The Lower East Side has always been a playground for oddballs, creative types who diverge from Manhattan's mold. It's a quirky neighborhood filled with idiosyncrasies and secrets stuffed in blocks and buildings. These days, south of Union Square is trending, a wonderland of bars, movie houses, and restaurants that offer a refreshing contrast to Midtown.
Far from easy closure, though, or throngs of rubbernecking tourists, the 9/11 Museum fills visitors with numbed reflection from the moment they walk through its light-filled, glass atrium. The metal detectors you encounter upon entry, with security and police at nearly every turn, have something to do with it.