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Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The calm before the storm

Not what was expected then really. Sunday started at a more civilised time of around 9am and I dragged myself up to hunt down breakfast. This is a very easy task in New York, because there is food everywhere. Every couple of doors there seems to be a cafe or a diner (although these are far less frequent than they used to be apparently) or a deli. Food is plentiful and generally very good - but, (and it's a big butt) it's mostly not healthy. As long as you like eggs, cheese, meat and anything fried, you have nothing to worry about. If you want vegetables, you have to look a little harder. That's not to say its not out there, it's just a bit harder to track down. A deli is the only real place to get it sorted. Regardless of my intentions of finding something healthy, I went for the omelette with bacon in a bagel. Thank god I don't live here because my waistline would not be able to cope no matter how much walking I put in.

Instead of a long walk downtown,today I went for the subway to deliver me back down to the financial district and in time for my visit to the 9/11 memorial. This isn't something that I felt I had to do, but in the interest of all things humanitarian, I was quite happy to pay my respects. The tragic events of 2001 left a hole in the heart of New York, a scar in lower Manhattan that slowly but surely is healing. Over the last 10 years, the land has been cleared and Is slowly being reclaimed by the city. The memorial preserves the space immediately around the twin towers in a fashion that is wholly appropriate and befits an area of the city that still demands a stillness and respect of those who visit it.

The two infinity pools that cover the footprint of the North and South Towers have the names of all those who lost their lives engraved around them and the space also includes a museum, gardens and the Survivor Tree. The site is overlooked my the new Freedom Tower which is currently under construction and rises into the skyline with a mirrored glass finish making it imposing and yet invisible in the right light. I was there for an hour or so. It was a warm sunny day. It felt like sitting and watching and listening was the right thing to do for a while. I spoke to a couple from upstate New York who were visiting while they had a free day - they were quietly respectful, slight concerned at the height of the new tower, but overall very approving of what has been built in remembrance of those who died. I watched a woman weeping as she read some the names. In amongst the tourists taking pictures and the school trips following a guide, I saw some younger kids running and jumping around the survivor tree. It all felt right. And sobering. The memorial is not somewhere you should be visiting for entertainment, but you should be visiting it for the education and the respectfulness to the lost. I'll visit again when it's completed.

In a couple of days I'll be back in the financial district for more work related shenanigans, but for now, here's a view of the Freedom Tower from Battery Park. The structure in the foreground is the artwork that was originally in the plaza between the World Trade Centre Towers. It shows the marks of the damage inflicted upon it and has been relocated to the Battery.

Image

Sunday night saw my frolleague, the captain arrive back in the city, so he and I went and found a place to grab some food and a couple of Guinni (Octopus / Octopi and Guinness / Guinni ). He's a good guy and we have quite a bit in common. He too is a geek and a nerd, and he knows who Moss is. We have a laugh.

Monday morning will be an early start with a call for the EMEA team now that the badman is off on his hols.



This post originally appeared here: Posterous
 

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