My final day in New York started in what could be considered a relatively mundane fashion to most, but to me it was really quite nice. English Premier League football is broadcast quite freely on American TV, and with the time difference, I was able to wake up and enjoy the 12:30pm kick-off (7:30am New York time) in bed! Lovely stuff.
In terms of something that people might actually want to read about though, I decided to start today on a somewhat more poignant note. I hadn’t visited any kind of official 9/11 museum before today, and while the main museum is no doubt a central point for many people’s visit, I was quite intrigued by something that lay a little closer to where I was staying.
The Ground Zero Museum Workshop
Situated (some might say ‘hidden’) on the southern edge of Chelsea in the Meatpacking district, The Ground Zero Museum Workshop is a fascinating insight into September 11th 2001, and is home to a series of artefacts and photographs curated by Gary Suson, the official photographer assigned to Ground Zero and founder of this museum.
Be sure to check opening days and times before going as it (at the time of writing) closes at 3pm and is not open every day.
The entrance to the museum is not entirely obvious – the above picture shows pretty much the only sign that indicates where it is, so be sure to ring the doorbell and do not be deterred if you get the feeling you are not in an obvious tourist attraction – you aren’t. The pictures below will give you some idea of how the walk up the stairs to the museum looks.
Once inside, you will watch a short DVD film about the workshop and be invited to look at some of the artefacts with a guide. Not only do you see some of the items retrieved on the day, you are also allowed to hold some items that certainly give you some further insight into what went on that day and in the period after.
The steel cross was made out of the actual steel that was retrieved from the wreckage of the Center, while the glass was one of the few pieces that remained in tact after the attack since most of it was pulverised. The glass kept in this museum was much thicker as it would have come from the top of the towers and was built to withstand stronger winds and harsher conditions. There are other pieces in the museum, including the largest intact piece that was found in the wreckage.
An audio guide is provided and you can spend a good deal of time walking around the exhibition, listening to information about each picture and item.
Further information was provided by the excellent Lana, and she even allowed me to take a closer look at a leaflet that advertised the former World Trade Center. It was quite fascinating to read it and see what once stood there.
All in all, this museum is well worth your time and should be a part of your visit to New York, particularly if remember where you where on 9/11 and wish to take a more personal look at the day. The museum also works closely with the families of the people who died on that day and helps sick people who are still suffering negative effects as a direct result of the towers falling.
To Hell’s Kitchen, the Intrepid Museum and the USS Growler
A direct walk north from the museum takes you through Chelsea and eventually into Hell’s Kitchen.
I walked as far as West 46th Street as I was close to the next place I wanted to visit.
I had spotted the Intrepid aircraft carrier from afar on the second day of my trip. I was unaware that such a thing existed in New York as a museum, and looked into it when I was next online. Today provided me with an opportunity to check it out, as well as experiencing the other attractions on offer in this museum.
First, I had a look around the USS Growler, the US submarine docked on the other side of this museum’s marina.
It doesn’t take long to walk through the sub, although it can be a bit crowded, and it is quite easy to bang your head when heading from one section of the sub to the next!
Back above water and before heading onto the Intrepid, I took a quick look at Concorde, one of the few that are left, I would imagine!
The Intrepid aircraft carrier itself doubles as an aircraft museum with a selection of planes and helicopters on display.
The Intrepid also serves as a ‘Space’ museum in as far as the former space shuttle ‘Enterprise’ now lives on it!
All Good Things…
With this being the last evening of my trip, I spent time doing a bit more walking around the centre of New York and checking out any final bits I had not yet covered.
West 46th Street is a direct line between the Intrepid museum and Times Square, so I headed back in that direction. As always, there was so much to see and I could have eaten so much food in New York!
I found myself at Times Square for a second time, so I took some final pictures of the urban madness!
I stumbled across Bryant Park too, although this was basically just as busy as Times Square – its popularity enhanced by a festive ice rink and a series of market stalls selling all kinds of gifts and treasures.
With the day drawing to a close, all that was left to do was to head back to the hotel and start packing. I needed to be at JFK the next morning to head back to London and, ultimately, get home for Christmas!
New York provided me with some fantastic memories. I would say it was somewhat unsurprising – I expected to visit a city like no other in the world and that was exactly what I found. New York – I’ll be back.