17 years have gone by, yet I still remember so clearly sitting in my English class as my teacher wheeled in a t.v., and watching the devastating images of a second plane crashing into the Twin Towers in New York City. I remember thinking how much anger and hate you must carry with you to be able to knowingly take so many innocent lives and how life can change in an instant. This feeling has always hit me every September 11th, but since becoming a flight attendant myself, it’s only grown stronger.
While September 11th always brings back feelings of terror, hate and loss, it was also a day where people came together with love and compassion.
Some of my favourite stories of this come from Gander, Newfoundland. The recent musical ‘Come From Away,’ is based on a collection of true accounts of the days that followed September 11th, when 38 planes were grounded there after the American airspace was closed following the attacks. I’ve seen the musical three times so far, and it continues to hit me just as hard. If you haven’t seen it and it’s playing anywhere near you – GO SEE IT!
There is also a book I just finished re-reading called, “The Day the World Came to Town- 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland”, that shares stories from passengers, crew and the townspeople who generously dropped everything and opened their doors to the “plane people” who arrived in their small town.
These stories make me so proud to be a Canadian and remind me that even in the darkest times, love and kindness will always overpower hate.
‘Lights up on Washington Heights,
Up at the break of day’
Since, like thousands of others, we couldn’t get tickets to see “Hamilton” on a recent trip to NYC, we decided to take the A train to the site of “In the Heights,” Lin Manuel Miranda’s other show, (which we had no problem finding, thanks to the lyrics).
‘Well you must take the A Train Even farther than Harlem
To northern Manhattan and maintain
Get off at 181st, and take the escalator
I hope you’re writing this
Down, I’m gonna test ya later’
Disclaimer: We didn’t fully follow these ‘directions.’ We actually got off at the Washington Heights stop at 168th and walked up to 181st, but we made it regardless.
Washington Heights, Manhattan’s highest ground, was named after George Washington, who led troops into an unsuccessful battle here against the British in 1776. Today, Washington Heights waves a flag of American diversity, with many of its inhabitants hailing from the Caribbean – especially the Dominican Republic.
Nestled amongst the concrete and bright lights of Manhattan, Central Park is a wonderful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.
This sprawling 843-acre masterpiece was designated New York City’s first scenic landmark in 1974 and has become the most famous and beloved urban park in the world.
Central Park has something for everyone. Grab a hotdog and sit by one of the ponds or rent a boat and row around the lake after lunch at the Boathouse. Do a scavenger hunt seeking out the park’s numerous statues. Grab some friends and play a game of baseball or volleyball. Pay tribute to John Lennon in Strawberry Fields, take a ride on the carousel and then head to Central Park Zoo. With all this and so much more, Central Park will keep bringing you back for more!
While I enjoy the park year round, it’s particularly nice on a sunny day in spring as everything is starting to bloom. On a recent trip to the city, I spent a day wandering though the park, stopping for a hotdog, before finding a spot in the sun to sit, read and people watch.
One of the beautiful ponds in Central Park
Strawberry Fields, created in memory of John Lennon
The fountain in Bethesda Terrace
Stopping for a Central Park hot dog
Intricate designs on the steps heading to Bethesda Terrace
Trees in bloom around Bethesda Terrace
Rowing around the lake in Central Park
‘Alice in Wonderland’ Statue
Hans Christian Andersen Statue
Central Park Carousel
Taking a ride on the one of the 57 horses
One of the many beautiful bridges in Central Park
Good to know-
- Central Park is free and open to the public from 6 am to 1 am every day.
- The Dairy, a Victorian Gothic building houses the park’s Visitor Centre. Here, you can buy souvenirs, get maps and sign up for guided walks of the park.
- Carousel Rides are $3 and can be purchased onsite.
- There are numerous snack vendors and several restaurants located throughout the park.
- For more info click here.
On a recent trip to NYC, I finally made it down to wander around Coney Island. With over 50 rides, lots of shops, restaurants and a boardwalk along the beach, it was definitely a great way to spend a sunny, summer day in New York City!
For more info and directions check out http://www.coneyisland.com/tourist-information