As you traverse Manhattan's concrete canyons, it's sometimes easy to forget that you're actually on an island. But here, at Manhattan's southernmost tip, you get the very real sense that just out past Liberty, Ellis, and Staten islands is the vast Atlantic Ocean.
The 21-acre park is named for the cannons built to defend residents after the American Revolution. Castle Clinton National Monument (the place to purchase tickets for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island ferry) was built as a fort before the War of 1812, though it was never used as such.
Battery Park is a park of monuments and memorials, many paying tribute to tragedy and death. Here you will find the East Coast Memorial, dedicated to 4,601 servicemen who died in Atlantic coastal waters during World War II; the New York Korean War Veterans Memorial; the American Merchant Mariner's Memorial, dedicated to Merchant Mariners lost at sea; the Salvation Army Memorial; the Hope Garden, dedicated to those who live with HIV or have died from AIDS; the Irish Hunger Memorial, a tribute to those who died during the potato famine in Ireland; and the 22-ton bronze sphere by Fritz Koenig that was recovered from the rubble of the World Trade Center, where it stood on the plaza between the two Twin Towers as a symbol of global peace -- severely damaged but still whole. Mingling throughout these memorials you will find the requisite T-shirt vendors, hot-dog carts, and Wall Streeters eating deli sandwiches on the many park benches. Pull up your own bench for a good view out across the harbor.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Highly Recommended 2010