Sunday, March 15, 2009

NYC09: City Hall Park to Washington Square: Beyond the World Trade Center

City Hall Park to Washington Square: Beyond the World Trade Center
Taking in that which was the World Trade Centre, I found myself in the World Financial Center. Through its glass walls, it offers the best view of the site, barricaded from public eye on the streets below – where those curious enough had taken to ripping holes through the fabric walls.

Leaving its hallway, lined with palm trees and other indications of tropic warmth, I found myself watching a street painter create cityscapes with nothing more than some spray paint cans, and paint knives. Though I had seen this done decades past to create scenes in space, beyond out universe, and intergalactic pyramids, I had never seen the style used so effectively as t create a perfect New York Cityscape.

Beyond him lay a building that I found as telling, as it was distressing. Marked with a nuclear sign, the wall informed passers by that a fallout shelter was located nearby. Unlike the space invader, I had seen tiled to a New York wall earlier in the day, this was no farce. This was something to inform those in need that safety and salvation was nearby.

It would not be the last such building I passed this day. How long they had been there, and for what events in this day they would be for, I am not sure. Still – there simply presence alone was enough to make me question the preparedness of my own city for some sort of accident.

Continuing the walk, as described in my Fodor's New York City Seen It guide, I entered China Town, loaded with all the fake-jade rings, and necklaces one would expect. Lanterns hung down in an attempt to call potential customers in for a closer look. Trinkets and toys, all bearing the traditional Made in China ascetic, lined shop windows and corridors. English was replaced with a mixture of Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese. All blending together to create something more akin to Asia Town, than anything more specific.

Continuing along Mulberry street I soon found myself in Little Italy, where a tempting slice of Pizza once more called to me. At four dollars, I believe it official that New York has the most expensive pizza of all the world, odd when taking into account how much of an urban touchstone it seems to be.

Having enjoyed a slice the night before, and another now I can claim that, while delicious, New York Pizza pales when compared to Toronto Pizza. Perhaps it's Toronto's thicker crust (offering a far more filling meal) or the natural spring water used in preparation. Perhaps it's the larger amount of toppings, or the style of sauce. The only thing New York has on Toronto is the cheese. Something that I'm sure I will think back on months from now.

Making my way towards Washington Square, I found myself sidetracked by yet another walk. I was now headed straight to Greenwich Village.

[These events all transpired while following the walking tour on p246 of Fodor's Seen It New York 2008]


  1. Interesting note about the pizza. The water it is prepared with does, in fact change the quality (similar to coffee). I had read somewhere on the internet some years ago that there was a place in the states that claimed to ship in New York water to make their pizzas. Surprised to hear that in TO the pizza is better, in your opinion, and am looking forward to seeing if that is true when I visit.

  2. It's just personal preference, but I love the Pizza Pizza BBQ sauce and crust. The super thin crust they have in new york, does nothing to fill one up.

    But the cheese? All pizza should have cheese on it, a la new york styles.

  3. Grew up on Pizza Pizza (in excessive amounts because of being in a hockey family), so at least my experiences when I get there will be from a similar perspective (haven't tried the BBQ sauce yet, though.. going through all their variety one by one..)


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