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9/11 Anniversary: How this remnant of the World Trade Center became a symbol of NYC’s resilience / By Christina Stanton /www.lonelyplanet.com / Janbolat Khanat / İstanbul,New York News Office / Almaty Tourism ,Culture,Art,Business News Office

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Iwas a newly licensed New York City tour guide in 1995 when my relationship with The Sphere began.

I had been stationed at the World Trade Center complex, meeting tourists from around the world, who were there to visit the 110-floor Twin Towers.

At the base of the towers was an expansive plaza, which was surrounded by five additional impressive buildings that stood on the periphery of the 16-acre complex. In a space between the towers, atop a dark, granite fountain, sat The Sphere.

The Sphere, World Trade Center, 1984

The Sphere situated between the World Trade Center Twin Towers in 1984 © Barbara Alper / Getty Images

The Sphere at the center of it all 

One of the largest bronze sculptures in the world, The Sphere commanded attention. It stood 25 feet high, 17 feet wide and, with the fountain, weighed more than 20 tons. The Sphere was mounted on a circular disc that sprayed water in a ring running around the sculpture. The fountain and The Sphere were a perfect complement to each other, together creating an impressive focal point in the Austin J. Tobin plaza. 

It was created by the German sculptor Fritz Koenig. Koenig was born in 1924 in Würzburg, Germany, and became one of the most important and prominent German sculptors after WWII.

He was commissioned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey after he was selected by Minoru Yamasaki, the original architect of the World Trade Center.

Four years in the making, the massive sculpture was cast in 52 bronze segments, put together in Bremen, and shipped as a whole to Lower Manhattan. It was installed in 1971 and unveiled soon after, bringing Koenig worldwide recognition. Originally called Große Kugelkaryatid N.Y., which roughly translates to “Large Sphere N.Y.”, it eventually became known around World Trade Centre simply as “The Sphere.”

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Austin J. Tobin Plaza, World Financial Center, 1986
The many benches throughout Austin J. Tobin Plaza were a popular spot for relaxing and people-watching, 1986 © Walter Leporati / Getty Images

A contrast to the imposing Twin Towers

Koenig intended it to be a contrast to the imposing towers and a symbol of world peace through global trade. Created as an abstract reference to a globe, a perfectly round sphere it was not. Interrupting the smooth surface, almost as if a giant egg had begun to crack, long lines curved around its circumference. Between the cracks, large black geometric forms burst through the surface. It was featured in the backdrop of many polaroid photos of New Yorkers and visiting tourists.

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Hanging out in the Austin J. Tobin Plaza

As the imposing towers soared to the heavens above, it was The Sphere that grounded visitors back on earth. The skyscrapers that made up the complex might not have been to everyone’s taste, but the Austin J. Tobin Plaza was embraced. It was a unique space that provided a tranquil oasis inside a loud and bustling city and was used as a public performance venue, hosting concerts and dance productions.

But whether a source of enjoyment or a meeting spot, The Sphere presided over the plaza like a friendly giant. 

Fritz Koenig's The Sphere stands out in the World Financial Center, 1985

Fritz Koenig’s The Sphere, in the background, was the focal point of Austin J. Tobin Plaza, 1985 © Walter Leporati / Getty Images

Out of the rubble of Ground Zero

On September 11, 2001, we witnessed the attacks on the World Trade Center from our balcony. We were forced to evacuate our apartment, and my tour guiding jobs ceased.

I had imagined The Sphere had turned to dust since it lived in the shadow of the towers. According to the 2001 documentary, Koenig’s Sphere, directed by Percy Adlon, Koenig had also assumed the worst.

But from his home in Germany shortly after the attacks, he called a friend in New York and said, “It’s peeking out of the rubble. It’s not destroyed. I saw it on TV. It’s a miracle!”

