So Day 2 of our trip to NYC began with our fire alarm going off at 4:30am! Long story short, Ben and I woke up to these weird chirping sounds, and then we heard an announcement in the halls saying that they were investigating a fire alarm going off on the 7th floor (we were on the 5th) and that we did not need to evacuate. For the next hour and a half, the fire alarm and the chirping sounds kept going off randomly as they tried to fix the problem. By the time they quieted down, we were wide awake! It was quite an early start to the day!
One of the things we really wanted to do when we were in NYC was to visit the new 9/11 Memorial. Ben and I had both seen the makeshift memorial (separately) in 2004 when I went to NYC for a band trip and Ben went with his family (I think). I know it's been almost 8 years since we've been but it was drastically different then from what I remembered.
Note: If you want to go visit the memorial, you have to go online and reserve free timed tickets for your entrance.
Our time was at 10:30am so we took a cab to the memorial and the cab driver drove us along the river so it was fun to see a lot of views of the water. When we got the memorial, we had to get in line and go through lots of security! We went through 4 checkpoints where they scanned our tickets and had to go through metal detectors and place all of our stuff in bins to go through the x-ray machines. There were a lot of NYPD around and some SWAT guys too! Ben and I both said we were surprised at the amount of cops and security there but it was a nice feeling that they were doing all they could to keep the memorial a safe and secure place.
The new World Trade Center towers, on the right and left. The one on the right is called the Freedom Tower. When it is finished, which should be by next year, it will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the 3rd tallest building in the world. One fact that I thought was neat is that when the tower is finished, it will be 1,776 feet tall, which will also symbolize the 1776 Declaration of Independence. We also learned that the design of the building was carefully constructed to make the security of the building stronger from possible future attacks.
It's hard to read but this flag has the names of everyone who died in the attacks both on September 11th and the first attacks in 1993.
This is one of the other WTC towers that was being built.
Freedom Tower again.
This is the South pool. The waterfalls are the largest manmade falls in U.S. Each pool is 1 acre and is set in the footprints of the original Twin Towers.
The names on the South pool are those who died in the South Tower, the First Responders, Flight 93, Flight 77, the Pentagon, and Flight 175.
We also learned that when it came time to decide the placement of the names, the next of kin were contacted and they had say in where the names went. If they wanted their person's name next to another person, they could request that. I thought it was pretty cool how much thought and care went into the placement of the names around the pools.
This is the North Pool. The North Pool has the names of those who died in the North Tower, Flight 11, and the February 1993 attacks.
The North Pool again.
This tree has a fence around it because it is called the Survivor tree. I learned that this tree was on the plaza of the original WTC towers and it was found still alive amongst the rubble after the attacks. It had been reduced to an 8 foot stump. People carefully removed the tree and nursed it back to health in a nursery. While in the nursery, it was uprooted during a severe storm but had no major damage! This is one strong tree! It was later replanted in the new memorial plaza.
The Survivor tree and the Freedom Tower.
Overall the memorial was very quiet and peaceful. It was sad being in there and I couldn't help but imagine the attacks from that point of view. I am really glad we got to go and see the memorial in person. It is a really beautiful place and I definitely think you should visit it if you go to NYC.
After visiting the memorial, we walked the few blocks to the river and enjoyed the sights over there. It was much quieter then Times Square! Ben and I got a kick out of seeing all the dogs in NYC and all of the dog parks! There are a lot of them!
Across the river.
That tiny dash that's sort of in the middle of the picture is the Statue of Liberty!
Close up of Lady Liberty
Such a handsome guy!
The Freedom Tower again
After walking around the water, we headed back to Times Square to find some NYC pizza before getting ready for the Broadway show, Phantom of the Opera!!!! The pizza was pretty good but we both agreed that probably the best pizza places aren't in Times Square.
Here are some more shots of Times Square and all of the shows that are currently on Broadway.
The New Years Eve ball! Ben and I both said it is much smaller in person then we thought.
The theater!!! It was gorgeous inside and the play was fantastic!!! The music and singing were phenomenal and I would love to see it again!
(We took our pictures before we dressed up for the show...don't worry, Ben did not wear his Captain America shirt to the theater!)
Since there are so many pictures from Day 2, I will be calling this Day 2-Part 1. Stay tuned for Part 2 where we go to the top of Rockefeller Center to see the sunset!