As New Yorkers we are creatures of habit because a handful us forget about other parts of the city and rarely re-visit them. I find that a lot of us stay in a small radius of our homes, friend’s homes or our standard hangouts. However, this Sunday was different. My mission this season is to venture into those long lost neighbors I once called familiar places. Downtown used to be my stomping ground. I grew up on Water street just a few miles away for the Seaport and the World Trade Center. It’s always interesting to visit your old childhood neighborhood as an adult to see all the changes in the area.
Although the weekend is over, I am still thinking about my visit to the National 9/11 Memorial on Sunday. I believe it’s one of the most peaceful experiences I have ever experienced in the city. My best-friend and I had been walking around the city all day enjoying the weather. As we were heading uptown from the South Street Seaport we decided to walk over in the direction of the 9/11 Memorial. We both hadn’t been in the area in a long time or seen the Memorial.
Since last year, I have been wanting to go but never made the effort. In hindsight, I think I wasn’t ready. However, I am so happy I finally had the courage to visit a site I remember as a child. I have fond memories of going to work with my mother who in the 70′s worked directly across the street from the World Trade Center. It was always an exciting experience for me because each time I would visit my mother at work, we would have to go through the middle of both buildings. And this was the very location where Diana Ross and Michael Jackson stood during the filming of The Wiz.
For someone who grow up in New York and experienced that horrific day, it’s a warming feeling to see the downtown area come alive again. There are new stores, people walking around, new hotels like the W Hotel and the energy that once brought downtown alive is slowly coming back.
Walking into the Memorial was shocking but once the initial shock wore off, I began to feel a sense of peace. The calming sound of the water and the many names engraved around the foundation is beautiful. The grounds are beautiful and a great tribute. I never thought in a city like New York where the sounds of the city are loud and at time overbearing could offer such armistice. Visiting the 9/11 Memorial gave me closure. However, it’s a great feeling to see a part of city I hold dear to my heart coming alive again.
For information about the National 9/11 Memorial, visit: 911memorial.org