Thanks to my stupidity of falling asleep way too early I was wide awake at 3am. After a couple of hours American television I realised I probably wasn’t going to get any more sleep and I may as well make the most of it by hitting the city early. On my last trip while we drove over the Brooklyn Bridge we didn’t walk it which is kind of an NYC rite of passage so I decided that was exactly what I was going to do. In time for sunrise. In -14°c. Not the smartest plan.
I took the subway to Brooklyn then crossed back over to Manhattan. I only saw a handful of people as I crossed, three or four runners (who were obviously even more insane that I was) and a couple of cyclists.
The light was magnificent and just as I made it to the other side the sun started peeking up over the horizon. Sadly I didn’t capture much of this moment as both my phone and camera had had enough of the cold and decided to stop working. Slightly nerve wracking situation to be in a strange city with no way of finding out where I was but I was completely calm and cool about it!
Given that it was barely 7am I searched for the closest Starbucks to warm up before finding somewhere for breakfast. Thankfully as I warmed up so did my phone and I was able to do a quick Google search of the area for the best places for breakfast. That’s how I found Kitchenette, a super cute little restaurant in Tribeca where I had the most delicious breakfast. I’m not going to say any more about it as I want to give it a full post to do it justice but it was one of my favourite meals of the entire trip!
One of the things I wanted to do during my trip was visit the street Taylor Swift lives on. Kind of weird I know but she is such a role model for me it would have been weirder not to. Luckily it was just a 10 minute walk from the restaurant and the sun had properly risen warming the air. I didn’t see Taylor but it felt like a great little Welcome to New York!
I’d decided during breakfast that I was going to spend the morning at the National September 11 Memorial Museum. They suggest that a visit will take about 2 hours but I was there for almost three and a half and could easily have stayed longer if it weren’t for the fact I had to meet a friend for lunch and I’d already pushed back out meeting time by 30 minutes. The two memorial pools are completely free to visit and are set within the footprints of the original Twin Towers. The names of all of those who lost their lives in the tragedies are inscribed around the outsides and white roses are placed on those whose birthday it would have been on the day.
The museum only opened in May last year so is still relatively new and costs $24. I can categorically state this was the best money I spent during my entire trip. Being enclosed within the foundations of the original twin towers gives the museum extra significance and the artefacts they have been able to save are really incredible. As I had arrived early in the morning the museum wasn’t very busy but it soon started to fill up. Photography was not allowed in the main section but here are some pictures I took in the areas where it was allowed.
I found myself in tears at various points throughout my visit. I found it particularly difficult to listen to voicemails and recordings of the deceased. If that’s the effect it has on someone who thankfully had no connection to the tragedy of the people who were killed I have no idea what it does to those who lost people that day. I was impressed to read that the museum is free for 9/11 family members and that they offer a discount for members of the NYFD and NYPD. I honestly can’t recommend a visit to the museum enough if you’re visiting the city. It will give you a much better appreciation for the resilience of the city and its people.