Cher’s Travel: New York City, USA
11 September 2021
New York City – Remembering the City before and after 9/11
New York City holds a spot near and dear to my heart and life. As a young woman, I took a job with a major airline with the exciting anticipation that, upon completion of training, I would be placed anywhere in the United States where there was an opening. The suspense built – and once announced, I had four days to pack my life and move to some unknown destination! Chicago? Anchorage? Miami? Los Angeles? Seattle? Atlanta? Stay in Minneapolis/St. Paul? . . .
And the answer was. . . New York City!!
As a young lady from Minnesota who had never been to the Big Apple, this was quite a culture shock! (I even had to have someone explain to me what a borough was!)
My co-workers and I, all mostly transplants to the City, took full advantage of the opportunity! Broadway plays! Art museums! We hit major tourist sites: Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island… We did it all! We saw it all!
I worked in an office building at 2 Penn Plaza, mid-town Manhattan, next to Madison Square Garden. Seen here in the middle of the photo taken by me in 2009 from the top of the Empire State Building.
During my journey to discover this great city, the airline went on strike. My life was put on hold, although I had lots of free time explore all the free stuff in the City with my co-workers who had become good friends! Eventually, we went our separate ways, led by family and job opportunities.
But the love of New York City was instilled in our hearts forever.
New York City: the Skyline Changes. . .
Decades later, I had the opportunity to return. I led two groups of high school/college students on a tour of the City. Instilling a knowledge and love of the city to these eager young people was the joy of a lifetime!
The City had changed… Places such as Bryant Park were no longer unsafe and to be avoided. They were active cultural hubs to be enjoyed.
But the biggest change was something that had been both built – and had been destroyed – between my two NY experiences: The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan. Built (1973) after my time living in NY (1969-71)- and destroyed (2001) – before my visits (2009, 2014) –
9/11 had forever changed the landscape – and the City – and those that love it.
Lower Manhattan Battery Park area and Twin Towers before 9/11.
Google Images (10 September 2021)
The Day the Towers Fell. . .
As with all major life events, we remember where we were when we heard the news – and saw the events – as they unfolded on that fateful day: 9/11.
As I watched the images continue to unfold on the TV, my mind flashed back to when I lived there. I felt as if I were in the City once again. I could feel the panic, the pain and the grief.
World Trade Towers and Brooklyn Bridge on 9/11.
Google Images 10 September 2021
New York City: Then & Now
Eight years later, when YEAH Tours visited in 2009, the site was under construction and still a gaping hole in the ground, now called Ground Zero.
When we again visited in 2014, Ground Zero had transformed into a stunning memorial to those who gave their lives that day, and those heroes who fought to save them.
Today the memorial is finished and a must-see for locals and visitors alike as a testament to all involved with 9/11.
These before -and after – 9/11 photos of the New York skyline juxtaposed with the Brooklyn Bridge are a good example of the empty hole that it left in the skyline.
New York City: the Resiliency. . .
One thing that stood out to me during our post-9/11 visits was the resiliency of New York to get back on its feet.
The city once again went dark during the 2020 COVID pandemic.
I am confident that it will again rise above its challenges and its resiliency will once again reign supreme.
Lower Manhattan from Brooklyn Bridge at sunset – after 9/11.
P.C. Cher B May 2014.
New York City. . . a Decade (or Two!) Later
As an encouragement to anyone wanting to visit New York City, here are a few of the many reasons why you should keep it on your Bucket List!
Taken during our 2009 and 2014 YEAH Tours, the joy on the faces of the travelers affirms that my mission was accomplished!
Enjoy my photos below of our experiences.
Mary and Joy, YEAH travelers, enjoying the Manhattan skyline atop the Met Art Museum. P.C. Cher B May 2009