Freedom to Explore My City: Remembering September 11th

September 11, 2014

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.


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

  1. 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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