06 January 2014

A day out in Lower Manhattan - Statue of Liberty, 9/11 Memorial, Wall Street

When it comes to New York, the question is not "What to do in New York?", there is always so much, but "How do I see as much as possible?" I had three days there and in one of those days I fit in seeing the Statue of Liberty, the 9/11 Memorial, walking along Wall St and snapping a photo of the bronze bull before stopping for a bite at Katz's Deli.

Lower Manhattan skyline

Tips to see the Statue of Liberty

To visit the statue of liberty you need to book with one of the private ferry companies. Shop around as prices can vary from website to website and some include Ellis Island which was closed when i was there. Also, if you plan on climbing to the top (the crown) book well in advance.

Lady Liberty

The alternative (and cheapest option) is to take the Staten Island ferry, its free and goes right past the statue. I took the alternative because only tours of the pedestal were available and it would have take more time as well. Top tip - if you are taking the Staten Island Ferry, line up early and make a dash to the front right hand side of the ferry, it will give you the best view. On the way back opt for the front left hand side but note that you are further away from the statue on the way back to Manhattan.
The Staten Island Ferry and Statue of Liberty
Seeing Lady Liberty was as weird as standing in Grand Central. She was so familiar - and smaller than i expected, kinda like the Mona Lisa. I can now understand why she is an icon of freedom to so many.

Statue of Liberty - the visitors look teensy!
The Charging Bull

Once you are back in Manhattan, Wall street and the 9/11 Memorial are within easy reach. If you head up Whitehall street from the ferry terminal you will meet with the Charging Bull. You will notice that his horns are as rubbed as his testicles...people are odd. And yes I'm one of them but no I'm not sharing any photos of that!
The bronze Charging Bull near Wall St
Wall Street, Federal Hall & New York Stock Exchange

From the Charging Bull keep walking straight up Broadway till you find Wall street on your right. At the intersection with Broad street you will find Federal Hall National Memorial which originally was built as a Customs House and for a period used as one of 6 treasury buildings. It has a beautiful dome on the inside but the real point of interest for me was the locking mechanism of the doors to the vaults, it looked like something out of Gringotts! The Hall is built on a site loaded with American History. "Federal Hall, built in 1700 as New York's City Hall, later served as the first capitol building of the United States of America under the Constitution, and was the site of George Washington's inauguration as the first President of the United States. It was also where the United States Bill of Rights was introduced in the First Congress."*

Federal Hall meets Gringotts locks
A few steps down Broad Street will land you in front of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). You can also see this building from New street around the other side.

New York Stock Exchange, Wall Street

9/11 Memorial

How to get to 9/11 Memorial
The 9/1 Memorial is worth a visit. Its also super easy to get to from Wall street. Head back out to Broadway, take a left and the first right on to Rector street. Two blocks in, take a right on Greenwich street and after another two blocks you will be at the main entrance. There is no entry fee but they do take donations as you walk through. You can book visitors passes in advance but when I went (August 2013) I was able to walk in, possibley because it wasn't peak season. Bear in mind this is a memorial site for tragic events and you will be subject to security screenings.

9/11 Memorial pool

How it felt visiting the 9/11 Memorial
I walked inside and stood at one of the memorial pools. Surrounding the pool are parapets carved with the names of all those who lost their lives. I felt sad, pi$$ed off, helpless and hopeful. It was indeed a tragic event, all those live lost, all the people who loved them and having to get on without them, its very saddening. I was pissed off that it happened, and that it wasn't the only time innocent people have lost their lives. Syria is losing thousands upon thousands of innocent people in a harsh and brutal fashion. In fact there were so many wars, uprisings, senseless killings going on in the world that I was really very angry with it all, why are humans so brutal to each other? The scale of all of that left me feeling very helpless and yet, despite it all, hoping that the people coming to visit the memorial will be people of peace and understanding and will pass that on to future generations.

9/11 Memorial pool and the One World Trade Centre tower (aka 1 WTC or Freedom Tower)
And that's it for my day in Lower Manhattan. After the memorial, I hopped into a taxi and went on to Katz's Deli for a bite. However, there is no shortage of good places to eat in Lower Manhattan so feel free to explore and find a place that appeals if you fancy it.


  1. It sounds like you had a wonderful day and it brought back memories of my week in New York! Like you, I squeezed several excursions into each day and it was super but exhausting!

  2. I did have a lot of fun but, I like you said, I was exhausted at the end too!