Visitors can see Times Square from all angles now that it's closed to traffic.
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From absence, New York City has created a powerful new presence. The National September 11 Memorial & Museum, opening this fall on the 10-year anniversary of the terrorist attack it commemorates, is an oak-shaded plaza overlooking two waterfall-rimmed reflecting pools set into the footprints of the former World Trade Center towers. (Visits by reservation, 911memorial.org.) It’s not the city’s only new sight. Here are six others that have helped boost the number of visitors to the Big Apple from 36 million or so in 2000 to more than 48 million in 2010.
High Line Feathered grasses, milkweed, poppies, and more than 200 other types of flora fill this park on an abandoned train line 30 feet above the streets of Manhattan’s lower West Side. The park’s tranquillity, unusual views, and clever art installations explain why the New York Times called it “one of the most thoughtful, sensitively designed public spaces built in New York in years.” thehighline.org.
Lower East Side In the Bowery, flophouses and wholesale supply stores have been giving way to chic hotels, youthful boutiques, and brash architecture. The stylish New Museum of Contemporary Art rises in a tower of six stacked and cantilevered boxes wrapped in aluminum-mesh cladding. And the slotted, angled facade of Cooper Union’s futuristic new academic building is a sight to behold. newmuseum.org, cooper.edu.
Manhattan Waterfront Greenway The island’s forbidding, abandoned waterfront is being transformed into a continuous 32-mile walking, running, and bicycling route lined by trees, gardens, lawns, benches, and sculpture. The southernmost portion provides views of Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, and the Hudson. tinyurl.com/nycgreenway.
Neue Galerie new york This collection of German and Austrian art and design from the early 1900s features the delicately complex paintings of the symbolist Gustav Klimt, notably his gold-andsilvery Adele Bloch-Bauer I, and the bold works of his tragic protégé Egon Schiele. The elegant 1914 Beaux-Arts mansion houses many other treasures, including a café that serves a competitor for New York’s best apple strudel. neuegalerie.org.
One World Trade Center The city’s most symbolic new building is rising from Ground Zero after years of delays. When this skyscraper reaches completion in 2013 it will be, at 1,776 feet, the tallest in the United States and a 102-story statement of the nation’s resilience. wtc.com.
Times Square Pedestrian Plaza Since the city blocked cars from the square in 2009, the country’s top tourist stop has had a friendlier, safer, less frantic feel. Strolling and gawking with thousands of others through the performance-art-filled, neon-adorned, theme-restaurant-rimmed plaza is stimulation enough without having to dodge speeding taxis. timessquarenyc.org.
Photography courtesy of enwikipedia.org/Jim Henderson
This article was first published in September 2011. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.