World Trade Center and the Oculus

After a very rainy day yesterday, and the sun out in full swing today, Cho and I decided to take our revenge on the remaining weekend to catch up on our discovery rounds of New York City. After a brief stop at MZ’s family physician to drop off her I-O-U B12 injection, we proceeded to the World Trade Center.  It is a long ride by subway but well worth the trip. 


We arrived at our destination, a very clean kept transportation hub, the World Trade Center Transportation Hub.  Its centerpiece is referred to as the Oculus, an incandescent, elaborate and inspiring public space filled with shops and restaurants.  It is encased in a glass and steel shell with pedestrian tunnels leading to the subway train stations.





Here are some interesting facts about the Oculus: –

·        Seven years project delay for it to complete

·        Costs US$4 billion (most expensive train station in the world?)

·        The 3rd largest train station in New York City after Grand Central and Penn Station

·        Designed to express the image of a bird spreading its wing to take flight.

 Visitors swarmed the Oculus, including us, to take photos of the breath-taking architectural design.  We noticed that there was no place to sit nor any garbage bin – for cleanliness and safety maybe?   



We exited the Oculus to revisit the World Trade Center with its new look.  One Trade looked majestic next to the North Pool with the South Pool positioned close by, where the names of those who lost their lives are imprinted.  The great pool-filled memorial voids that are meant to mark the absence of the twin towers and are 31 percent smaller than the towers’ actual footprints.  The pools greeted us by sheets of water cascading 30 feet down.  Additional info – a heating system keeps the water from freezing in winter and the waterfalls carefully regulated, particularly when there are heavy winds.




With heavy hearts, Cho and I turned back to return home.  That was how we felt when we first visited the site 12 years, and we still feel the same.  We intend to visit the One World Trade Center Observatory but that is for another day.

An Evening with the Roses

The Brooklyn Botanical doesn’t allow visitors to picnic in their garden BUT last night was different!  As members, we were invited to celebrate the blooming of the roses between the hours of 6 pm and 8:30 pm.  with our picnic baskets. 


The wonderful and glorious Cranford Rose Garden was opened with “encouraged” picnicking in the Cherry Esplanade.  The Esplanade also hosted a stage of live jazz musicians dressed in the 1920 and 1930’s style.  Participants donned their bonnet, derby or fascinator – adults and children alike. 


Jazz is not easy to dance to.  The rhythm might be suppressed beneath a trumpet or piano solo pulling in another direction while the guitar plays a counter-rhythm. Wonder how the dancers find the pulse?  The best dancer on the plywood riser, a retired New Orleans grocer named Claudia Dumestre, said “I listen with both my ears right down to my feet,” she said. “Sometimes I lock on the drummer to find the beat; sometimes I lock in on another instrument. If you have a dance partner who hears music the same way, that makes it much easier.”  Guess that’s how the people who joined us at this outing that evening in the garden based their dance steps on.  They were wonderful to watch.


 Cho strolled the Rose Garden to take photos of those roses from a never taken moment of the evening (the garden normally closes at 6 pm).  She was just grumbling last week that the garden shouldn’t close so early in summer.  MZ sat on a bamboo mat, reveling at those many families with their children (week old babies were also present), appreciating the flowing music and savoring the slow breeze that cooled the warm temperature.


 It was such a wonderful evening that everyone enjoyed!

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