The Luxury Photo Journey is an occasional series here at Dandelion Chandelier. Sometimes we find ourselves in a place so stunningly beautiful that words fail us. In those instances, we’ll let the images do most of the talking.
We first visited the Oculus in Lower Manhattan by day, shortly after it first opened. Recently, we returned at night. It’s hard to believe, but it’s even more magnificent under the cover of darkness.
Officially known as the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, and designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava, the structure includes a shopping mall, a transit center and a pedestrian network to foster easy indoor travel among the various office buildings nearby.
From the outside, it resembles a great winged bird, its white pinions spread for takeoff.
Inside, the Oculus resembles a modern cathedral – the cavernous space immediately lifts the eye upward to the narrow slice of sky visible through the ceiling.
On a warm clear summer night, even at almost 11:00PM, the space is full of people, movement, noise and laughter. Just the way New York is supposed to be.
The ribs of the building are reminiscent of the external grid-work of the old Trade Towers, as well as the inside of a whale (Jonah and Pinocchio inevitably come to mind).
The magnificent space attracts its share of tourists. But a seasoned — perhaps even jaded — New Yorker can be stopped cold by the beauty of it all, especially at night.
There’s also a lovely new element that was just completed a couple of weeks ago. On the approach to the Oculus, there’s now a small park and a brightly painted mural. It’s a significant improvement over the scaffolding and construction equipment that has surrounded the space for years.
It’s lovely by day, and mysterious and romantic by night.
So whether you’re passing by on your way home from work, or have time to pause and perch on a cube in this pretty little space, you’ll appreciate its vibrancy and joy. We will never forget what happened in this neighborhood on 9/11 – but how wonderful to see it reborn, and so full of light and life. A new chapter is being written here. We feel lucky to be able to witness it.
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