America,  New York City,  TDM,  Travel Journal,  USA

Day 3 in New York (USA): One World Observatory, Memorial 9/11 and Brooklyn

To reread the 1st part of our trip to NYC, it’s this way

Today we went to One World Observatory, the observatory of the One World Trade Center skyscraper, built next to the former Twin Towers and inaugurated in 2014. I realize, by looking at the pictures that this tower is “camouflaged” but in reality we can see it very well and not confuse it for the sky 😀

Right next to it is a shopping center (with the white fish-bone shaped tips) called the World Trade Center.

The two Twin Towers locations became two giant fountains/ditches: “north pool” and “south pool”, where the names of all the victims are written. The Twin Towers, compared to other skyscrapers, were not that wide, I imagined them really bigger.

Between the two is the September 11th museum. I remember being very moved in 2015 when I went there for the first time. But this time it’s going to be 😐 #enmodecontrôle

From One World Observatory, you can see the Statue of Liberty but also all over New York and its bridges (it is the highest observatory in the city). The elevator takes only 45 seconds to bring us up to the 100th floor (382 meters). As it’s very very high, we can’t go outside like at Top of the Rock or Empire State Building. We have to stay inside and look through those clean windows.

you can see the Statue of Liberty in the distance
the bridges
the skyline of New York, magnificent!
by zooming a little, we can see Empire State Building, recognizable between a thousand
Game : a JB is hiding in the picture, can you find him ?

We have lunch next door, at Shake Shack, their wavy fries aren’t bad, but their burger doesn’t seem so good this time (compared to 2015 when we went to NYC for the first time).

While JB visits the September 11 Memorial again (I went there in 2015), I stroll to the World Trade Center to window-shop.

So, I let JB tell his experience here:

I was 14 years old at the time of the events of September 11, 2001, like everyone else, it left a deep impression on me and it was from that moment on that I came out of the naivety of childhood and began to take an interest in current events and the complexity of the world. The first time I came to New York, I found it incredible to realize on the very scene of these attacks that we all have images in our heads.

The emotion was a little less intense than the first time because I knew pretty much what I was going to see. I didn’t take many pictures because a/ I find that the place isn’t very suitable. b/ it is forbidden to take pictures in the most interesting / moving rooms.

The memorial traces the events of September 11th and the global changes it brought about. It is difficult to remember today, but beyond the conflicts and the hundreds of thousands of deaths that followed, it caused a significant reduction in individual liberties and justified laws allowing mass surveillance (obviously this isn’t discussed at the memorial). I find that part of it is missing trying to explain, without justifying it, why some people come to imagine terrorist acts of this kind. Perhaps this isn’t the place.

Many remains of the World Trade Center are present and many objects abandoned in the chaos of the evacuation of the area are present. It makes the event very real, it’s striking.

The two areas I find most moving are :

  • A memory room where the portrait of each victim is displayed. It’s impressive! Beyond the number, one realizes that the victims are really “ladies and gentlemen everyone”, from all origins.
  • A room that retraces, minute by minute, the story of flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania after the revolt of the passengers who had understood their fate. What is very moving are the audio archives of the passengers who phoned their loved ones to say goodbye. Difficult to listen to without, at least, having a knotted throat. Moreover, kleenex were available at the exit of the room.


We then take a ferry ($2.75) to Brooklyn, in the Dumbo district, and stroll between “Time Out Market” (nice rooftop) and the parks next door.

the Brooklyn side ferry
left the Brooklyn Bridge
right the Manhattan Bridge

Time Out New York

Time Out is a concept developed in several cities around the world. We were able to visit Time Out in Lisbon (and saw Time Out under construction in Montreal). This place gathers the best chef restaurants in the city, in a kind of luxury canteen, allowing us to explore the gastronomy of a city in one place. Usually, Time Out is downtown, but for New York, it’s probably too expensive so this one is in Brooklyn.

nice rooftop at Time Out

We walk around a bit and fall face to face in front of this “piece” of the Manhattan Bridge. This viewpoint is so well known (cf. Instagram) and it was on the poster of a movie I think. Anyway, it is crowded, all the time, and tourists don’t care about cars, posing like pros in front of the lens for long minutes, in the middle of the road.

In Brooklyn, there are a lot of super artistic wall graffiti, paying tribute to rappers. But (1) you wouldn’t be able to recognize them (2) it’s too hot to walk. Know that there are guided tours just for that if that’s your passion 😉

We then have dinner at Julianna’s. Just next door, there is another pizzeria with a minimum of 1h of queue. At Julianna’s, we wait only 20 minutes and it is marked that our pizzeria is created by the same guy as the one next door. So why bother? The pizzas are baked on fire (coal) and are really huge. Opt for a “large” pizza for two, rather than taking one pizza each.

Brooklyn Bridge

We came to Brooklyn by ferry (the subway option also exists) but we will walk back to Manhattan. Yes, because the sunset from the Brooklyn Bridge is a must-see! In summer, the sunset is planned at 8:30 pm, so we go there, quietly, from 7:45 pm.

There is a platform above the cars to walk (and even bike) quietly without being afraid. By the way, there are two lanes: one for bikes, the other one for pedestrians, but we didn’t notice it until several cyclists yelled at us. Oops.

This is the place to be instagrammers. I saw some tourists showing a very pretty girl whispering “isn’t that xxx’s girlfriend?”. She probably has millions of followers on Instagram but I have NO idea who she was 🙁 and I didn’t even understand who xxx was

Luckily, I don’t work for Voici or in public relations, because in name dropping, I’m ultra bad. Once at the Luxembourg Gardens, I met one of the main actors of Amélie Poulain and all I found to say to him was “uhhhhh, euuuhhh” #mortified The day I’ll be in front of Brad Pitt, I might call him Benjamin Button

After so much walking, our feet scream for help and we settle for a cheap Asian restaurant near us. And then sleep.

To be continued… (the next one is this way)

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