Travel Diary | NYC Day 2 | Ground Zero, Staten Island Ferry and Central Park

21st April 2015

The Flatiron Building

We got up early on our first full day in New York, partly because of the jet lag and partly because we wanted to get so much done. I had started with a cold, which wasn’t the best timing, but I still pushed on regardless of how rubbish I felt.

After a complimentary breakfast at the hotel (Element Times Square) we took a walk to Times Square to pick up tickets for the tour bus. Before we flew out to New York my mum bought us New York Explorer Passes for three attractions. I highly recommend this because it has a whole bunch of attractions you can choose from and it can save you money. The tour bus was just one of the things we could do on with our passes, so we chose the downtown tour so that we could hop off at Ground Zero and hop back on again to head back to Times Square. It was also a great way for us to see many of the famous sites of New York, including the Flatiron Building.

New York

New York

New York

*Can you spot the Brooklyn Bridge?

We got off the bus close to Ground Zero to visit the 9/11 memorial. It was a place that I wanted to visit to pay my respect to those who lost their lives that day. I’m pretty sure I was off school the day of the attacks because I was ill. I remember sitting on the floor in my living room, watching it all happen on TV. I think that memory will stick with me for the rest of my life.

World Trade 1 New York

9 11 memorial ground zero New York

9 11 memorial ground zero New York

9 11 memorial ground zero New York

I found the memorial a very moving experience. For me it hit home when I saw people visiting the memorial and touching the names of their loved ones. It was heartbreaking.

Statue of Liberty from Battery Park

Battery Park New York

While we were downtown and close to Battery Park we decided to take the free ferry to Staten Island. I highly recommend this, not just because it’s free but also because you can get a great view of the Manhattan skyline and the Statute of Liberty (which we visited later in the week).

Brookylyn Bridge New York

New York

New York

New York

*I only realised when I’d finished editing this picture that the Empire State Building is in the background and it looks tiny!

Staten Island Ferry New York

Statue of Liberty New York

Once we were back in Manhattan we found a cafe and picked up some pizza to eat in a small park near Battery Park. The weather was fantastic!

We then caught the bus back to midtown. I had a look at my map and realised we could easily walk from Times Square to Central Park. Okay, it was a little bit of a walk but it was completely worth it. We found somewhere to sit and did a little bit of people watching, which was incredibly relaxing. I need to go back to New York just to explore more of Central Park and see it when the trees have got some leaves of them. ;)

Central Park New York

Central Park New York

The next post will include photographs from the top of the Empire State Building (and finally some photos of me!), Grand Central Station and a crazy diner where the staff sing to you.

If you missed Day 1 of my New York Travel Diary, you can check that out here.

Enjoyed this post? Why not share it...


  1. Great photos! And thank you for visiting Ground Zero and seeing the memorial. I remember that day quite well. I was actually already in bed, but the next morning, my dad woke me up, but I snoozed and fifteen minutes later he came back to tell me that school was cancelled I’d asked why, and he said, “There was an attack,” and I thought he’d meant North Korea had attacked us, but then I found out it was the 9/11 attack. Anyway, thank you for the photos.

    The rest of your excursion sounds fun. I especially love your Central Park photos. Something about Central Park calls to me, so I’m glad to see it. :D

    Can’t wait to see your next set!

    • Holly

      No problem. :) I really think it is one of those places we should all visit one day. As I say, it makes it all feel so real.

  2. I can imagine how emotional it was at the 9/11 memorial. I remember that day, I was watching it on telly too. It was socking and so sad. Back then I didn’t understand all the implications as there wasn’t any risk of terrorism, but now, living in UK my perspective has changed.

    Love the pictures, I must have been so exciting to see everything that you can usually see in the movies :)

    • Holly

      The American’s were very hot on security. Going to the top of the Empire State Building and going to liberty Island we had to go through airport style security. And at the airport we had to go through so many checks, having photos taken, fingerprints, etc. However, I always felt really safe there.

      I know, I kept pointing out famous film/TV locations to my mum and dad who didn’t really have a clue what I was on about! Like Sex and the City locations.

  3. Elena

    Wow, so many great pictures! I am happy you got to visit 9/11 memorial, and the view from the ferry/ Staten Island looks amazing.

    Your posts are making me want to go to New York! Can’t wait for the next one.

    • Holly

      Just looking at the pictures makes me want to go back! I highly recommend the Staten Island Ferry if you do visit. I got better pictures of Manhattan from the ferry than the day I went to Liberty Island.

  4. Kya

    The photos look so awesome! :D Looking forward to the next post!

  5. I had seen your picture of Ground Zero on Instagram and that night I spend my time looking up on the 9/11 attacks. I remember the day too, but because I was just in the 2nd grade, I didn’t remember all the details. I remember discussing a lot about the attacks in school the next day!
    The memorial is beautiful and then now I really want to visit it. Also, One World Trade Centre looks so awesome!

    BTW, I could spot the Brooklyn Bridge! :P

    Loved the pictures! Looking forward for the Statue of Liberty pictures!

    • Holly

      Thanks for keeping up with my Instagram while I was away! It was fun to update it with some travel related photos.

      It really is. One photo I didn’t share is of the survivor tree, which is a tree they removed from the ruins of the site and restored to good health. It was so special.

  6. Cat

    The Explorer Passes sound like a great deal! I still haven’t been to Ground Zero, which I should really see one day. I remember the day very well since I knew a couple people who worked at the World Trade Center. (One was on vacation and another hadn’t arrived at work yet when it happened, so they were fine.) It was a scary day though.

    Looks like you got great views of the city from the ferry :D I especially like the photos you got of the skyline. I also really love Central Park. It’s such a nice walk, and we like to visit the turtle pond there. Looking forward to the photos from the Empire State Building! I haven’t been up there since I was a child!

    • Holly

      Wow, your friends were lucky!

      A turtle pond? Aww! I definitely need to go back just to explore more of Central Park!

  7. Will definitely need to check out the New York Explorer Passes!

    Woop, I’m going to be staying in Brooklyn. Am excited for the Bridge :D

    Your pictures look amazing!

    • Holly

      I would highlight recommend them, just because it saves carrying lots of money around with you and it does save a little bit of money.

      I’m gutted I didn’t get to go to Brooklyn. Next time though!

  8. emi

    looks like the loveliest of days in NYC!

    xo welltraveledwife.com

  9. Great photos and to be honest, I am so soaking up NYC through you! ^^ I wanna go someday, seriously!

  10. These are stunning pics Holly! I love your skyline pics- sadly I couldn’t get out to Staten Island when I was there because of bad weather :( I love how Ground Zero looks now, I think they’ve made a fantastic memorial for such a terrible event…. I remember how devastated my dad was over losing an office full of friends (and some of my friends consequently losing their parents), it was a terrible day in my house :(

    • Holly

      Thank you! I was shocked to see that New York was still trying to recover after Hurricane Sandy. For instance, all the exhibits had been removed from Ellis Island because the temperature control in the building been damaged in the hurricane and they still hadn’t fixed it.

      I find it incredible the amount of lives that 9/11 affected. It must have been a tough day for your family.