Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Battery Park, NYC

Battery Park is a large, open access green space and public park located at the southern tip of the island of Manhattan.  It's a common tourist destination and the site of may of New York's modern day war memorials.  Sally, the girls, and I visited Battery Park as part of our recent two-day vacation to New York City.
Sally and the girls in Battery Park.
When the Dutch settled Manhattan in the 17th Century, they established coastal artillery batteries along the island's southern tip to protect their new investment.  These batteries were later transferred to the British and reinforced, and it is from them that the area takes its name.  When the Revolutionary War began, the Battery was seized by the Colonial government before being retaken by the British during the occupation of New York.  The Battery was then the site of "Withdrawal" celebrations after the war ended.  The new nation reinforced the Battery via the development of Castle Clinton shortly before the War of 1812, during which it protected America's most important port from potential seaward attack.

After 1812, however, the Battery's military importance began to wain.  New York's coastal defenses were moved out onto the many islands that lie in New York Harbor, and the development of the U.S. Navy soon made even these superfluous.  Though the area was initially used as a landfill, Battery Park had become a tourist destination by the late 19th Century.  Today the area is both a destination and a refuge for urban Manhattanites looking for an escape from the City's concrete jungles.

This statue stands at the entrance to the park.  Sadly, I don't
remember who it is.
The new World Trade Center building as seen from the park.
The girls walking towards the WWII Memorial.
Castle Clinton.
Battery Park is home to several important ferry services, including service to Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty and the Staten Island Ferry.  There are also a few restaurants overlooking the water, Castle Clinton which pays tribute to the area's once critical military importance, and more than ten acres of open space, including a public water fountain where kids can play or cool off in the summer.  As noted earlier, several war memorials stand around the park, and some of the art that was once located at the World Trade Center has been moved further downtown as well.

Battery Park is easily accessible by subway or taxi.  The girls and I didn't spend too much time walking around Battery Park, but between the park itself and the Statue of Liberty, one could spend an entire. day.  What time we did spend, we enjoyed thoroughly, most especially lunch down at Pier A Harbor House.  That place is not by any means cheap, but the food and beer were great, and the views are unparalleled.

This clipper ship is permanently docked at the Battery.
Castle Clinton.
Korean War Memorial
Sally at Pier A Harbor House
I strongly recommend finding some time for Battery Park as part of your trip to New York.  Go down there and take enough money to sit down and enjoy lunch while you stare out at the harbor.  This is well worth your time, and it'll make you feel like you actually live in New York.

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