By Michelle Gysberts17 Oct 2016Everyone is aware of the devastating event that took place on September 11, 2001 in New York City, but many would not be aware that apparently a month before, the Westfield Group had just secured a contract to upgrade and expand the shopping center of the Twin Towers, and then the unthinkable happened. Almost 15 years later the new shopping complex the largest in Manhattan is complete, which includes a truly stunning structure called Oculus, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The site of the Oculus is angled in such a way that every year on September 11th at 10.28 am the sun will shine directly through the central skylights, (which symbolize the two towers). This creates a shaft of light that perfectly bisects the Oculus floor. The design of the Oculus was inspired by the image of a dove leaving a child’s hand. The modern aesthetic and the white Italian marble flooring and the expanse of space alone is worth the visit, even if you aren’t a shopper. But if you are, you will be overwhelmed with a state of euphoria when you walk in the Oculus; which connects 350,000 square feet of 100 global, local, fashion, technology and lifestyle shops from casual to luxury. If time is of the essence when visiting New York this is your one stop ‘shop’, to visit all those favorites from Kate Spade New York, Banana Republic, Victoria Secret, Kiehls, Dior, Sephora, John Varvatos, Lacoste, Mac Cosmetics, Apple, Bose, Vince Camuto, Under Armour, COS, Cole Haan, Stuart Weitzman, Montblanc and Swatch, to name a few. Whether it be the latest in fashion, shoes, handbags, men’s suits, make-up or the latest Apple device you are assured to find something you can’t find at home or just as importantly at a better price. (But if you are looking for the ‘super’ deals the old favorite Century 21 is just a five-minute walk across the road.) As shopping is known to give one an appetite, the dining options are endless, a must visit the second Eataly in New York, which comprises a variety of Italian restaurants, food and beverage counters, bakery, retail items and a cooking school. The restaurants overlook the reflecting pools of the 9/11 Memorial Museum. The 9/11 museum and the One World Observatory are all within 5-10 minutes walk. Spending quality time in the new Lower Manhattan is a must on the next visit to New York. What do you think about Westfield’s shopping centre in New York City? Other stories you may like WHAT’S NEW IN NEW YORK CITY? 6 new hotels, attractions & even, more shops! HEY BIG SPENDER: Japan eases duty-free shopping rules for tourists THE ABC OF NYC: get to New York for a holiday!