I’m a New Yorker, tried and true. Although I am proud, I must admit that of late, I’ve fallen a bit out of love with the Big Apple. Perhaps, it’s my extended subway ride (I now work in Harlem and the commute is a solid hour) or the senseless crimes that have taken over the summer or ’12. I’m not sure.
I recently told a friend about what was on my mind while we stood on a rooftop deck at a birthday party. “I feel like, I have fallen out of love with this city, ” I sighed, pondering the sad state of the relationship. I was disenchanted, but willing to make it work.
“Can you believe I’ve never been to the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty or any of the ‘touristy’ NYC attractions? My view of this city has GOT to change – that’s the only way I will stay here.” Later, he mentioned that maybe we should go the Empire State Building together. I was reluctant but agreed (via Twitter, of course).
The day that we went was an overcast one – the sun was determined not to make an appearance and the wind whipped my hair out of place. My spirits were bright, though.
Like a true NYer, I still had hope. And when we got to the Observation Deck, I was reminded of why I love and am proud of the city; why I fell in love to begin with.
From our vantage point, the view was symmetrically stunning. I could see almost every NY landmark – from the Statue of Liberty to Central Park to the Chrysler Building to every bridge that connects to the island of Manhattan. I thought about the men who had a vision of what the building we stood in could be and the many who probably lost their lives trying to make that dream come to life. I thought about the people several stories below us who were pushing towards their own dreams at that very moment, despite disappointments and setbacks. I thought about hope and how I couldn’t just let it slip away. The premise of hope is what has made this city what it is and will be.
Today as we remember 9/11, take a moment to think about those we lost 11 years ago and those who endured to see this very day – those people and causes worldwide who are still pressing on. When you put it all in perspective, I promise, your view, like mine will change.