Six months later came the announcement: The Sphere had been fully recovered from the rubble and was to be reinstalled in Battery Park. I rushed over the day it was unveiled. But as I approached, I stopped in shock. Gone was the golden shine, gone was the majestic aura. The Sphere was no longer a sphere.

The Sphere in Battery Park City, 2013

The Sphere had turned from a stunning piece of artwork into a reminder of what had happened and was given this temporary home while a decision on its future and that of the site of the attacks was made. 

Although Koenig initially balked at his beloved sculpture as a memorial, he came around, “It now has a different beauty, one I could never imagine. It has its own life – different from the one I gave to it.” 

When tourists returned to the city, I would lead them to The Battery to catch a ferry to the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island. No matter how pressed for time we were, I would stop the group near The Sphere and tell them the history of this battered sculpture. It became a way of demonstrating to passers-by that New York City was coming to terms with the loss and destruction of 9/11. 

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New York, N.Y/USA – 20th May 2020: The Sphere at the World Trade Center site is quiet due to COVID-19. Credit: Gordon Donovan/Alamy Live News

The Sphere

The Sphere’s new home in Liberty Park

In 2017,  The Sphere was finally relocated to her permanent home at Liberty Park overlooking the new World Trade Center site.  The piece of art now rests in a beautiful, elevated space with a living wall of ivy, gardens and trees (including a sapling from the Anne Frank tree), where it can watch over the construction of the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church.

It overlooks the original footprint of the World Trade Center and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. The park’s panoramic views invite visitors to rest and reflect.

A symbol of New York’s resilience 

The Sphere’s survival and visibility have been important to the city, especially to family members of those who lost loved ones in the attacks. Michael Burke, whose firefighter brother, Capt. William F. Burke Jr, died in 9/11 observes that The Sphere’s “scars and battered shape testify to the perseverance and resiliency of New York, America, and of those values.”

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Fritz Koenig's The Sphere at The World Trade Center, 1989

The Sphere that stood between the Twin Towers is back home  © Gérard SIOEN / Gamma-Rapho / Getty Images

The Sphere is one of the few survivors of the devastation of 9/11. It’s not the beauty it once was, but it has a new, more important role to fulfill – to connect the present to that past.

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This article was first published September 2021 and updated September 2022

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    Exclusivelifestyle / Top 10 Women’s Accessories Brands in the UK

    Exclusivelifestyle / Top 10 Women’s Accessories Brands in the UK

    LIFESTYLETop 10 Women’s Accessories Brands in the UK

    The women’s accessories market in the UK is a large and diverse industry that includes a wide range of products, such as handbags, purses, jewellery, shoes, and other fashion accessories. It is a multi-billion dollar market, and it sit’s constantly changing, with trends and styles evolving. Here are some key points about the market:

    Handbags and purses are among the most popular categories within the market, as they are considered both fashion items and functional items. High-end luxury brands, such as Mulberry, Aspinal of London, and Anya Hindmarch, are popular in this category, and more affordable brands, such as Radley and Cath Kidston. 

    The jewelry market is another essential part of the women’swomen’s accessories market in the UK. The diverse market offers high-end luxury brands such as Links of London and more affordable brands such as Oliver Bonas.

    Free Gold Plated Accessories Stock Photo

     

    The women’s footwear market is also an essential part of the accessories market. Brands like L.K Bennett and Office are well-known British footwear brands that have been in the market for decades. They sell a wide variety of shoes and boots, with many fashionable and functional styles. 

    The market is also being impacted by the e-commerce trend, where online sales have been on the rise; many brands have been expanding their online presence with solid e-commerce platforms and social media strategies, as well as partnering with online marketplaces such as ASOS, Very, or other retailers. 

    The market is also evolving and adapting to new trends and technologies, such as the growing popularity of sustainable and ethically-made products and the use of digital technologies in product design and development. 

    The market is also segmented into different demographic segments. Other brands cater to different age groups, such as affordable fashion jewelry and accessories for the younger market and luxury leather goods for the mature market. 

