Irish Hunger Memorial, Battery Place, New York

Whenever I visit the city I find something new and striking. This trip I thought it would be the 9/11 memorial, but it wasn’t– it was Brian Tolle’s Irish Hunger Memorial near The Battery.  It transports a stone cottage from Co. Mayo and integrates it with a modern building that has illuminated strips with quotes about hunger, drawing our attention not only to the Irish famine, but hunger and famine today. From some angles it looks like an Irish hillside, with the plants that grew when fields in Ireland went fallow. Since it looks over water from some angles you see only hill and sky. From other angles you get views of the new Freedom Tower, 1 World Trade Center. But the most meaningful view comes as you walk up the monument’s stony path to its cantilevered top where you look straight out at Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.

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