Everyone by now knows that the new World Trade Center was built on the site of the Twin Twin Towers destroyed in the attacks of September 11, 2001. In Egyptian mythology, “phoenix” refers to a bird that lived in the desert for 500 years, then consumed itself by fire and rose again from the ashes. The term also means a “thing of unsurpassed excellence or beauty; a paragon.” In the sense I use it here, both terms may apply.
Every morning before the museum there opens to the public, a member of the staff checks a register of names and places a white rose on the engraved name of the person born on that day and lost in the attacks. According to the /11 museum website, “Mikey “Flowers” Collarone of FloraTech, a downtown florist and former emergency medical technician that responded to 9/11, hand selects the roses from a local flower market and donates them to the 9/11 Memorial Museum.”
Simply put, the new World Trade Center is a stunning memorial and architectural masterpiece. I visited it recently with my wife and again with my daughter. Rather than try to talk about something whose grace and power comes from visual impact, I will let the photographs do the talking. Solely for context, the night and long distance pictures were taken from my apartment in the Columbus Circle area. Otherwise, the photos are on site or from the observation decks at the top.
Adjacent to the World Trade Center is the Oculus, a combination transportation hub connecting railroad and subway lines and an upscale shopping mall of enormous proportions. Here are views from outside and inside the Oculus: