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Thread: WTC Tower One - by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

  1. #14476

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    New York Eater
    June 30, 2015

    Everything You Need to Know About Dining at One World Trade

    By Ryan Sutton

    To say that an evening at Windows on the World, located on the 107th floor of the World Trade Center's North Tower, was just about the food, would be like saying a Mets game was just about the hot dogs. Sure, you were there to eat, but you were mostly there to watch, to be in awe. At Windows, with its panoramic views of the city, "New York was the main course," William Grimes wrote in Appetite City. Or as the food critic Ruth Reichl once noted, the vista was effectively a "magic carpet of lights at your feet." Joe Baum's sky palace, of course, had its non-visual merits too. Windows boasted one of the city's finest wine lists, and its sister spot, Cellar in the Sky, was a forerunner in espousing that wallet drainer known as the wine pairing. If anything, Windows helped usher in a new era of captive audience dining in that the restaurant was a destination in itself, rather than a lazy byproduct of the vital institution it resided in. Windows was a shining ambassador for New York, an escape from a city that was, in decades past, drug addled, dirty, and crime-ridden below. Even if you didn't know much about fine dining, you knew such a dream-like place existed, and you knew that it came tumbling down on September 11, 2001.

    Fourteen years later, One World Trade has risen near the footprints of the felled Twin Towers. Signs on the inside and outside boast that it's the highest building in the Western Hemisphere, at 1,776 feet. Of course, the record only holds true if you count the spire that stands on top, which is akin to saying that Aunt Ellie is the tallest member of your family because she wears a single Manolo Blahnik on her head like an avant-garde derby hat. No matter; on the 101st floor is a trio of culinary establishments dubbed One Cafe, One Mix, and One Dine, all run by Legends, the folks behind the concessions at Yankee Stadium, the Rose Bowl, and elsewhere. Like Windows on the World, the chief merits of the One venues are the views they afford. Now let me explain why you probably shouldn't eat at any of them.


    A table at One Dine

    Even The WTC's Tour Guide Didn't Actively Recommend The Concessions

    During a slick multimedia presentation on the 100th floor, one of the WTC's tour guides gives the spectators a few clever bits of advice. First, go to Di Fara for pizza, he says, which is possibly the smartest thing a tour guide has ever said in the history of the universe. Second, don't eat "dirty water" hot dogs, only the grilled ones (this guy is good). Third, don't patronize street vendors without printed prices, he argues, because otherwise you might get ripped off. His last statement is particularly resonant because One World Trade doesn't publish its menus online. And in the One Cafe food court, few items carry printed prices (there are menus floating around; good luck finding them). So you don't realize out how much you'll spend on water until you arrive at the cashier, whose touchscreen asks if you'd like to add 20 percent gratuity to your H2O. Yes, this is where you get ripped off. And in case you're wondering, the water is $5.44 with tax.

    Perhaps this is why the tour guide doesn't actively recommend the concessions? At one point, he points upward to the 101st floor and jokes that it's where "the rich people eat."

    One Dine Serves Bistro Fare With Fine Dining Prices

    Those presentations, aided by ten flat-screen televisions, are also worth mentioning because we could hear and see every one of them from our table at the prix fixe-only One Dine. Even in our modern era of stripped down fine dining, where chefs throw out the rule book along with the linens every day, being exposed to a barrage of tour speeches as you're dropping hundreds on dinner constitutes a brand new level of absurdity.

    Related: Fine dining should never involve queuing up for 25 minutes, which is how long you'll spend schlepping from the revolving doors down below to the host desk up top, a journey that includes a brief interlude in a new age-music holding pen. It should never have patrons walk through a paparazzi line of cameramen trying to take your photos for cash. It should never involve a $32 per person cover fee (what it costs to enter the WTC complex; Windows had a cover fee in its early days as well). And it should never dangle the prospect of an additional $65 fee to cut the general admissions line. So even though your three course meal is nominally $75, you end up spending $130 per person after tax, tip, and cover. That means your appetizer is $40, your main is $70, and your dessert is $20. There are no amuses, no petits fours. There is no chef's name printed on the menu or anywhere else I look. In fact I have no idea who's actually cooking here. This is expensive food without a narrative.






    Above: Fried calamari and roast chicken with polenta; Below: beef tartare with bearnaise

    And while restaurants like Del Posto provide a compelling argument as to why rustic food can be fancy food, it's not clear that tasty albeit rubbery fried calamari should be one of the starters (kudos to the kitchen for salvaging the affair with a ton of cilantro and green chile sauce). It's also unclear whether that starter should be ricotta toast that the kitchen forgot to toast. Beef tartare with bearnaise is superb, but it's no better than downtown versions available for a quarter the price. A medium-rare bistro steak with blue cheese butter and crispy roast chicken with polenta, while both excellent, are both as fancy as any a la carte item $30 or under in Soho. And then there's the fruit tart, studded with the same cloying, candied cherries you'd find in a Manhattan.

    Bottom Line: The casual, brasserie-style fare is well-executed and often delicious but doesn't merit the high-end prices or prix-fixe format, even with the view.

    One Mix Is What Happens When Corporate Catering Tries to Do Small Plates

    "Sir, I'm sorry, there's actually a bit of a wait for the bar," a host declares, in an effort to stop me from walking inside the One Mix space. "That's great," I reply. "I'm already halfway done with my meal." The confusion arose because I had exited the restaurant about twenty seconds prior, and it's likely you will do the same because the restrooms are on a separate floor.

    One Mix serves "handcrafted small plates and cocktails celebrating New York." I suppose this explains why the margarita is dedicated to Corona, Queens, with its predominantly Latino population (really). Corona also happens to be one of the the region's most affordable neighborhoods, and so the margarita at One Mix is "affordably" priced at $18. The unbalanced tipple tastes of alcohol and sugar. And this is when you realize that the WTC's diluted Disney-approach to honoring the city's gastronomic diversity might not work.




    Mini burgers and a charcuterie plate

    Small plates, in corporate concessions parlance, mean sliders. So instead of one hamburger we get three mini-burgers. They're a hat tip to "Brooklyn," the menu claims, a statement that technically makes sense as the dense patties mimic the hockey pucks that the Islanders will use when they move to the Barclays Center. The mini meatball hero, an ode to Staten Island, is a single, leaden globe of meat, the size of a golfball, stuffed into a mini-loaf that walks a fine line between crunchy and stale. Bronx-inspired chile and olive empanadas are as mushy as oatmeal, and come with a side of yellow arroz so cold and insipid it would've made the chef at a boxed rice company frown.

    "What's in the charcuterie plate?," I ask a waiter. "Meat," she replies. Moments later she realizes, correctly, that we expect a more comprehensive answer, and she accurately guesses one of the platter's three components: prosciutto, an Italian ham that's supposed to be cut paper thin; here it's as thicker than the cotton on most oxford shirts.

    Bottom Line: Order a cold draft beer ($10 each), a stellar, well balanced daiquiri ($18), or a martini at sunset and enjoy the view. Skip everything on the food menu except for the reuben sliders ($12), chock full of super tender corned beef and tart sauerkraut.

    One Cafe Is a Terrible Place to Eat

    The most accessible of the three dining options at One WTC is without question the most overpriced area of the complex, a problem that's facilitated by the lack of visible prices. This is where tourists on a budget stand to get hit the hardest. A cup of thin, watery, bitter coffee of uncertain origin is $5. And pain au chocolat, so underbaked it looks like a heap of rumpled, cream-colored khakis, turns out to be $8 (compared with under $3 at New York's best bakeries). There's your $13 value meal.

    BLT's are served not as hot sandwiches but as cold wraps. "Would you like me to heat it up?," a concessions worker asks, explaining that's how many folks take it. Right on. And the result is a gluey wrap filled with hot lettuce, hot tomato, and a mess of bacon whose scent is closer to that of a varsity locker room than a good piece of meat. Cost: $12. Flatbread pizza, finished with flavorless mozzarella, is about as gourmet as a frozen slice of Elio's. An Italian hero, which is supposed to be served cold on Italian bread with a light vinaigrette, is served on a baguette with balsamic and heated up. The flavor is pure salt. This is the type of fare that would only pass muster at a movie theater or a high school cafeteria.

    Bottom Line: Avoid everything.

    The most disheartening thing about One Cafe, One Mix, and One Dine is that a tourist would be more inclined to visit any of them over, say, Momofuku Noodle Bar, Roberta's, La Vara, or The Breslin. And the thought of an out-of-towner writing off New York's great dining scene after a shake down at our city's most recognizable new building is a notion that should trouble us all. The restaurants at One World Trade aren't so much ambassadors for our shiny and safe city as they are shady hustlers on a street corner. If Windows on the World, when it opened in 1976, served as a glimpse to the rosy future of New York, the concessions at One World Trade represent a retreat to its soiled past.

    Infogram: Cost of Dinner at One Dine Plus Entry Fees

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    The Views at One World Trade

    One Dine: The fine dining restaurant boasts a real billionaire's vista of Midtown Manhattan, the East River, and The Hudson. Elevated banquettes near the east side of the room are your most desirable seats. The closer you are to the balcony on the north side of the dining room, the more likely you'll hear (and see) the tour groups below.

    One Mix: The casual space affords some of the best seats in the house if you get the "window counter" overlooking the North Hudson and Manhattan. Many of the table seats overlook New Jersey and the Hudson, while bar seats largely face away from the windows.

    One Cafe: Most seats are far recessed from the windows. Mostly views of Jersey.

    Most Importantly: The 100th floor observation deck, open to all ticket holders, affords the best panoramas in the complex, including a bird's eye view of New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty.

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    Some Additional Notes About the Observatory

    - Visitors receive free wifi access at the observatory for "one hour." Be sure to log on up arrival as cell service can be spotty in the stratosphere. Log on again after the hour is up for no additional charge (for now, at least).

    - Unless you purchase the expedited entry passes, which start at $65 per person, expect to wait about 25-30 minutes on the general admissions line before ascending to the top. All visitors are required to pass through metal detectors or airport body scanners. Timed entry-tickets are the cheapest way to get to the top, at $32 per person. They're valid for a 15 minute window, but our party was permitted in 30 minutes late.

    - As of last week, there was only one working restroom (with just two stalls for men) to service both the restaurant floor and observation deck floors. Three out of four sinks in the men's room had no soap, and one stall was out of toilet paper. Consider bringing your own supplies, fellow campers.

    - For those looking for a more affordable hydration experience, no one at security confiscated any water bottles we brought into the facility.

    - Remember that gratuity is already added onto your bill; waiters don't remind you of that when presenting the check. No need to leave a tip.

    © 2015 Vox Media, Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. #14477

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    Does that Eater reviewer have no sense of humor?

    Getting ripped off with shit food at WTC is as New York as the Statue of Liberty and Central Park.

    Even the Simpsons made a parody of it when Homer had khlav kalash.


  3. #14478
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    My latest video from yesterday:

    BY: QUEENSNY121:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iz8IaRzY6wg

  4. #14479

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    Quote Originally Posted by NYBOY75 View Post
    "Check it out everybody" - this video from the observation tower is terrific. One of the best NYBOY75 videos EVER.......check it out everybody.

  5. #14480

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    Truly one NYBOY75's very best, infoshare was spot on. The question that needs to be asked, since 1WTC is all finished, what building does NYBOY75 have his heart set on now?

  6. #14481

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    WXYZ Detroit
    July 16, 2015

    Local music company provides all music & sound at One World Trade Center

    Video

    It's the tallest skyscraper in the western hemisphere, but the visual majesty of One World Trade Center is only part of the story.

    While traveling up the elevator, a time-lapse animation overs 500 years in just 50 seconds. You see the New York City skyline grow right in front of you, but what you hear is actually a Motor City soundtrack.

    Brian Yessian and his team of sound mixers, editors and composers at Yessian Music in Farmington Hills spend most of their time fine-tuning sound for adds.

    But, he won the bid to provide music and sound for every facet of the One World Trade Center experience.

    "I mean, this is like one of those legacy projects that only come around once in your lifetime," Brain said.

    The project had a two-year window, and gave Brian a chance to dig deep, account for every note, and capture the emotions of One World Trade Center with pitch-perfect harmony.

