/11 Museum, I highly recommend it.

Most of the museum is below ground. As you descend to where the exhibits are, you get a birds eye view of some of them.

As you may recall, on 9/11/01, two airplanes crashed into two of the World Trade Center Towers in NYC. Additionally, one plane crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and one crashed into a field in Pennsylvania (presumably this plane was heading towards the White House).

You see this as you approach the bottom floor. 9/11 is a day that none of us will ever forget.

This staircase was one that was used in rescuing so many people that day. What’s sobering is to just see how these pieces of concrete survived and have been left as they were after all the rubble had been sorted through.

One of the displays I really liked was this mural (clearly made by children) with hand written notes on them.

It was too large for one photo. So, here’s the rest.

There were many photos of the New York Skyline with the two towers still standing throughout the whole museum. It kind of gives you an idea of how 9/11 changed the face of New York City. There was a lot in this museum where cameras were not allowed. Some of the things I saw included a surveillance camera footage of three of the hijackers going through security at Boston’s Logan Airport. To be honest, it was a little creepy to see these guys just going through security like everyone else. If you saw the footage, you’d never imagine that these guys were going to use commercial airplanes as a weapon to take so many lives. There are also audio phone messages from passengers who lost their lives and a stewardess’s distress call.

The exhibit that I spent the most time in took you through the entire timeline of events as they unfolded in New York City. Some of the artifacts that were retrieved were simply amazing to me. I mean, they had pieces of both planes that crashed into the World Trade Center towers. It was crazy to me that they could even identify those pieces. As I made my way through that exhibit, I realized how little of the New York part of 9/11 I knew about. Like most people, I knew about what was reported out of state. The exhibit gave a much fuller story of how it was in Manhattan that day.

The other main exhibit is a wall dedicated to those that lost their lives on 9/11. There were images of people who were on the airplanes and worked in the World Trade Center towers (or were in them) and those first responders who gave their lives trying to help others survive. In another room, they had audio of folks that had recorded memories of people who perished that day. There was also a room where you can record a memory to be shared.

Outside the area I couldn’t photograph, were artifacts that showed how devastating the blast and collapse of the towers were. This firetruck was absolutely mangled.

This piece is called “The Last Column.” When the South Tower collapsed, this tower remained in tact.

Outside the museum are two fountains where the twin towers once stood.

Along the railings are names of people who died in that tower. There’s a sign that encourages you to use a pencil and paper to get an imprint of any of the names you might know. Although, I’m sure a picture wold also work.

Off behind where the North Tower stood is the World Trade Center Transportation Hub. According to Wikipedia, “It was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and composed of a train station with a large and open mezzanine under the National September 11 Memorial plaza. This mezzanine is connected to an aboveground head house structure called the Oculus—located between 2 World Trade Center and 3 World Trade Center—as well as to public concourses under the various towers in the World Trade Center complex…Calatrava said that the Oculus resembles a bird being released from a child’s hand. The roof was originally designed to mechanically open to increase light and ventilation to the enclosed space.”

Here is the One World Trade Center Building. One World Trade Center is the main building of the rebuilt World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan, New York City. It is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, and the sixth-tallest in the world.

After visiting the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, I tried to find the place I wanted to eat dinner. However, I couldn’t find it. Instead, I found myself at Trinity Church.

Not too far away is the Federal Building this this awesome statue of George Washington.

I saw a picture similar to this online. It’s looking at the New York Stock Exchange. Now, the picture I saw had a gigantic United States of America Flag over those columns at the stock exchange.

Close by is the famous Charging Bull statue. Y’all, this statue was surrounded by tourists (like me). So, getting a picture proved rather difficult. This is the best one I could come up with.

Fearless Girl is standing in front of the Charging Bull. As you can see, it was easier to get a picture of this statue.

After getting those pics, I was getting hungry. So, I headed back towards my hotel. My wife and I had talked about doing some Facetime with her and the boy. On the way back, I grabbed some dinner at Bryant Park and got to eat while folks had fun ice skating. I’ve got to be honest. I was feeling pretty tired at this point. Sitting there watching folks ice skate was so serene. I could have stayed there for hours. It was so relaxing and fun at the same time.

After some Facetime with my wife and boy, I seriously debated staying in the rest of the evening. I looked up how to get to the Empire State Building from my hotel and realized it was 15 minutes away. Oh, I should mention. Before I got to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, I received an email informing me that the American Brass Quintet concert at Julliard had been cancelled and that my ticket money would be refunded to me. I was bummed that I wouldn’t get to see my concert at Julliard. Also, the directions I had printed out before leaving for New York were how to get to the Empire State Building from Julliard…not from my hotel. So, that’s why I had to look that info up.

As I thought about calling it a trip, I thought that this was my only chance to get tot he top of the Empire State Building. With it being so close, I had to go. Unfortuantely for me, I went the wrong way off the subway. That brought me to the world famous Macy’s in NYC. This is where NBC does their television coverage of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!

Fortunately, NYC is like this grid. So, it was easy to course correct. I did make it to the Empire State Building!

The lobby to get to the elevators was not like I saw on “How I Met Your Mother.”

Up, up, up I went. They had a fun little video playing on the ceiling of the elevator to keep you entertained by the short elevator ride. You don’t really feel the speed in which this elevator is going, but, you sure do feel your ears crackling as you go higher up! Outside of the elevator is this area that tells you about the history of the Empire State Building. Given the time, I sped through this area.

And then, I was here! The Observation Deck!

The views were just as spectacular as at the Top of the Rock. Boy was it windy at the top! Oh, and rather cold.

You just knew I had to get a pic with my medal at the top of the Empire State Building.

The Chrysler Building…

I want to say this is the One World Trade Center Building at night…

I believe this is overlooking Times Square. I’ve got lots of pics from high up. I went around the observation deck a few times taking pics and just taking in the view.

However, it was cold. So, eventually, I had to bid the amazing views good bye and head back to the hotel.

I must say, though…everything about the Empire State Building reeks of classic New York. I loved it!

Before heading back to the hotel to call it a night, I made one final stop in Times Square. I began this trip in Times Square…

So, it’s fitting that I end this trip in Times Square. This trip to New York City was epic and a trip I’ll never forget. On Monday, I’ll wrap everything up with some final thoughts. Until then, have a great weekend!

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