As a former native New Yorker, I used to pride myself on going into Manhattan on a regular basis to keep up with new exhibits, sample meals at ethic restaurants around town and just hang out in areas where I don’t normally go. Lately it has been harder, because instead of living in closeby New Jersey, I live much further away.
Making an Effort
Putting together a day in the city used to seem effortless, but now there are all kinds of logistics involved. In any case, I now realize that one area I am not too familiar with is downtown Manhattan, and I would like to remedy that. To my credit, I saw the very first Cirque du Soleil in Battery Park years ago. I have been to Ellis Island a couple of times and the Statue of Liberty with my children. And I don’t know a kid growing up in the five boroughs who has not been on a Circle Line cruise around Manhattan. More recently, I took the luxurious dinner cruises that leave out of Manhattan and New Jersey for an evening of fun, topped off by a spectacular up close and personal view of Ms. Liberty.
Wishes and Dreams
On this trip to Manhattan I would really like to see the bull on Wall Street, or more accurately the Bowling Green bull near Wall Street. I have seen pictures of the iconic sculpture, donated to the City of New York in 1987 by the sculptor Arturo Di Modica. The 7,000 pound bronze bull was given to the city after the stock market crashed. It sits two blocks south of the New York Stock Exchange and symbolizes optimism in the financial markets.
I Have a Bridge I Can Sell You
Like many other things that seemed commonplace when I lived in Brooklyn, such as a bagel, delicatessens and hot dogs, the Brooklyn Bridge seemed like transportation into Manhattan and a reference for gullible people. Nowadays I realize its importance as another outstanding New York icon. Built back in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the nation’s oldest suspension bridges and enjoys the designation of a National Historic Landmark, as well as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. The beautiful design was created by John Augustus Roebling, and his wife, Emily, stepped in when he died. Today the Brooklyn Bridge is a tourist attraction, and people are invited to walk across and enjoy the views of the New York skyline.
Ground Zero Memorial
The Ground Zero Memorial, commemorating those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, opened on the tenth anniversary of the attack. The memorial displays the names of the 3,000 victims on bronze panels. Two enormous waterfalls crash into an area marking where the twin towers of the World Trade Center stood tall. The Survivor Tree that lives on in spite of the attacks is on view, along with part of the steel façade of the North Tower and artifacts from the events. A gift shop featuring FDNY and NYPD items benefits the museum and memorial.