Today we visited the 9/11 memorial.  It was fascinating to see the memorial grounds and the pools were alot larger than what I imagined them to be.  The grounds had an overall emotional feeling to the place and I felt quite overwhelmed, one with how many names were enlisted on the pools and two the obvious effect that 9/11 had on New Yorkers.  Whilst we were there we saw several people that the 9/11 incident had clearly hit close to home, a little boy that was brought within a school group was crying and the generic sullen look on faces wandering through the grounds.  We spent alot of time there and we really liked how the people who’s birthday it would have been today receieved a white rose in their name, it was a beautiful sign of rememberance.  We also saw the Survivor Tree which was the only tree to survive the attack, it has been rehabilitated and placed within the park. We felt comfortable getting a picture with the tree, but not so much with the pools as we felt it should be seen as the memorial park that it is, and not a tourist attraction.Image

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We felt we wanted to know more about the 9/11 attack and made our way to the museum across the road.  This was full of artefacts that were found in the wreckage and information of the attack including people’s stories.  This was of great interest to me as I find personal stories very intriguing.

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Since we have been there we have analysed how the typical rude New Yorker personality’s have not been evident at all since we  arrived.  We’ve actually found them more welcoming and friendly than anywhere else, even Australia! Whether this has been something that has changed since the 9/11 attack I don’t know, but we feel that this could be possible.  It seems that New Yorkers came together after the attack to grieve and move on as a  city, I believe that this atmosphere has stuck. We have also found ourselves in a position where we have mentioned 9/11 to a New Yorker and it is literally as though we mentioned ‘Voldemort’ in Harry Potter, it is a sensitive topic amongst New Yorkers and I think it’s something that will stick with them forever.

We then visited the St Pauls Cathedral which was also littered with artefacts and history of how the cathedral helped survivors of the attack and the firefighters that were working all hours of the day.  It was very interesting to see the cathedral and again the impact that the space has on New Yorkers, definitely a sacred place for all of them.

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After our emotional day we went into Burger King for dinner.  This was an experience in itself! We ordered our food and they gave us a table number, they brought our food out to us and when I went to get myself sauce they told me to sit down and brought me a platter of sauces.  They were very helpful, always asking if we needed anything, they went off to refill our drinks frequently, it was the strangest experience I’d had for a Burger King! But great none the less, this just shows the service culture evident in New York, as waiters and waitresses strive on being tipped to be paid.

On the way out we saw a homeless man with a sign requesting he needed money for pot! At least he was honest! Today was a day filled with fitting New York culture.  And it’s the culture that’s made me love the city so much!

 

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