Our 2017 Road Trip, Part 16: The View from Another World Trade Center

Inner Harbor Wallpaper!

One great perk of vacation photography: creating your own PC wallpaper.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Every year since 1999 my wife Anne and I have taken a trip to a different part of the United States and visited attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. From 1999 to 2003 we did so as best friends; from 2004 to the present, as husband and wife. For 2017 our ultimate destination of choice was the city of Baltimore, Maryland. You might remember it from such TV shows as Homicide: Life on the Street and The Wire, not exactly the most enticing showcases to lure in prospective tourists. Though folks who know me best know I’m one of those guys who won’t shut up about The Wire, a Baltimore walkabout was Anne’s idea. Setting aside my fandom, as a major history buff she was first to remind skeptics who made worried faces at us for this plan that Maryland was one of the original thirteen American colonies and, urban decay notwithstanding, remains packed with notable history and architecture from ye olde Founding Father times. In the course of our research we were surprised to discover Baltimore also has an entire designated tourist-trap section covered with things to do. And if we just so happened to run across former filming locations without getting shot, happy bonus…

You may have noticed our next stop as an Easter egg in photos from previous chapters. The tallest building along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is their 31-story World Trade Center. It’s one of 53 American members of the World Trade Center Association, which in all numbers 317 worldwide in 91 countries. The Baltimore version opened in 1977. Other than intense basement flooding from Hurricane Isabel in 2003, it’s been a relatively fortunate place.

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2016 NYC Trip Photos #3: One World, Many Views

One World Observatory!

When we began brainstorming the to-do list for our encore visit to New York City, we wanted to see new places and object we missed the first time around. The list included a handful of places we’d seen before but wanted to revisit — either to relive the same impressions or to catch up with recent changes.

Five years ago, when last we visited the World Trade Center plaza, this skyscraper was an extra-large stump. Today it’s the all-new all-different One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Americans may know it better by its original nickname, the Freedom Tower. On the morning of Day Two, we called it our obvious first stop.

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New Jersey from a Minimum Safe Distance

One Anne!

I can see Springsteen from here!

Flying to this year’s vacation destination had its advantages — faster travel time; free tiny snacks; no road construction delays; no rental car to return afterward while we’re all exhausted; and no danger of accidentally winding up in Newark again on our way to Manhattan. Sure, they could’ve diverted our plane to the wrong airport, but thankfully that didn’t happen. We also reviewed the New Jersey hotel options that we took advantage of in 2011, but price variances in both states over the past five years leveled the playing field in our absence. So this faraway glimpse is as close as we got to New Jersey this year.

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Our 2011 Road Trip #12: Freedom Under Reconstruction

Freedom Tower!

One World Trade Center as of July 2011. Reboot in progress.

[The very special miniseries continues! See Part One for the official intro and context.]

The E train took us south from the Port Authority to the world-famous World Trade Center complex, a week after Independence Day and ten years after 9/11. Someday the area will be usable and photogenic again. At this point, unless your idea of photogenic is lifesize Tonka Truck construction playsets, no such luck. But it’s interesting to dream what’ll be made of the place.

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