dozens of things…taken dozens of tours…I called this my “First Time
Ever” trip. This time was going to be different. This time I
would do things…and go places…I’ve never experienced before in
The Big Apple.
GROUND ZERO MEMORIAL: Without a doubt, number one on my “First
Time Ever” list had to be a visit to the Ground Zero
Memorial. I had been to Ground Zero shortly after 9/11/2001,
when I tearfully tossed a white rose into a muddy
hole in the ground. However, it was now time to see how the
indomitable spirit of America had survived.
ZERO IN 2001
The Ground Zero Memorial is a tribute of remembrance to the tragedy
and heroism of the terror attacks of 9/11/2001, and to that of
the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. The largest
man-made waterfalls in North America surround twin reflecting pools,
each nearly an acre in size, that are set within the footprints of
where the Twin Towers once stood. Bronze panels, edging
the Memorial pools, are inscribed with the names of the victims who
died in the two attacks. More than 400 swamp white oak trees
surrounding the reflecting pools convey a spirit of hope and
|GROUND ZERO IN 2014|
loss and recovery and displays artifacts associated with the
events of 9/11. The memorial exhibition honors the victims of
the attacks of 2001 and 1993. Portraits of the nearly 3,000 men,
women, and children who were killed in the attacks convey
the scope and scale of loss. In a quiet chamber, profiles
of individual victims invite visitors to bear witness, and serve as a
reminder that we are all diminished when any one of us suffers the
loss of a loved one through a senseless act of terrorism.
|9/11 MEMORIAL MUSEUM|
day, what could be better than a sugar rush to pick up my
spirits? My visit to Dylan’s Candy Bar seemed to be
just what the doctor ordered.
THE LINE FORMS TO THE REAR AT DYLAN’S CANDY BAR
designer Ralph Lauren, merged the worlds of art,
fashion and pop culture with candy, when she created the world’s
emporium. Entering Dylan’s Candy Bar you might feel you
are being transported to Willy Wonka’s factory. Dylan’s
Candy Bar houses over 7,000 confections, the
largest, unparalleled selection of candies and candy-related gifts
from around the world
Dylan’s New York flagship store has remained on the Top 10 List of
NYC tourist attractions since its inception. Over-sized
lollipop trees, candy cane columns, dripping chocolate shelves,
kaleidoscopic candy wallpaper and candy-embedded
staircases welcome over 2.5 million visitors per year to
the shop. Those visitors include the likes of Michelle Obama,
Oprah Winfrey, Madonna, Janet Jackson, David Beckham, Steven
Spielberg, Al Pacino, Hugh Jackman, and Tom Cruise.
|LOLLIPOP TREE AT DYLAN’S CANDY BAR|
the dark chocolate nuts and raisins I purchased at Dylan’s Candy
Bar, I now had renewed energy to head to the 86th floor
Observation Deck of the Empire State Building. Though the staff
may tell you it is a short wait to reach the Observation
Deck, don’t believe them. Trust me, you are lead through a
long maze of lines, corridors, and elevators, until you finally reach
your destination. But the spectacular view, from this
most famous skyscraper in the world, is worth the time and the cost.
|EMPIRE STATE BUILDING|
From its completion in early 1931 until the topping out of
the original World Trade Center’s North Tower in late 1970, this
iconic 103-story Art Deco landmark stood as the world’s tallest
building. Designated as a National Historic
Landmark in 1986, it was ranked number one on the AIA’s List
of America’s Favorite Architecture in 2007.
I shed many a tear watching, and re-watching, “An Affair to
Remember”, the romantic drama in which Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr’s
plans to rendezvous atop the Empire State Building were thwarted
by an automobile accident. Then there was “Sleepless in
Seattle”, where Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan starred in the movie inspired
by An Affair to Remember”.
And who can ever forget “King Kong”, the 1933 drama that tells the
story of an island-dwelling ape who was shot down from the top of the
Empire State Building where he had climbed in what he thought
was his way to protect the beautiful Ann Darrow, played by
Fay Wray? If you don’t want to forget Kong, you can
buy a fuzzy black “Screaming Gorilla” for $15.95 in the 86th floor
|KING KONG STILL REIGNS SUPREME ATOP THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING|
a tour of Brooklyn, the most populous borough of New York City.
If Brooklyn were an independent city, it would have the fourth
largest population in the U.S., ranking only behind Los
Angeles, Chicago, and the other four boroughs of New York
combined. Brooklyn has always been made up of dozens
of distinct ethnic neighborhoods. However, gentrification
is mixing it up a bit.
From the moment we began crossing the East River on the Manhattan
Bridge, the excitement began. To our right were the
iconic Brooklyn Bridge and an incredible view of the Manhattan
skyline. Beneath us, in Brooklyn Bridge Park, was
Jane’s Carousel housed in a glass pavilion designed by Pritzker-prize
winning architect Jean Nouvel.
Jane’s Carousel, a classic 3-row confection with 48 beautifully
carved horses, was built in 1922 for Idora Park in Youngstown, Ohio.
It had fallen into disrepair and was put up for auction in 1984 when
it was purchased and donated to the park by Jane and David
Walentas. Jane had it moved to her studio in DUMBO (an
acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) where she
removed six decades of park
paint, restored, repainted and re-leafed it to look as it
did in 1922. The carousel went back into operation on September
|JANE’S CAROUSEL IN BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK|
Barclays Center is Brooklyn’s state-of-the-art sports and
entertainment arena that opened in 2012. Three latticework
exterior bands are composed of 12,000 rust-like panels that are meant
to connote Brooklyn’s brownstones.
Grand Army Plaza, at the main entrance to Prospect Park, includes the
Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch dedicated “To the Defenders
of the Union, 1861-1865”. The Brooklyn Public
Library, facing Grand Army Plaza, is a landmark building
that contains over a million cataloged books, magazines,
and multimedia materials. More than a million people visit
the library every year.
|BROOKLYN PUBLIC LIBRARY|
Tree Grows in Brooklyn”, there are many trees growing in this once
gritty borough that is becoming increasingly gentrified.
|TREES GROW IN BROOKLYN|
trip to NYC. I am eagerly awaiting my next “first
time ever” trip to NYC. As Billy Joel wrote: “I’m in
a New York State of Mind”.
STEINBERG is an award-winning Travel Writer, International Travel Consultant,
and winner of 40 national Travel Writing Awards.