After our voyage across the Brooklyn Bridge, we headed back to One World Trade Center, which is where we started our day hours and hours before. (The next blog post will talk about that, says the Queen of Writing Out of Order.)
First, we stopped at St. Paul’s, because it’s humanly impossible for me to pass a cemetery without stopping. Le duh. Duh to the max. Box of duhs.
I was low key grateful that the church was open because I had to pee pretty bad. We had to go through security inside the doors because this is America but I was happy to discover that the two security guards were super personable and just a general pleasure to interact with, even though one of them was desperate to talk to us about the Pirates and we had to do the universal “no speak this language” Arm X.
The inside of the chapel was bright and beautiful. It actually had more of a court room feel to me than that of a church. Chooch and I sat down for a bit to take it all in while Henry paced around the perimeter alone, almost like he’s afraid to be too close to us inside a church?!
I didn’t realize the part St. Paul’s played during the aftermath of 9/11, but apparently the doors were open to the cops, firefighters, paramedics, and other volunteers who needed a rest. The pews have since been removed and replaced with chairs, but one pew was on display in a back room; it had grooves and gouges in the wood, mementos left by the uniforms and equipment of the people sleeping there.
After all the walking we had done that day, we really needed a good sit, and this was a really welcoming place.
More 9/11 mementos. My eyes were heavily sweating in that room, man.
There was a guest book that Chooch and I signed because if there is a guest book, we’re leaving our mark. There was a spot to write a message so I said “put hashtag blessed. No don’t. Put bless up. No don’t. Put—-just don’t put anything.”
We’re really bad at signing guest books. I signed one in a chapel at Dollywood and Henry was so clenched, not knowing what I was writing, but it was just, “Hey God, please bring Dance Gavin Dance back to Pittsburgh.”
And now here are some pictures of buildings, including the amazing rib-like structure of Oculus, which is an amazing piece of architectural art that houses the World Trade Center station. We were staying right across the river in Jersey City and this was how we commuted in that morning. It was a pretty amazing experience when we emerged into the center of Oculus, that’s for sure! Chooch and I exclaimed like Farm Kids’ First City Trip while Henry was just like WHERE IS THE BATHROOM.
Every angle of this joint is just mesmerizing…and also a bit terrifying. It’s like contemporary prehistoric art.
SORRY, I WAS OBSESSED. SO LOOK AT THESE PICTURES.
Chooch is such a great sport about posing in front of walls, but Henry acts like he’s being fisted by hipsters.
It took a minute to get this picture because we had to stand in line behind all the Instagram models.
LOL, Chooch and I realized that Henry was asked to some girls’ picture and we were almost peeing ourselves because everything Henry does is funny to us (but, you know, at Henry’s expense).
Finally, I had pussyfooted around it long enough and it was now time to see Ground Zero. You guys, there are no words. I think the one thing we can all agree on as Americans is that 9/11 was one of the worst tragedies we have experienced as a modern nation. I still can’t believe it, even though I can so plainly and distinctly remember exactly where I was and what I was feeling when it happened.
The melancholy in the air at Ground Zero is really indescribable. Chooch and I traced some of the names with our fingers and just, for once in our lives, stood there quietly. Henry was around somewhere, being unaffected and cold-hearted.
NOTHING BOTHERS HIM!!!!!???
Oh look, here he is, ready to leave.
From right inside Oculus. I was so disoriented at first and though these people were on the roof but then I realized they were just outside, on land (lol), and we were below ground-level. I’m a smarteeee.
Inside the ribcage, yo. There are also a bunch of stores inside, like some trendy mattress store that Chooch tried to get us to go into with him because he is obsessed with mattresses and pillows. We of course kept walking while Chooch flounced right inside and sat on a bed. He said the salesgirl was awkwardly starting to talk to him but then actual customers came in so she set her sights on them and Chooch got to test the firmness of the mattress in peace.
His interests are extremely varied and sometimes domestic, like when he goes on and on about the exact Samsung fridge he wants.
Good thing he placed in “advance” on his latest PSSA test results because that boy’s gonna need to earn himself a good scholarship so he can furnish his future McMansion with the best mattresses and fridges.
And just like that, our day in NYC had come to an end, but not before standing in line to buy a ticket back to Jersey City behind a bunch of people who could not seem to figure out how the fare machines worked and it brought back sweet memories of our first subway experience in Seoul, SIGHHHHHHHH.
And then we almost died when the escalator dropped us off onto an overcrowded platform with nowhere to go and we almost perished on the escalator. I had flashbacks to being 4-years-old and getting my shoelace caught in an escalator at a casino in Atlantic City and OMG WAS I GOING TO GET SUCKED INTO THE ESCALATOR? I NEEDED MY PAPPAP TO SAVE ME LIKE HE SAVED ME IN ATLANTIC CITY! Spoiled: we ended up surviving, but it honestly felt like being in a zombie movie.
Another fucking adventure, though!