Where to start?
Two of the largest labor unions in Greece have announced a 48 hour nationwide strike for October 19 and 20. Currently, lawyers are on strike, as are customs officers who are on a ten-day strike. See the Belfast Telegraph for details.
The “Occupy Wall Street has gone international with demonstrations in London, Toronto, Mexico City, Madrid, Rome and other locations. Unfortunately, the demonstrations turned violent in Rome. See this article from CNN for a top level overview of the demonstrations.
In Egypt, reform leaders are criticizing Egypt’s Military leadership, while the friction between the Copts (Christians) and some sects of believers in Islam, continues.
All in all, not a good week for travelers, at least those in the centers of major cities around the world. We are unsure what lies ahead for the demonstrations in Europe and the United States, but urge you to search local news sources to see if the activity might interfere with any travel you have planned. Other hotspots such as Greece and Egypt look to be long term problems that might just wind up with you taking these potential travel destinations off your bucket list, at least for a while.
Our team has been on assignment this summer and we regret that we have not been able to publish new articles in our blog as often as we would like. Last week we were passing through New York and stopped in to check on the progress of the 9/11 Memorial, as well as the renovations planned for the interior of the Statue of Liberty.
The Grand Opening of the 9/11 Memorial is scheduled, quite fittingly, for dedication on September 11, 2011 and will be open to public visitors, who have reserved advanced passes, starting on September 12. We were able to get a view from a neighboring building and were stunned by the beauty and power of the Memorial. The footprints of the North and South Towers have been excavated and lined with black marble to create reflecting pools which are highlighted by water cascading down four walls. The names of the fallen are inscribed on bronze panels near the lip of each tower’s footprint and these monuments are surrounded by grass, trees and other plantings. The Museum features a large pavilion and a glass atrium. Below is a photograph taken from the upper stories of a building adjacent to the Memorial site.
If you are planning a trip to New York, be sure to make reservations as far in advance as you can. See the official 9/11 Memorial website for details on the Memorial, as well as reserving tickets. Even though the location is not yet open to the public, the area is a virtual magnet for tourists wanting to pay their respect to those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Below is an architectural model of the Memorial as it will look when completed.
As one monument opens in New York, another will experience reduced access. Just so you know, all interior spaces of the Statue of Liberty will be closed for approximately one-year starting October 29, 2011, just a day after Lady Liberty celebrates her 125th anniversary. Both Liberty and Ellis Island will remain open during this period. Most visitors do not climb to the crown and the National Park Services feels that the closure, which is necessary to improve the safety of visitors to the interior, will not have a significant influence on visitors since most do not climb the stairway to the crown. However, if this ascent is one of your goals, you may want to postpone your visit until late 2012.
During our short visit to New York, we dined three times in the East Village and now have a new bevy of favorite restaurants. New York’s culinary scene seems to continually add fabulous restaurants whose menus include noteworthy feasts.
If you are thinking about a visit to New York City, see our detailed New York travel guide for our recommendations on the best places to visit in New York.
On Saturday,March 19, 2011 ThereArePlaces launched its new, concise but multi-paged guide to the Best Places to Visit in New York. In addition, we are working on guides to Chicago and San Francisco and have another two U.S.city-guides in planning. All will be released in the first half of this year.
Our New York Guide covers our recommendations for the thirty best places to visit in New York City. We provide details on each attraction and link to the official website, when there is one (in case you have an interest in learning additional information). In addition, we show the location of each attraction with a marker on a custom built map utilizing a map base from Google, and have sprinkled the Guide with some excellent photographs showing what you can expect to see when you visit New York.
New York is a phenomenal place to visit and often produces a wide range of emotions in each visitor. Americans are justifiably proud of the values represented by the Statue of Liberty and immensely saddened the loss of life at nearby Ground-Zero, soon to be the home of the National 9/11 Memorial. Times Square, Central Park and the Empire State Building are just the beginning of an exploration of some of the most famous structures and attractions in the United States, and, perhaps, the world. New York has something for everyone and we think you will find that the ThereArePlaces Guide to New York is a great way to explore the Big Apple in preparation for your next visit.
Let us know what you think of our Guide to the best places to visit in New York. Leave a comment and help us make a better website for you.