As Easter nears it feels like a good time to be thankful for all that I have, and all I can do. I really have been lucky in life and being at places like the 9/11 Memorial helps keep things in perspective. We arrived via the subway train, and this day was particularly dreary. It was cold and somewhat raining, sleet as we call it, a bit of snow mixed with rain. We arrived inside the World Trade Center Mall, which just reopened in August of 2016. It had been closed for fifteen years since the attacks on September 11. It was stunning. I’m not too big on shopping malls anymore, I’ve thankfully gotten over mindless consumerism, but the mall is really beautiful. The architecture was so wonderful and modern we weren’t sure we were even in a shopping mall at first.
This picture doesn’t do it justice
We wandered about a bit, stopping in Forever 21 for my daughter and ooohhing over all the brightly colored lipsticks in MAC. We didn’t tour the entire mall, but I didn’t see any stores or eateries that caught my eye. It was the usual standard of stores inside a major shopping mall. We did go inside a car? store with a marble tower? display of some sort. Sorry, I can’t remember the name of the store! Basically, you could drop marbles from the top and watch them race down. I know there’s more to it than that but give me a pass, I wasn’t really paying attention to the details.
The boys liked watching it for a few minutes as Michael tried explaining to them how it works. Sahki leaned on the outside of this display just a bit and a man somewhat huffily told him not to. He wasn’t “mean” about it I suppose, but since Sahki was in no real danger of wrecking the thing, I thought he could’ve said it in a nicer way. He was barely touching it all (the sides are shielded with glass) we hadn’t even noticed and I’m usually pretty good about keeping the boys off of things. So be sure the kids don’t touch or lean on this display even just a little, as they seem to be real sticklers about it.
Once we left the mall via a really long escalator, we walked around the memorial. The memorials are beautiful with two large water features representing each fallen trade center. The names of those who perished are inscribed along the tops. It wasn’t very crowed, probably due to the poor weather so we could take our time here and just relax. The sound of the water rushing down the sides and down the fountain had a calming effect. I took time to hoist the boys up a little so they could see the bottom. They thought it was pretty cool. The One World Trade Center is equally impressive and very stunning. It’s just a short walk away and you really can’t miss it if you’re already at the 9/11 memorial. One World Trade Center is the sixth tallest building in the world, the tallest building in western hemisphere, and the tallest building in New York City. Even if you wish to skip the memorials (you shouldn’t!) it’s definitely worth heading down to the financial district to view this amazing skyscraper.
We continued to walk about a bit, and saw people giving tours and a small crowd gathered around a tree. It turns out this tree was the “survival tree,” a callery pear tree that barely survived the September attacks. It was salvaged from the rubble and nursed back to health before being replanted in 2015. We skipped the guided tours being offered and going inside the 9/11 museum to set out for Wall St.
We walked past the fire station, which the boys always like peeking in, and it led me to think of all the panic and chaos this part of the city was filled with on September 11. How I’d hate to have been a first responder on that terrible day. Good thing there are people willing to help others and risk their lives, as we all need each other.
On the way to Wall Street I passed by a man selling scarves, hats, gloves, umbrellas, newspapers, you name it. I knew Michael had forgotten his gloves, so I bought him a pair for $10. That’s one thing that’s great about New York City, everything you need is never far away. We made it to Wall St to get a glimpse of the bull, but it was really crowded with people taking pictures and silly selfies with the bull. I’m going to admit that I’m pretty ignorant about financial matters in NYC so I had never heard of the bull of Wall St. Since it was busy and it just seemed to me, a random bronze statue of a bull, I never took any photos. Apparently this bull is quite the tourist attraction.
The great thing about getting lost in NYC is that even though you are lost, you’ll probably still end up in a place that’s worth a look. The downside is that you may miss out on something better. We got lost trying to find the Statue of Liberty, as we wanted to take the ferry around the island to view the statue. We ended up by a reservoir where we walked around a bit. I’m pretty sure this was the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Resevoir but I had no idea where we were at the time. It’s not something I’d recommend going out of your way to see, but it’s worth a stop if you’re already in the area.
The boys decided to engage in a snowball fight with each other while we sat and planned what to do next. I still wanted to see the statue of liberty, but Sahki’s pants and underwear had gotten wet by the snow so he was unhappy. I needed to get him back to the hotel to change so he wouldn’t be cold, plus he HATES wet clothing more than anything in the world. He was actually pulling his pants down to get the wet feeling off his bum! It took a lot of coaxing to get him to understand that this was inappropriate and that he had to leave his pants up despite being uncomfortable. We gave up the rest of the plans for the day and headed back to the hotel.
On the subway platform I discovered Sahki’s pants were down once again and I couldn’t help but find it amusing. You always have to stay on your toes with autistic travel.