I've been to New York quite a few times, I'm guessing maybe 20 or so visits. Enough that I'm quite comfortable with the city. Now, when I say New York I mean Manhattan as I'm less familiar with the other buroughs of the city (but I do have a good Queen's story if I ever get around to it).
The city does seem different since 9/11, even though it's been decades. I still remember them looming towers in the city. I think they did an excellent job with the memorial:
There is an observatory at this site now. It is located at the top of the One World Trade Center, at the site of the former Twin Trade Towers. For a fee of about $40 you can take the elevator to the top for good views of the city. I don't normally go for this type of stuff as I really think the cost to wow factor is just too high, but on one occasion I went against my instincts and paid the ticket price.
I will say I was quite amazed at the view. Now, I've been to the top of the Empire State Building (now the 7th tallest building in the city) and experienced the views there. But, these views are much more impressive.
One World Trade Center
The new trade center building is now the tallest building in New York at 1,776 ft (541 meters). Compare that to the Empire State Building at 1,250 ft (381 meters). It's almost 50% taller! I don't think even King Kong could have scaled this one!
Before entering the observatory, you are greeted with a video presentation called the Horizon Grid. This is an educational and emotional piece shown on 145 screens simultaneously. Quite impressive! It's a highlight of the memorable faces, moments and places:
A short video of the experience:
After the video viewing, it's on to the sky pod elevator for the 47 second trip to the top. The ride elevates you 102 stories in this short duration. I regret I took no photos of the ride (I didn't know I'd be blogging at the time).
At the top you are greeted with some incredible views of the city:
The Statue of Liberty, of course.
These are the most impressive views of the city I've experienced. Much better that even the plane views over the metropolis.
There is also a thing called the City Pulse there. It's purpose is to inform of famous city landmarks viewable from the top:
If you're a reader here you know I don't usually spend on such attractions. There's a reason for that as I explained here:
I travel so much in a year it is necessary I keep expenses down. It's not like my trips are "once in a lifetime" events, where you save up for this one big trip. So I am discerning when it comes to attractions. But I'll say this one was worth it!
Enhancing this experience (maybe that's a ooor choice of words?), was the timing of the visit. It was 9/11/21! Twenty years after the event that changed the city and the world.
Now that you've seen the Trade Tower there is no need for you to go. I just saved you $40 per head!