I took advantage of the opportunity to visit a few friends in NYC last week. Although only a short whirl-wind visit I found that despite my obstinate Boston background and the previous belief that I would abhor the city of New York- I actually quite liked it. I was not however, particularly fond of inflated prices throughout the city or the fact that they apparently do not allow boom boxes on the subway (ludicrous injustice). The hipster street art was just divine.
My great grandfather, Antonio Sonsini (a-ha! that's where she gets her middle name) swam across the sea from Capestrano, Italy to NYC in 1907 at age 22 . He apprenticed as a brick layer in Brooklyn and eventually sent for his brother Domenico Sonsini to ship over to the US to help start a masonry business in Newton, MA. 'The Sonsini Brothers' built brick homes in Boston and Newton including a few beauties on Beacon Street. Point is, I love brick, always grew up surrounded by it and missed brick while in San Francisco (not exactly go-to in earthquake country). I appreciated the beautiful eclectic architecture of NYC and most of all, the brick buildings and exposed brick walls inside apartments. An aesthetic collision of the old and the new, New York was lovely.
Visiting the 9/11 memorial helped better comprehend the sheer magnitude of the 2001 attacks. Standing where the towers once stood, now replaced by fountains, I felt a tangible and new perspective/understanding of 'place' with respect to September 11th. Looking out at the surrounding city life, the story started to unfold leaving me shocked, contrite, and overwhelmed with solidarity. The monument is as beautiful, poignant, and appropriate a 'park' dedicated to such a horrific tragedy could ever be- do visit if at all possible, it will help you to never forget.
If you are looking to visit the memorial, you will need to have a visitor pass accessed online in advanced. Tickets are by donation only and I recommend you grab them early in the morning- likely no need to rush, Julia and I grabbed ours the morning of our visit. The museum will not be open until this upcoming September. Check out the official website here fore more info: