Last week something pretty exciting happened, after what seemed like an eternity of planning, saving and organising I was lucky enough to finally visit the Big Apple and it’s definitely an experience that I’lll never forget. It’s a city that’s built upon wealth, power and ambition, the third of which I can particularly identify with and despite my inhibitions it was this quality that ensured I quickly fell in love.
I am truly, madly, deeply in love with New York City and as I write this I am already dreaming about my next visit. I love the culture- so fast, busy and purposeful. I love the streets- wide, clean and cleverly planned. I love the people- friendly, hardworking and kind. But more than all of this I loved the New York spirit and nearly every person that I came across offered the same embodiment the New York dream- they are undefeated, even after everything the City has gone through, they are kind, determined and united in their love for their city.
And having spent almost a week there, I have to admit that I agree. Here are a few reasons why.
Because everyone has a 911 story.
Everybody is different, we lead different lives and as a result we all have days that hold special significance or meaning but occasionally the rules of life are broken and something happens that binds all for eternity. Every generation has their own unifying memorable day, an event in history that changed the entire world and changed the way that we look at things. For our grandparents it was most likely the start and end of the Second World War, for our parents it was potentially the collapse of the Berlin Wall and for us, it’s very likely the 911 terrorist attacks . It was an incredibly unique event, partly because the modern media allowed us to view the attacks in real time and watch as the tragic story developed, they changed the world and they had a massive impact on thousands of peoples lives. We can’t all experience the pain and grief that those involved were forced to experience but we can unite in our condemnation of these terrible murders and we can stand shoulder to shoulder with those that were left behind.
I knew that I wanted to visit the 911 memorial and I am really glad I did because the museum and memorial is educational, beautiful and respectful, it leaves you feeling emotional but determined and when it’s finished it’s going to be truly spectacular. The reflection pools (below) remember the victims in a subtle and yet honourable manner, while the construction of new towers is in part an act of defiance and part determination, the New Yorkers might have been brought the depths of despair but their spirit remains intact. There’s a real community feel between them.
If anyone is considering visiting the site I would recommend that you also vista the Tribute Centre because they offer site tours exclusively run by survivors, family members or locals and their experience is personal and incredibly touching. The lady who assisted my tour lost her young son in the North Tour and sadly she has never had his body returned. Her tribute was powerful, personal and peaceful, she holds no grudges but feels a deep responsibility to educate the future generations and works with local school visits to fight hatred.
It was a powerful, moving and beautiful tribute and I would recommend it to anyone.
Central Park is one of the most filmed places in the world and it is easy to see why.
Because it’s where Blair Waldorf lived!!
Have you been to New York? Would you like to?