Opinions differ. It has many nicknames. Whale, Bird, White Elephant. Some think it is grotesque. I think it is magnificent. Thank you Santiago Calatrava. For the Oculus.
Over the years we've seen the World Trade Centre site change. From what it used to be before 09/11 to what it is now. Still with lots of construction going on, but hey, it's NYC. There will always be construction work going on there. It's not named "concrete jungle where dreams are made of" for nothing. Right?
When I first stepped into the Oculus it wasn't very crowded. People were laying on the floor to take pictures of the One World Tower through the skylight. I did also and thought it looked even more impressive. Good to know: every 9/11, at 10:28 am - the time that the second Twin Tower collapsed - the sun comes beaming in through the skylight. That must be breathtaking....
The Oculus serves as a transportation hub that connects 11 subway lines, the Path trains between NY and NJ and the Battery Park Ferry Terminal. It is said to be used by some 250,000 daily commuters. It is also an awesome shopping mall.
On the site of Westfield World Trade Center it says it is "The New New York Place to be. Shop. Eat. Drink. Play. All under one magnificent roof." And that really sums it up. Check here to see a listing of the hours and stores. And whatever you do, don't forget to check out Eataly NYC downtown. Located on the 3rd floor. If not for the good food and atmosphere, then for the view on the 09/11 memorial and the Freedom Tower. Which should also be on your to do list.