September 2002: New York City
I love New York. I’ve always had a weird interest in big cities and New York has been high on my list of places to visit. My first trip and not my last trip happened in September of 2002; I flew in on the 13th, it was a Friday.
I was fortunate enough to have a close friend that grew up in NY and whose family was still living there. He flew in with me and I was staying in the Bronx with his family…and it was going to be a blast! We were going to do some sight seeing, but nothing super touristy…I just wanted to wonder around. As we walked through the financial district he told me how the twin towers were a great reference point when you got lost in the streets as he pointed in the general direction of the construction noise. We walked by Wall Street where fences and barricades created a “snake-line” you would expect to see at an amusement park for line control. Even with the erie deserted streets and continuous sounds from the recovery effort there was time to stop and watch families touching the famous “Wall Street Bull” and posing for photos.
Stock Market Bull Statue: Sometimes called “Charging Bull” or “Wall Street Bull,” this 7,000 pound bronze statue was made by New York City artist Arturo Di Modica in 1989 and illegally placed in front of the New York Stock Exchange. Di Modica decided to create the bull after Black Monday, October 19, 1987, the day of the largest 24-hour decline in recorded stock market history (the Dow Jones went down 22.6%). The police were called in to haul the bull away but public outcry was such that the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation made room for it in nearby Bowling Green Park, where it remains today. Broadway at Bowling Green.
– [snip] New York Metro; Wall Street
After visiting Ground Zero and spending about two hours wondering the memorial fence at Trinity Church one thing I could not get past my mind…the silence. New York is a busy and noisy city; yet there was a humbling and agonizing silence even amidst the heavy equipment. An occasional street vendor would be playing “Amazing Grace” or the National Anthem; it was like watching a movie. We made our way to Battery Park were there is a memorial made from the fountain sculpture “The Sphere” by Fritz Koenig with an eternal flame burning in memoriam.
“The sphere that rests behind me in many ways symbolizes New York. For 30 years, it stood in the World Trade Center as a symbol for peace. On September 11, it was damaged, not destroyed.”
– Michael Bloomberg
The rest of the trip was comprised of walking through Central Park, exploring the nightlife, shopping and wondering the streets of Manhattan. Within the first few hours I fell in love with the city and after two days I wanted to live there. I’ve gone back to New York since this trip and had planned on going back next month. The city has a big piece of my heart and while I might not make it in October, I know I’ll be there next year. I miss it. :)