Freedom to Explore My City: Remembering September 11th

September 11, 2014
Freedom to Explore My City: Remembering September 11th

By the time I arrived in Manhattan yesterday, I had read and answered all of my emails. FREEDOM!

It was 11:15 AM when I got off the subway at the 2nd Ave stop. I usually walk up 2nd Ave when I’m headed to yoga but for some reason, I turned onto Bowery to walk north and found myself standing in front of this place.

 Freedom to Explore My City: Remembering September 11th

My first thought was: do I really want to go to yoga right now? Absolutely not. I looked up and realized that I was at the Standard Hotel. Today was about to become a tourist day. Or at least until 2:00PM when I had to get back to Brooklyn.

I walked through the hotel and decided to relax and order a cup of coffee. Everyone there was super friendly, and I sat at the bar feeling like I was on vacation.

On my way home, I thought about how much fun I had feeling like a tourist and hanging out in a hotel.

There was a guy on my left who just wouldn’t stop talking to the bartender. He kept asking about the breakfast shift and then blabbed about sports. There were a bunch of guys drinking, and a few others on computers, chatting away. Everyone looked ready to walk down a runway. Tourists. And then there was me–the yogi in a pink tank, stretch pants and sneakers.

Freedom to Explore My City: Remembering September 11th

I grew up in Brooklyn and lived in Manhattan for eight years, so to feel like a tourist in my own city feels a bit funny, but for some reason, I did. It felt good.

I tweeted at the hotel from Pink Pangea, and to my surprise, a few minutes later I was meeting with their awesome marketing manager Eli, who gave me a tour, which included an amazing view.

Eli was friendly, and I told her how impressed I was by her team’s warmth. I mentioned that I would publish an article the following day about my experience.

“Oh wait, tomorrow’s 9/11.”

There was a moment of silence.

“Well maybe I’ll post something next week instead.”

view from the standard hotel
Gorgeous view from the Standard Hotel

On my way home, I thought about how much fun I had feeling like a tourist and hanging out in a hotel. I thought about the New York-related posts we planned to publish. And finally I thought about that day, Sept 11, 2001. I thought about the pizza place near my high school and finding out the next day that the owner’s brother had been killed in the attack. And I thought about all of the lives that changed that morning.

I was a senior in 2001, and I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a day I’ll never forget–but it wasn’t yesterday. Yesterday I was a tourist in this awesome city.


About Jaclyn Mishal

Jaclyn MishalJaclyn Mishal is a co-founder of Pink Pangea. An entrepreneur, writing teacher and an inspirational public speaker, Jaclyn’s speciality is guiding people to express themselves fully. Her creative guided writing activities help even the most seasoned writers break out of their habits and expand their abilities. According to Jaclyn, writing enables us to access parts of ourselves that we may have trouble expressing otherwise. For more about Jaclyn visit

One thought on “Freedom to Explore My City: Remembering September 11th

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    April 2, 2015

    As a native New Yorker, I can definitely relate to the weird feeling of being a tourist in your home city as there’s so much to see. Even after working in Manhattan for several years, sometimes I still find myself looking up at the architecture I may have missed before. But each year on September 11th, the dark cloud still lingers over the city. Everything seems different, and I think all of us appreciate our family, our city and our country a little bit more that day.

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