Wednesday, November 4, 2020

The tourist

On the day after the election, while the votes were being counted, I played hooky, escaping in the afternoon to see the Battery Conservancy Garden at the southern tip of Manhattan. I wanted to visit the gardens, salute the Statue of Liberty, and sit in the sun under a perfect blue sky.

Then I walked. North, and then east across the island from the Hudson, tracking Google maps on my phone to Eataly, determined on a whim to buy an escapist dinner. At the foot of the soaring One World Trade Center a new building's skeleton was being pieced together. It seemed beautiful. I took a photo. Google maps buzzed and told me to walk south. So I did.

                                          When I looked up again I saw this. 

One World Trade Center Station. A rail hub, essentially. 

I knew about it. I had read about it. But I hadn't seen it in person. I drive on the nearby West Side Highway quite often, but this is nestled at the foot of the new bright glass buildings that are scattered like fresh glitter at the feet of the shattered towers of 9-11. I avoid the place. It is usually jammed with tourists, like sightseers at a battlefield.

In the middle of the empty street I stood and stared, the only tourist in New York.

The grace of it. The lines. The light. 

Whalebone, backbone, shell. 

Earthbound, free. 

Such a thing. An immense presence. The Oculus, by Santiago Calatrava. It is exquisite.

On this day, in this light, at this time, it was the most beautiful thing I have seen.

I could hardly bear to leave.



  1. Absolutely beautiful. It's lovely to play at being a tourist in our own areas isn't it.

  2. Your last photo took my breath away. It must have been magnificent, Marie. Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. Preciosas fotos, Marie. Beautiful photos, Marie!

  4. Yes and built way way way over budget. But no one will give that a thought when looking at it.


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