Thursday, Dec. 12, 2002

The Irish Hunger Memorial

A monument to the devastating Irish famine of 1847 looks at first glance like an empty, overgrown, and weirdly elevated lot in the middle of New York's Battery Park City. But it's not a chunk of urban blight, it's the stone walls and fallow potato fields of the rural Irish landscape. The quarter-acre site rises to a peak in the west that represents the leaping-off point for the hundreds of thousands of Irish families that left ruined homes for the hope of New York. Tolle's memorial puts us through our emotional paces, first evoking our curiosity, then moving us.