Monday, January 31, 2011

NYC: New World Trade Center Tower Gallery

I got Colbert tickets for last Thursday, so I made a Thurs-Sat NYC trip out of it. I shoveled out Thursday morning and got out of Providence by 11, and was on the RFK Bridge by 1:45. Here's what it looked like Wednesday night, followed by Thursday morning 10 *more* inches of snow later:

It was a quick ride despite the fact that I-95 in Connecticut had a really rough stretch where for some reason, slush still covered the highway except for the far left and far right:

Chan and I trudged through the massive snow banks and slush puddles of Manhattan and got to the Colbert line at 5:00. I've seen this show taped like 7 times now, and it never gets old. And the Q&A with Stephen is so great, because you get to see him as himself. Someone asked him about his obsession with bears, and he said that was the one issue that he and his character see eye to eye on. They're both terrified of bears. He said he was always scared of them, thinking one might attack him on his way to school. When he told his dad of his fear, instead of saying, "there are no bears around here," his father just said, "eh, with modern medicine, they'll sew ya right up!" Stephen also flipped some burritos he used in a bit to the crowd. I almost got one, and probably could have asked the kid in front of me for it, but then I thought, Souvenirs are great, but where am I gonna store a burrito? You don't wanna display something like that--and eating it was not an option since it had meat--well, 35% beef--in it. I thought about asking the kid to rip me off a piece of the wrapper, but opted against it.

After the taping, we went to Zen Palate. And I got my celebrity sighting out of the way on the first night of my trip yet again! This time it was Alan Cumming. I only know him because those Cabaret commercials ran non-stop for a while. I didn't have my camera that night, since I didn't wanna get it confiscated at Colbert or something. Oh well. Still counts. (Note: This is my second west side Zen Palate celeb sighting and third overall Zen Palate celeb sighting. Will tell you about those another day.)

On day two of my trip, while Chan was at work, I went down to Ground Zero. I was shocked when I heard that the new WTC One, aka the Freedom Tower, was already over 50 stories high (on its way to being the tallest building in the United States). So I went down there to get some pics.

Here it is, WTC 1, taken from its northeast corner. They've even got some glass windows on it. It's right across Vescey Street from WTC 7 which has been up for a long time and is visible at right in the top-half shot above.

Turning back to the north, it's the building that will replace Fiterman Hall! That gets an exclamation point because I was a fan of ol' Fitey--see this post I did from 2006. Also mentioned in this post. (And here's my full March 2006 Ground Zero gallery.)

Okay, back to WTC 1. This double-shot has the base of WTC 7 on the right and shows you how the building starts slanting on its way upward.

Now I've gone over the West Side Highway along the north side, and this is looking back at the base of WTC 1 from the west.

Now I'm inside the Winter Garden Atrium, due west from the WTC site. This viewing station is the spot where a foot bridge led to the WTC pre-9/11.

Looking straight out at the pit from the Winter Garden, edge of WTC 1 is at far left. You can see the gray footprint of the old north tower, which will be one of two reflecting pools when the site is complete. The two buildings going up at right are WTC 3 and 4.

Close-up of reflecting pool. And behind it, some graffiti.

Don't know what these white things are....

Turning around now, away from the WTC site, it's the inside of the Winter Garden.

Now I've gone out the other side of the Winter Garden, which you see here with the tower going up behind it. I took more pics back here which will go up in a different post.

Winter Garden stairs--the top is the viewing station which some of my above shots are from. You can see the tower through those windows in this shot, too.

WTC 1 from the south. You can't really go along the south side of the pit like you could in the past, so this is from farther away. The tower will be twice as tall as WTC 7, which appears right to the right of it in this shot. Notice the snowy basketball courts in the foreground.

The tower from the southeast.

Don't know what this sign is all about.

Also from the southeast corner of the site, this is WTC 4 being built. Way behind it, you can see WTC 7, and reflecting in it is WTC 1. Right near this spot is where the Deutsch Bank building was--its deconstruction finished up just a week ago!

For a better idea of the whole site, see this map.

Anyway, then on Saturday, it was buying Red Sox tickets and driving home/visiting dad & sister in CT, where they seem to have even more snow than we do. The end.

Thanks for all the terrific pictures, Jere. I'm amazed how fast they are now going at the WTC site. I'll be there this September 11th for the 10th consecutive time.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States