Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Museums in Lower Manhattan

Tuesday 6 June 2006
Lower Manhattan has many small museums and points of interest which if you have time are worth checking out.Ive taken photos of each and will post when I return to Nagoya...
First up I went to the Irish Hunger Memorial which has an authentic Famine-era cottage from Ireland reconstructed on a built up site at Battery Park City.In fact the stone cottage is set up on a half-acre site which is covered in native Irish vegetation.One enters at the base of the memorial and walks through the cottage ascending a winding path ending some 25 feet above the ground with views towards the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.There are text messages layered into the base of the memorial outlining the history of the Irish Famine and the Diaspora that followed.The natural wild plantings and the stone cottage contrasted vividly with the tall buildings surrounding it.
The New York City Police Museum near South Street SeaPort Museum on Fulton Street is also worth a visit.Admission is by donation.Its suggested that adults give $5 which seems more than reasonable given whats on display.There are uniforms and videos of various police units as well as a typical old police cell,infamous criminals,weapons and a 9/11 display as well.
Mention should also be made of the New York City Fire Museum on Spring Street set in a renovated 1904 firehouse.Just like the police museum I received a friendly welcome.
Again there was the suggested $5:00 donation which I didnt begrudge.Just like the Police Museum there were displays of old equipment and uniforms.What set the museum apart were the helpful staff.Although there was no floor plan or pamphlet available explaining the exhibits,other than the notes attached to each exhibit, a staff member was available to help you and answer any questions.
Just like the Police Museum also there was a permanent 9/11 display and Memorial Room with exhibits and video.The Fire Museum had a CNN tape running silently covering the WTC tragedy and also had two computers with touch screens.I was idly looking at the various scenes when an officer showed me that the individual histories of those who lost their lives that day had been recorded alphabetically and could be downloaded.There were some 343 men who lost their lives that day.The officer showed me some of them.From high ranking officers with many years of experience and medals for individual valor and acts of bravery to a father and son who both lost their lives when the buildings collapsed.Very moving,it put a human face on the tragedy and had more of an impact rather than just seeing a wall of names honoring those who died...

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