Transformations are inevitable as cities and people adapt to change, some are wonderfully revitalizing like the new shops and restaurants in the Meatpacking district, others are simply more commercial like the chain stores and tourist traps in Times Square. The changes in Battery Park are less noticeable at first glance, with modern high rises and busy thoroughfares bustling with energy as they always have in lower Manhattan.

One World Trade Center is a reminder of transformations that have occurred here on many levels, not all of them physical. Quality of life depends on how you react to challenges and changes. New York City channeled its grief by building the tallest building in the Western hemisphere, a beacon of life standing high above the skyline.

My last night in New York started with a glass of champagne for $16 at nearby North End Grill.

I wasn’t going to eat the fabulous looking bread,

but when they offered me a plate of a delicate salmon rillette, I had to spread it on something:)

Crisp radishes with coarse salt and an anchovy sauce also arrived before my order

of grilled sardines for $16, so fresh and artfully done that I wished I had more room to try another dish.

Walking over to the Memorial after dinner, the sound of water and the wide open space

were soothing to the senses, easing the transition from past to present.