Well, today was much longer than expected. After an early morning breakfast cooked in our hotel room, the family headed out of the hotel, “Took two rights” as dad says, even though that technically just boiled down to leaving the building, then exiting the parking lot through the only entrance and exit.
After some confusion, and a the help of a very patient woman, we got a ticket for the train. We loaded in the subway and traveled to the world trace center. It was a very quick ride, and it was fairly roomy. I was expecting a super crowded, sweaty mess. (That didn’t happen until our ride home)
Getting out of the station, we found ourselves right at the corner of the 9/11 memorial. This is where we spent the majority of our day. It is absolutely crazy how much of the museum is underground. Despite there being two very large holes in the ground to commemorate the fallen towers, there is a giant museum about every single detail of that day. We spent about 4 hours just walking thorough the halls of story after story of individuals who either lost someone, or sought to help others in a time of need. Perhaps the most telling for me was a giant fire truck absolutely crushed to the point where the front was no longer recognizable. Only after going around he truck did I realize that the part I was looking at was actually the rear bumper. There were original steps in which people used to escape the area. In the museum were countless notes, phone recordings, and other documentation of that fateful day. It was very overwhelming, and I will admit that I did have to hold back tears when reading of a father, who lost one of his grown sons in the crash, decided to leave two baseballs at the foot of an iron cross left in the debris. On the ball it read:
“To my little slugger, love dad.”
After finishing the museum portion, there was another room to go into that had a photograph of every single person lost in the crash, and there was a room dedicated to talking about every one of their names, as well as giving them a story. It is true, no one person is forgotten. The monument does an incredible job at making sure that every single person who was lost to us is living on for generations to come.
After a quick bite to eat, the family wanted to go up the new Freedom Tower. I personally am a huge fan of all things Chicago, so obviously a building that tried to be better than the Willis Tower was going to have to fight me. I would personally say the Willis Tower was better, but John and Dad both say that this one is the winner. At $40 a ticket, I was pretty reluctant to go up at all.
Let me rant for a bit here though. I am so sick of having to go through security checks at every single thing we go to. At this point I would be surprised if I didn’t have to have a cavity search before trying to use a port-a-potty. It gets ridiculous when you just want to go into a museum, take a boat ride, or go up an elevator and you have to empty your backpack and take off the layers of clothes you have on because the wind is so cold. When we were going to the statue of liberty, we had to go through two separate checks before going inside the tower. It was just crazy.
After standing in line for a couple minutes (Which could have been quicker if we only paid a measly $25 more for our tickets) and a very quick elevator ride to the top of the tower, we watched a short film on a wonky projector screen. They lifted up the screen and everyone got a glimpse at an amazing skyline.
Then the curtains went back down and we had to leave the room.
I felt gipped. The next room we were in was where they basically just try to get people to rent an Ipad for $15 so you can see the labels of the buildings. I’m not sure why something like this wasn’t included in the super high dollar price tag, but I’m not the one with the big building. This room with the Ipads also had the windows fogged in a way where you couldn’t look out. If you actually wanted to see anything, you had to go down one more floor to the observation room. Finally, we were able to get some photos of the city from above. We ended up spending a good amount of time up here, so maybe it wasn’t all too bad.
Our day continued on a quest to find Wall Street. Another frustrating time navigating through the streets later, we found the original capital building next to the Stock Exchange. At this point we were pretty hungry, so we walked to a nearby pizza place and had a really good pizza. It wasn’t new york style, but I can assure you that this is good pizza anywhere in the world. Still, I will hold that Chicago pizza is the winner, but this one may hold second.
A quick walk to the bull on wall street and look at the park left us all fairly tired. We got back on the subway, which was much more crowded this time, and came back to the hotel. Everyone had a cup of tea and watched that movie about the great wall of China staring Mat Damon. I’m sure all of our legs are wet noodles at this point, but we still have a few more days to go!
I am actually the most excited for tomorrow. We are going to be visiting B&H Photo Video, an absolutely astonishing company that supplies much of entertainments needs. The company sells everything between cameras and full cinematic projectors. If you need anything to record or put on a show, they are the pace to buy your gear. Needless to say, my love for headphones and camera gear is going to make me nerd out to the point where I won’t want to leave.
My personal goal is to find a personal portable recording device so I can do my own audio work in the future.