Sunday, September 11, 2005

A Place To Remember...

My first memory of New York City was when I was five years old. We were in my uncle's apartment. The memory is broken up into pieces. I remember he had shelves of cassette tapes that lined his wall. I would grow up wanting shelves of cassette tapes and then cd's lining my wall. We were waiting for him. I sat by the window and looked out into the street. It was dark and had begun to rain. Lightly. I saw him come into view, walking as fast as he could to avoid getting too wet. A man on a dark city street, glittered with raindrops. I fell in love with New York City when I was five years old. Throughout my life I felt destined to live in New York. I still do. I plan on taking a few detours and spending time out West, but I know that there is a world waiting for me in New York City. In the subways and kiosks, busy city streets and deserted alleys. In a park in the middle of a skyscraper sky. When I went back as an adult, six months after September 11th, 2001, it felt like coming home. It felt like it from Jersey, when I saw the two beams of light where the World Trade Center used to stand, cutting through the night's sky. I was home. Nothing intimidated me. Nothing made me feel different. 29th street was narrow and lined with cars and after a 10 hour drive, I didn't even care about climbing countless marble stairs to my aunt's one bedroom apartment. The next day, I walked the city for eight hours. It was the first time I had felt awake and alive in the world - and not judged by a single soul. I was calm. I was happy. I may not have been born there, but I was home - and in New York they are always willing to welcome you in. September 11th, 2001 had changed me. I didn't want to admit it, because it sounds so cliche. But it did. Sitting up through the night watching nonstop television coverage, I knew that even though I was a world away from world change - world change is where I want to be. As one by one, family members tearfully described missing loved ones in front of national cameras, I knew - every soul tells a story - and I'm interested in every one. No city, no place will ever feel like New York City. No matter what. Today, it helps me to think that the order of the day is to remember all of those New Yorkers who lost their lives and nothing more. Just remember them. Just remember their families. Their lives. Their loss. I remember today...I remember everyday. And to the city of my dreams - the day will come when I can wake up and hit Starbucks for a latte, grab some rugelach at Zabars and hit a used bookstore that I know...and do it all again the next day. I can't wait to go home again.

1 comment:

Leslie said...

Nicely written. I can't wait until I can come visit you at 'home'.