The weather this weekend was just stellar, you could not have asked for better from mother nature. The days were warm with blue skies, birds tweeting, bees bumbling and butterflies buttering. Saturday morning I was up early, had a cup of coffee and a bowl of blueberries (yay, it’s berry season!) and out the door I went.
A few weeks ago a friend of mine told me of the Irish Hunger Memorial in Battery Park City so, that was my photo taking goal for the day. I took the #2 to Chambers Street and when I exited I stopped to take a few more photos of the ongoing construction of the new World Trade Center buildings still in progress to add to my WTC gallery. I then commenced to make my way to Battery Park City and the memorial. There was much activity in the park as the day was so beautiful and as I walked north through Robert Wagner Park I took shots of flowers, boats, people painting and water falls. These images I will present to you in a another blog post later this week along with images of the Hudson River Conservancy Park.
Not exactly sure where this memorial was situated, I walked past the Battery Park City Ferry Terminal on the river promenade and looked to my right and finally spotted a silvery overhang and behind it what looked like a pile of rocks. This I surmised, must be the place. I walked under the overhang and through a small tunnel that led to the front entrance of a little Irish stone cottage. I was completely enchanted having never seen the like of this before and ruminating on how it must have been to live in a home made from rocks. From the history I read on line this cottage was designed by the artist Brian Tolle and the house is composed of stones from 32 counties in Ireland. This work of art is to commemorate those who died or were forced to leave Ireland and strive for a better life in America, due to the great potato famine in 1845, an Gorta Mór.
The beauty and tranquility of the Irish country side is captured perfectly in the placement and design of this archaic structure. The natural color and texture of the rocks, the green grasses sprinkled with tiny purple and pink flowers surrounding the cottage and the ivy gracefully hanging from the roof or lintels of the door ways. What completed the picture was the deeply scarred stone marker with a celtic cross carved in the center, grown over with coarse green bushes, sitting at a jaunty angle like it had been there for a hundred of years. For a brief moment this site nestled in busy lower Manhattan made you feel that you were indeed in Ireland, a land someday I hope to visit. Enjoy the images below and I hope they will inspire you to make a visit to Battery Park City and this little bit of Ireland.