FEBRUARY 1, 2002


The clock radio went off a 8:00am. It was a bit of a struggle to hit the shower, but plenty of hot water got the day off to a good, if not a somewhat slow, start. We were on our way to breakfast by 8:50. Continental breakfast was in the rear of Bar 54, aka the "stealth bar". Lots of O.J., bagels and coffee made for a pleasant introduction to the day. Then, a short hop back to the room for a quick connoiter and out the door by 9:20 to Times Square. We bought another pair of 1-day cards and jumped on a #2 train to Wall St.

The day was a bit dreary. An occasional mist only threatened to turn into heavier weather while we lost ourslves in the Financial District. The cross-street pattern one gets used to in mid-town doesn't exist down here. It feels a bit more like its older cousin, Amsterdam, as the streets of lower Manhattan wrap around the tip of the island. We gradually found our way to the South Street Seaport to check out the line for tickets to the observation platform of the World Trade Center site. You must get a ticket here to gain access to the viewing platform located at Broadway and Fulton. The ticket office, that also sells cruise tickets, wasn't going to open for a while and the line that already formed convinced us to try back after it opened. 250 tickets for the viewing platform are distributed for each half-hour period during that day. From the looks of the line, we would certainly get tickets. So, it was around the corner of Pier 16 to take a couple of snappies of the Brooklyn Bridge.

We tried to imagine the Brooklyn Bridge full of people fleeing Manhattan on 9/11...

After a few snappies, we walked past the ticket line, back up Fulton Street and into the Financial District. We had hoped to take a tour of the New York Stock Exchange. Unfortuantely, we had to settle for a few photos from the outside.

Anticipating trouble from protesters, the NYSE was closed to the public. Many streets in the financial district were filled with barricades.

After checking out the NYSE, Federal Reserve Buildings and the spot where George Washington took the first oath of office, we headed south, stopping by the Fraunces Tavern. This building is a replica of the original one constructed in 1709. Many functions of our early government took place in the original structure. Today it houses a museum dedicated to American history and culture upstairs and a watering hole on the ground floor.

Unfortunately, it was a wee bit too early to stop for a pint, so we headed toward South Street and the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial. The Memorial was a bit odd. Letters home from G.I.'s were etched into green frosted glass block. We didn't get it.

We found ourselves back at Pier 16 a few minutes later. I failed to properly break-in my boots before the trip and was paying the price already early in the day. A timeout was necessary to do blister maintenance and grab a cup of coffee. The line for WTC tickets had disappeared, so there was no need to rush. After a cup of joe/chai, it was time for me to try to put my boots back on. We walked over to the ticket kiosk and got a pair for the 12:30pm viewing.

We had about an hour to kill, so we walked around to the front of Pier 16 to confirm where the aroma of fresh fish was coming from. New York's fish market is done early in the morning. The place was closed up except for a few people moving crushed ice around. The drizzle from the day's weather was thoroughly flavored with fish. The fragrance would stay with us until it was washed off later in the afternoon.

From there is was short walk west to visit a firehouse on South Street. It's one of the closest to The Site.

Firefighter's from all over the world have made their support known.

A list of those lost on 9/11 from this firehouse.


I remembered seeing a photo of this engine from 9/11. It looked very different covered in ash and debris at Ground Zero.