    The team also composed music for the observatory's "See Forever" theater, a panoramic screen that greets you at the top of the tower. The crew built a temporary studio on-site to ensure the score rings true from every angle.

    Copyright 2015 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. #14482

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    New York Post
    July 24, 2015

    The food at 1 WTC is a tower of garbage

    By Steve Cuozzo


    Subpar dishes and décor coupled with sky-high prices add up to a toweringly terrible dining experience atop One World Trade.

    Dining at One World Observatory’s “restaurant” complex should have been a sky-high celebratory experience.

    But it made me miserable.

    Windows on the World, R.I.P., had its faults. But you’ll forgive them all — you’ll beg forgiveness for every time you snarked about tourists — after one glance at One World Observatory’s tragic trio of “curated” eating zones.

    A dreadful evening for two, with minimal alcohol, cost me more than $400 at One Dine, the observatory’s “fine-dining” venue. The feast included flavor-free “tuna crudo” that would be indistinguishable in a blind tasting from mammal, fish or Jell-O.

    A few hours earlier, in bar/cafe One Mix, I had “Brooklyn sliders” apparently made from the Manhattan schist displayed in a ground-floor entrance maze.

    Many New Yorkers, who know not to expect a second coming of Windows, still yearn for a top-floor meal at the iconic site. But OWO’s food effort is a tacked-on afterthought with zilch respect for taste, history or common sense.

    There’s not even much to see from the crazy-expensive dining room. What’s the point of a “view” restaurant with lousy views?


    Breathtaking vistas (above) await visitors on the 100th floor of 1 WTC. But the 101st floor dining offerings, including bar/cafe One Mix, feature mediocre décor (below) and food.



    Now, I’m delighted that operator Legends Hospitality, known for the food at Yankee Stadium among many sports venues, is paying the “Freedom Tower’s” owners $875 million over 15 years to run the three-level observatory complex (floors 100 to 102). The dough helps stabilize the “iconic” edifice and the entire new World Trade Center as they fight to lure glamorous office tenants in a tough market.

    But although Legends’ contract with the Port Authority and the Durst Organization requires it to run the place “first and foremost” as an observatory, it doesn’t follow that its food facility should resemble a hospital cafeteria.

    Worse, you can’t go just to eat — most visitors first pay at least $32 each to go to the top. I paid $54 a head (via a glitchy online reservation system) for “priority” entrance because it guaranteed I’d skip the general-admission line.

    I got snookered into buying the $54 tickets because One Dine (for which you must make a separate reservation, another nuisance) warns you to arrive at the Observatory at least 30 minutes before a dinner reservation.

    Alas, there’s no way to know how crowded it will be. On my afternoon and evening visits on Tuesday, there was no waiting at all for those with general-admission tickets, making the extra $22 I spent for “priority” access pointless. (There’s also a $90 “flex” ticket that lets you ride to the top at any time.)

    That was how a four-course dinner for two at One Dine’s mandatory $84 prix-fixe mushroomed to $404.81, including for three glasses of cheap wine and one cocktail.


    You’ll pay a minimum $32 entry fee to access One Dine on the 101st floor. The $84 set-price meal includes bland tuna crudo to start (left) and a passable piece of halibut. Dinner kicks off with two measly slices of plain bread (center).

    The ticket racket is only the start of taking you to the cleaners. Near where the elevator lets you out on the 102nd floor, hawkers urge you to rent an iPad “explorer” for $15 to hear Jay McInerney (“Bright Lights, Big Fee”) tell you what you’re looking at. (You must take escalators down to the 101st floor, where the restaurants are, or the 100th floor, the main viewing area that offers a 360-degree panorama.)

    Moving right along, folks, you may plunk down $29.99 to have your picture taken against a digital (i.e., fake) skyline backdrop, or blow your paycheck at a “gallery” featuring One World Observatory inaugural tees ($34.95) and possibly the world’s least-cute stuffed animals ($19.99).


    These $19.99 bears at the gift shop are just one part of the money-sucking experience at 1 WTC.

    Features that are free are no bargains, either. Your ground-floor entrance odyssey through cattle-pen barricades leads past tedious testimonials to the tower’s construction to “sky pod” elevators featuring animation of the city’s changing skyline since the year 1500.

