VISIT THE NATIONAL SEPTEMBER 11 MEMORIAL MUSEUM
• Learn the powerful stories of Ground Zero, right on location• Experience installations dedicated to victims in the tower galleries • Walk through the heart-rending artifacts or take a guided tourThe 2014 opening of the 9/11 Memorial Museum signaled the start of a new era downtown, which has thankfully seen a spate of new restaurants, bars, and shops bring much-needed energy to an area that has struggled to regain its footing over the last decade plus. You could spend days exploring the Memorial plaza, marked by twin reflecting pools inscribed with the names of the victims from both the 1993 and 2001 World Trade Center attacks—not to mention the 23,000 photos, 500 hours of video, and 10,300 artifacts housed in the dramatic subterranean exhibition spaces (formerly Ground Zero). The best way to do it on a time crunch: head to the North and South Tower galleries, which showcase multimedia instillations that commemorate the victims’ lives. The recovered artifacts are powerful; check out the composite of five floors compacted by pressure and heat into four feet, and the original Vesey Street staircase that survivors used to escape. The 45-minute walking tour takes a look at the World Trade Center’s history and new design, but alternatively you can download the 911 Museum Audio Guide app with tours narrated by Robert De Niro. You will find the September 11th Memorial Museum located in Memorial Plaza. The museum is between the North and South reflecting pools. Be sure to check out the North and South Tower galleries.180 Greenwich St.;212-266-5211; 911memorial.org. The $24 tickets can be purchased three months in advance or plan to go on a Tuesday after 5 p.m. when admission is free.