WA N D E R L U S T Day 3 It was finally time for the ferry ride to Staten Island! The ferry, free to all, takes visitors and commuters from lower Manhattan to Staten Island. Due to shortage of time, I decided to not spend time on the island and instead took the next ferry back. The main reason for this ride was to view the Statue of Liberty, albeit from afar. In my sister’s opinion, to which I agreed, the solo trip to Liberty Island to see the sculpture wasn’t worth it as there isn’t much else to do otherwise, and the view from Staten Island Ferry sufficed. The crisp blue sky with the water reflecting the sun and light bouncing off the buildings was breathtaking. I also got to witness the sun set on the statue, the phrase sun-kissed taking a literal meaning, another memorable moment. Taking advantage of the location I headed towards the financial district of Manhattan to see the Charging Bull and Fearless Girl in person, a mere 5 minute walking distance. They say touching the bull brings you good luck, yet another reason to visit! Roaming around Wall Street was intense, not going to lie. You could almost feel the flow of money running through all the buildings and the urgency to top that stock market. Wanting to make the most of the day, I opted to go and see the 9/11 Memorial and Museum as well. The design, by architect Michael Arad, is a great one to commemorate the tragic incident. The two places where the Twin Towers stood are turned into reflecting pools surrounded by white oak trees and the names of all the victims are written on the edges of the marked pools. The quiet flow of water and the rustle of leaves create a soulful aura, honoring effectively all those involved. The museum, which holds remnants of the previous towers, is right next to the site alongside the very expensive, and in my opinion an architectural masterpiece, The Oculus. The latter is basically the main transportation hub in that area consisting of trains and subways including a fully fledged shopping mall within. This white beautiful structure is designed by a Spanish architect called Santiago Calatrava. According to him, it is supposed to resemble a winged dove but to me it looked more like a Pokemon character! The interior is as unique as it gets, all white with a spine like chord in the middle of the ceiling, as if holding all the sides together. With majority of the landmarks conquered, it was time for some relaxation and shopping, and what better place than SoHo, standing for South of Houston Street, a treat for all the fashion lovers. Initially known for art galleries and preferred locations of artists, it is now a retail hub containing stores ranging from trendy couture to high-end international chains. Much like the entire of New York, SoHo has its own architectural presence by having the most cast-iron buildings, creating an artistic and urban feel. If you keep walking west towards Mulberry Street from there, you will hit the cutest neighborhood comprising of Italian stores and restaurants called, naturally, Little Italy. Furthermore ahead, you hit Chinatown, bigger in size than the former, showcasing delights from the country.