    Once you’re upstairs, a See Forever™ multimedia presentation full of roaring subway trains, meant to convey New York dynamism, suggests an Oklahoma bumpkin’s out-of-control video loop.

    A “Sky Portal” installed in the floor reveals not the heavens but an enthralling video feed of West Street auto traffic. Live-human presentations are scripted not for tourists, but for aliens — “The Yankees are known as the Bronx Bombers because they play in The Bronx.”


    One Mix’s dry “Brooklyn sliders” are an affront to Steve Cuozzo.

    Of course, you come for the view. Absurdly, unlike at 30 Rockefeller Plaza or the Empire State Building, there’s no outdoor space. Windows are lined with low-rise sills where many visitors sit or stand, hogging views like first-timers at the Central Park Zoo penguin house.

    The spectacle is certainly breathtaking — how could it not be at nearly 1,300 feet up? — from the Palisades to the Verrazano Bridge. My favorite sight was of 4 World Trade Center next door, itself nearly 1,000 feet tall, yet near-invisible from above thanks to a façade of crystalline, reflective glass.

    The fun ends when you’re hungry. At a deli-style grab-and-go cafe, a small bottle of Poland Spring water costs $5. What remains of Little Italy is the last place you’d go for flatbread, yet here’s “Little Italy flatbread” for $14.

    Except for a curved, airportlike bar, the table-service, “small plates” venue called One Mix might be a disaster-relief station with cheap-looking bare walls, floor and tabletops. It’s separated from the snack bar by a funereal maroon curtain, just the thing for the 101st floor.

    Not everything’s as terrible as dense, brisket-grind sliders with insipid cheddar and tomato-onion relish tasting as radioactive as it looks. There’s a strong beer list. Burrata and tomato salad is generous and fresh.

    But beware hotel-generic One Dine, which skulks behind a second maroon curtain. It’s hard to see much through the windows from high-backed round booths like those in dark steakhouses — and near-impossible from the one we were first offered near the toilets.

    Even the best of 70-odd seats have miserly views, thanks to a deep, triangular void between dining floor and windows. The railing overhangs a 100th-floor “City Pulse” station, from which blaring music gave a raucous birthday celebration a run for its money.

    The floor crew are unfailingly nice.

    Some of chef Michael Faccidomo’s four-course menu rivaled a decent hotel function’s: a thick cut of halibut in plausible celery-root purée, ordinary but tasty filet mignon and a brunchy asparagus-ricotta-poached egg number.

    But any minimal pleasure was soured by the cost, and by chintzy touches like a bread offering of two plain, commercial slices.

    House wines proudly displayed in a wall installation are ominously identified only as One White and One Red. From what grapes could the vile, nonvintage white product of biodynamic-oriented Shinn Estate in Mattituck, LI, be fused?

    “It’s a proprietary blend,” the waiter said. “A secret. It doesn’t say on the label.”

    I detected, through a slight fizz, notes of fruit and something like aluminum. I closed my eyes, thought of Windows on the World, and made believe it was all a bad dream.

    © 2015 NYP Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

  8. #14483

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    There's not nearly as much space as in the old set up, which featured not only an observation deck, but a GIANT restaurant (WOW), a GIANT bar (Greatest Bar on earth), and even a GIANT ballroom. I would be interested in a comparison of the square footage of the two set ups. Then, Legends tries to cram three horrible restaurants into a small space with poor views (because of the set backs), when really they should have just picked one (the cafeteria) and dropped the other two. I think eventually they will go in that direction. A fancy restaurant is never going to work with separate $50 tickets, lines of tourists and airport-like security, and it was always pointless to even try. A decent cafeteria like you find in one of the City's museums is really all that will work here.

  9. #14484

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    I think the 'footprint' is the same size as the original WTC - so if it were not for that tapering off at the top they would have had more space to work with in the observation area, as well as the resturants. There is still enough room to rework the space into an ample sized restaurant or cafeteria: at some point in the future.