    The market is also affected by general economic conditions and consumer trends. During hard times, consumers tend to spend less on luxury items and more on necessities which could cause a decline in the market. 

    Overall, the women’s accessories market in the UK is a large and diverse industry offering a wide range of products to meet consumer needs, styles, and budgets. The market continues to evolve and adapt to new trends and technologies, and the rise of e-commerce has made it even more accessible to consumers.

    Here’s more detailed information on some popular brands that might be considered among the top women’s accessory brands in the UK: 

    Radley:

    Radley is a London-based brand that designs and sells handbags, purses, and other leather accessories. The brand has a strong reputation for its high-quality leather goods and is known for its use of color, prints, and patterns in its designs. Radley has a range of different collections, including a classic collection, a London collection, and a seasonal collection.

    Radley 24/7

     

    Cath Kidston: 

    Cath Kidston is a British brand known for its vintage-inspired floral prints and designs on bags, purses, and other accessories. The brand was founded in 1993 by designer Cath Kidston and has since become known for its nostalgic designs, which often feature vintage-style prints and patterns. The brand also sells a wide range of homewares and fashion items in addition to its accessories range.

    Celestial

     

    Aspinal of London:

     Aspinal of London is a luxury brand that sells leather handbags, purses, and other accessories. The brand is known for its high-quality leather goods, often made from the finest leathers and finished with a range of luxurious details. Aspinal of London’sLondon’s handbags are particularly popular, and the brand also sells a range of small leather goods, such as wallets and card holders.

     

    Anya Hindmarch: 

    Anya Hindmarch is a luxury brand that designs and sells handbags, purses, and other leather accessories, often with playful and quirky designs. The brand was founded in 1987 by designer Anya Hindmarch and is known for using bold colors, patterns, and textures. Anya Hindmarch also has a range of other collections, such as a more classic collection, a sports collection, and a collection of small leather goods.

    Links of London

    Links of London is a luxury brand that sells jewelry and other accessories, including watches and cufflinks. The brand was founded in 1990 and is known for its fine craftsmanship and use of high-quality materials in its designs. Links of London’s jewelry range from classic and timeless pieces to more contemporary designs

    Lulu Guinness:

    Lulu Guinness is a luxury brand that designs and sells handbags and purses, often with bold and colorful designs. The brand was founded in 1989 by designer Lulu Guinness and is known for using unexpected materials, such as Perspex and vinyl, in its plans. Lulu Guinness also sells various other accessories, including scarves and umbrellas.

     Vivienne Westwood:

    Vivienne Westwood is a British fashion designer known for her bold and avant-garde designs, and she sells a variety of accessories, including bags, purses, and jewelry. The brand, founded in 1971, has become well-known for using unconventional materials and innovative designs. Westwood’sWestwood’s plans often have a political or environmental message, and she is a prominent supporter of causes such as climate change and anti-fracking.

     Oliver Bonas:

    Oliver Bonas is a British brand that designs and sells a wide range of fashion and homeware items, including jewelry and other accessories. The brand was founded in 1993 and is known for its colorful and playful designs, which often feature bold patterns and bright colors. Oliver Bonas also sells homeware items, including furniture and home décor.

    Mulberry:

    Mulberry is a British luxury fashion brand famous for its high-quality leather handbags and purses. The brand was founded in 1971 and is known for its classic, timeless designs and use of high-quality leather. Mulberry’sMulberry’s bags are often made from the finest leathers, including their signature “Mulberry Oak” leather, tanned using a traditional method that gives it a unique patina. The brand has a wide range of different collections, including a classic collection, a contemporary collection, and a seasonal pool.

     Kipling:

    Kipling is a Belgian brand that designs and sells a wide range of bags, purses, and other accessories, known for its colorful designs and iconic monkey mascot. The brand was founded in 1987 and is known for its practical and functional designs, which often feature multiple pockets and compartments. Kipling’sKipling’s bags are usually made from durable materials, such as nylon, and are designed to be both stylish and practical. The brand also sells various other accessories, such as wallets and keychains. Kipling is famous for its sturdy and spacious backpacks and messenger bags that come in multiple colors, sizes, and styles.

    Women in the UK use various accessories to complement their outfits and express their style. Here are some popular types of supplements used by women in the UK: 

    Handbags and purses:

     These are among the most popular types of accessories used by women in the UK. Bags come in various sizes, styles, and materials and can be used for both fashion and practical purposes. Popular handbag styles include totes, crossbody bags, and clutches.

    Free Green, Gray and White Leather Handbags on Fern Leaves Stock Photo

    Jewelry:

    Jewelry is another popular type of accessory used by women in the UK. This can include necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings. Popular jewelry styles include delicate and dainty, statement, and layered looks.

    Free Gold-colored Ring Lot Stock Photo

    Shoes:

     Women in the UK wear a wide variety of shoes, from sneakers and flats to heels and boots. Popular shoe styles include loafers, ankle boots, and court shoes.

    Free Close-up of Shoes And Bag Stock Photo

    Sunglasses:

    Sunglasses are popular accessories in the UK and are used both to protect the eyes from the sun and to make a fashion statement.

    Free Assorted Sunglasses Stock Photo

    Hats:

    Hats, such as fedoras, berets, and baseball caps, can be a stylish way to add a finishing touch to an outfit.

    Free Woman in Blue and Black Dress Wearing Brown Hat Stock Photo

    Scarves:

     Scarves are versatile accessories worn in various ways, from traditional knots to more fashion-forward draping. They can be a great way to add a pop of color or pattern to an outfit. 

    Free Close-Up Shot of Assorted Scarfs Stock Photo

    Belts:

    Belts are popular accessories that cinch in waistlines or add an accent to an outfit.

    Watches: 

    Watches can be a great accessory to add a touch of elegance to an outfit and can also be practical for keeping track of time.

     Other popular accessories include hair accessories like hairbands, barrettes and clips, handkerchiefs, and other small leather goods, such as wallets, phone cases, and cardholders. 

    These are just a few examples of the many types of accessories used by women in the UK. The popularity of different supplements can vary depending on current fashion trends and personal preferences.

    When choosing women’s accessories in the UK, there are a few key things to remember to ensure that you select items that complement your style and meet your needs. Here are a few tips: 

    Consider your style:

    1. Consider the clothing and accessories you typically wear and choose items that complement your style.

    2. If you prefer a casual look, consider selecting simple and understated accessories.

    3. Choose more elegant and sophisticated accessories if you prefer a more formal look.

    Think about your needs: Consider what you will be using the accessory for. If you need a handbag for work, choose a realistic style with enough space for your essentials. 

    Quality over Quantity: 

    Accessories are often investments, and it’sit’s essential to consider the quality of the product. Invest in pieces made from high-quality materials, such as leather, that will stand the test of time. 

    Trends:

    Be mindful of current fashion trends, but be bold. Opt for the trends that are versatile, timeless, and suit your style.

     Color:

     Consider the colors of the clothes you own and the accessories you already have, and choose items that complement or contrast with them.

    Budget: 

    Consider your budget and choose items within your price range. You can find great accessories at all price points, so feel free to spend a little money to find something you like.

     Brand:

     If you have favorite brands and trust the products’ quality, you can look for their items. Otherwise, you can also look for new brands and try new things.

     Versatility:

     Opt for accessories worn in multiple ways, in different settings, and with different outfits. That way, you can get the most out of your purchase.

    By following these tips, you can help ensure that you choose women’swomen’s accessories that complement your style and meet your needs. And remember that accessories are a great way to update your wardrobe. You can have fun experimenting with different techniques, textures, and colors to find the perfect complement to your outfit.

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