In the summer of 2001 I used to ride my bicycle from the east village where I lived, across Christopher street and down the Westside highway. That summer I started making purses and would ride down to my favorite park, sit close to the water, look at the statue of Liberty and The World Trade Center Towers. I grew up in NY and would occasionally visit my dad at his office in one of the towers. I was on a school trip in 1993 the day the 1st attempted bombing occurred and was able to see the smoke billowing from the building. We rode by in our bus trying to figure out what was going on. This was in the days before smart phones so the bus driver radioed to his dispatch and relayed back to us what had occurred.
The towers had always been in the back drop of my life without much effort. They were always there. As I got older I did understand that some people did not view it the same way I did. For me it represented my childhood and endless possibilities. Driving over the hill on the LIE into “the city” the towers were the 1st thing that appeared on the horizon and they represented my freedom.
September 11th 2001 changed the lives of many people forever. I have personally spent the past 19 years reliving that day and weeks and months to follow on a regular basis. Those times were filled with as much hope as they were sadness. There is a lot more to be said on this and I can probably write for days as it’s something that changed me forever. However, at this time I will choose to focus on the freedom I feel every time I drive over that hill even knowing what is missing. Remembering the closeness of NYC and the country as we worked together to search and eventually rebuild.
I was fortunate enough to live on a street where I had a clear view the freedom tower being built and watch the day it was lit. It will never fill the void however is a constant reminder of hope for me.
When I moved back to NYC in March I moved 3 block away from where the towers once stood. I walk past the pools often and know I am blessed to have that opportunity.
Moving back to NYC during a pandemic was not what I had intended. When I initially made the plans to move I had no idea what would be instore and all the challenges and emotions I would face. Over the past 6 months I remind myself often that we got through all those days, weeks, months and now years after 9/11 and it inspires me to keep moving forward. I love where I live would not want to be anywhere else. NYC is safe, it is strong and it is now and always will be full of love and the place I proudly call home.