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    National September 11 Memorial & Museum on Facebook
    Photo by John Hyde


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  13. #14488

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    Washington Post
    August 27, 2015

    Atop New York’s One World Trade Center, a rush of hope and memories

    By Stephanie Citron


    The sun rises outside the One World Observatory at One World Trade Center, the former site of the twin towers, on opening day in May in Lower Manhattan. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

    The tears sneak up on me. I am gazing down upon the Brooklyn Bridge when I suddenly choke back a sob that I hadn’t realized was rising in my throat. I am sad, yes, but at the same time, I’m unexpectedly feeling optimistic and triumphant, because, standing here on the One World Observatory atop New York’s new gleaming One World Trade Center, it occurs to me how much I had forgotten.

    Forgotten that heady, humbling sensation of standing 100-plus stories up with the nation’s most powerful city pulsing below my feet. Like New York itself, the view from the original World Trade Center was an exhilarating rush of time, space, autonomy and connectedness. And how I loved the simplicity of those old observation windows, reflecting the dazzling city — as well as my own hopes and dreams — right back at me. Then, on 9/11, America’s mighty castle in the sky disappeared. And as I stand on the 103rd floor of the skyscraper resolutely erected as a replacement, I am relieved to discover that while the skyline has indeed changed in 14 years, so much of what I love has remained intact.

    There are countless cherished only-in-New-York moments that came crashing down with those towers, including some of my own. In 1983 I was at a party atop the WTC celebrating the Brooklyn Bridge turning 100 years old, watching the fireworks, with America’s icons of freedom, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, over my right shoulder. In that instant, I was struck with the realization that the immigration journeys of my grandparents had led to this moment: their educated, assimilated American granddaughter standing on top of the world.

    As much as we are determined to preserve those memories, the reality is that the visitor’s experience at One World Observatory is about looking forward. Depictions and artifacts honoring the former trade center’s history and the nearly 3,000 people murdered here 14 years ago are exhibited at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum next door. Yet One World Trade Center, and especially its observation center, is more than New York’s newest tourist destination. It symbolizes American democracy and free trade, resurrected 1776 feet high from the ashes of Sept. 11 and unabashedly staring the rest of the world in the face from its perch at the portal to the Free World.

    One of the first noticeable changes that visitors encounter is the cost of access. In the old days, anyone could go up to see the views, even if you didn’t want to pay the admission fee for the observation deck. On the pretense of dining or having a drink at the legendary restaurant Windows on the World, we’d simply step into the express elevator, press 106 and be launched into the sky. Today, the vista comes at a hefty price. Visitors must purchase a timed-entry ticket. Walking past the ticket window I hear a father exclaim, “$32? A person?” “Well, the kids are only $26,” his wife protests. “That’s $142 for all of us to go up there just to look at the view!” he gripes.


    Merchandise is displayed at sunrise in a store at the newly built One World Observatory at One World Trade Center. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

    Since its opening day, May 29, there have been lines of ticket-holding tourists snaking out of the building’s lobby onto the sidewalk. But I know that I can legitimately bypass the outside line via the PATH-Brookfield Place passageway. Accessible via an escalator in the lobby of the Brookfield Place building across the street, the passageway leads directly to the entrance of One World Observatory’s Welcome Center.

    Next I need to pass through the security checkpoint. We are instructed to remove anything metal and dispose of our beverages, but leave our shoes on — a somber reminder of what happened here.

    The mood gets infinitely friendlier inside. A huge video screen spans the wall that faces the ticket-scanning booths, projecting a world map that highlights each ticket holder’s home town (obtained from the credit card that paid for admission) and a current tally of visitors. The word “Welcome” flashes in 10 languages on another screen. This novel technology has me wondering: Does all this razzle-dazzle diminish that dreamy aura of romance and enchantment present in the old trade center? Or will the newfangled interactive experience bring about chance encounters and compelling conversations with strangers who normally would walk past one another on the street?

    A film called “Voices,” featuring the personal experiences of the workers who built the new tower, plays on a series of successive, uniform LED screens that line the hallway leading to the elevator. It’s unclear whether the creators of the observatory experience intended so, but I find it to be quite effective for transitioning nostalgic folks like me from the past to the present-day building. Then I pass through Foundations, where facts about the tower are projected upon displays of the original bedrock layer of the building. The bedrock foundations where you stand were formed 450 million years ago, reads one. Another subtle testament to the resilience of New York?


    The high-tech One World Observatory. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

    Finally I arrive at the elevators — no, these are called Sky Pods — which will transport me 102 stories in less than 60 seconds (ah, the quintessential New York minute). As we lift off, the walls are backlit, projecting a computer-animated simulation of lower Manhattan’s skyline, evolving from a swamp in the 1500s to today’s electrifying metropolis. Before anyone has time to oohh and ahhh, we’ve arrived at the top and are herded into the See Forever Theater. My New York-bred impatience prods me to skip out and get to the views, but there appears to be no escaping. Luckily, it turns out.

    The lights quickly dim; music ramps up and we’re treated to two minutes and 20 seconds of 3-D video clips of the life, neighborhoods and everyday people who make up New York today. Then the screens rise, revealing floor-to-ceiling windows spanning north-facing vistas all the way to the George Washington Bridge. It’s so breathtaking the room goes silent. Then everyone recovers and a few cheer. A side door opens, and we’re released into the observatory’s Horizon level, a spectacular continuous wall of windows revealing panoramas from every angle. From here, I can look down to the main observation level on Floor 100. Some people rent iPads ($15) for a virtual guided tour of the place. One level down are three eateries. The consensus among the early reviews, citing unexceptional $20 burgers and $5 bottles of water, is that even the best views in the world can’t justify the pricey, mediocre food. Just passing through the chaotic seating area is enough to deter me.

    So Floor 100 is my target, and, predictably, it comes with a flurry of activity. There’s City Pulse, an area marked by a suspended ring of high-def, interactive screens. Underneath them, “ambassadors” perform concierge services, virtually guiding visitors to the city’s landmarks, distinctive neighborhoods and diversions. People are lined up waiting for their turn to walk across the glass-paneled Sky Portal, where outside cameras project real-time, high-def footage of the view 100 stories down. Visitors are exuberantly dashing from window to window, enthralled by what they see. Even the teenagers have eyes shining with excitement, perhaps because they’ve found themselves unexpectedly immersed within a video-game landscape. It then occurs to me that many of the youngest children’s parents were not much older than children themselves in September 2001.


    A ferry moves along the Hudson River with the New Jersey coast in view from the observation deck. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

    But I, and others old enough to have a history and connection with this building’s predecessor, want to wander more slowly, stopping at almost every window, like we’re meeting up with a long lost friend, trying to recapture that old feeling. Many of us are misty-eyed. That’s when I realize that there’s no outside deck anymore, no wind whipping freely through my hair. The closest I can get to taking a breath of freedom is gulping the building’s filtered, recirculated air.

    Eventually the high-spirited excitement and contagious energy prevail over my heartache. I linger, as the sun dips in the sky, watching people walk home across the Brooklyn Bridge, as my own image stares back at me. This observation deck, I realize from my bittersweet reflections, has successfully bridged the gap between being a homecoming for visitors who knew it in the past and an exhilarating sightseeing experience for those who are coming to it for the first time.

  14. #14489
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    Last edited by Gulcrapek; September 5th, 2015 at 10:49 AM.

  15. #14490

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    New York Post
    September 17, 2015

    Moody’s signs this year’s largest deal at One World Trade Center



    It’s a done deal for Moody’s at 1 World Trade Center.

    The expanding credit-rating service just signed a lease for 75,000 square feet on the tower’s 56th and 57th floors, sources told The Post. The asking rent was $69 a square foot.

    The Post first reported on the negotiations on July 6.

    The signing is welcome news to 1 WTC’s owners, the Port Authority and the Durst Organization. Leasing at the tower — and for that matter at the whole WTC — has been quiet of late, even as major deals were being completed downtown at Brookfield Place, One New York Plaza and 55 Water St.

    The Moody’s deal is the largest at 1 WTC, also home to Condé Nast, since High 5 Games took 87,600 square feet in November 2014.

    Moody’s has 680,000 square feet in Larry Silverstein’s 7 WTC, but could not expand there because that tower is full.

    The new lease brings 1 WTC to about 66 percent occupancy. Cushman & Wakefield’s John Cefaly and Gus Field represented Moody’s.

    © 2015 NYP Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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