We decided when we woke this morning to find a supermarket, buy some food and then have a relatively quiet day. The very good thing about having so much time scheduled here in New York City is that there is no desperate need to rush. We left the apartment by 7.55 am and headed a couple of blocks down to the renowned (here in Chinatown) Hong Kong Supermarket. We found some items but opted to not buy fresh vegetables there. If you like Asian dishes, it is the right place for sauces and tofu and that type of ingredient but not like a ‘normal’ supermarket at home.
We found the Organic Food Market on Greenwich Street this afternoon. We were heading to another supermarket just down from it (where we ended up buying M&Ms and Lauren bought her ice-cream) when we found this market that radiated natural from the street.
We were both mesmerised. Organic produce for as far as the eyes can see. Cut, packaged, ready to eat. Vivid colours, beautiful smells. It was amazing. Literally, awe struck, I was wandering around in a daze. I really wish we had one at home. More expensive than your regular supermarket but … if you can afford it, well worth it, and only just a little more expensive.
But I digress.
After returning from the Hong Kong Supermarket we decided to head towards the 911 Memorial site and museum. We debated purchasing tickets online, but for the extra money when tickets were still marked as available at every session, we decided to risk just heading down there. Neither of us has data on our phones and my sense of direction is always cactus for the first few days in a new city (Courtney will agree with this; many times we found ourselves lost during our European adventures in 2009/10) so thank God Lauren has a keener sense. Also though, thank God NYC provides a lot of free wifi. We managed to secure it in most places, even just on the road.
Lauren wanted to go a discount sporting goods store (very similar to Rebel in Australia but significantly cheaper) called Modells. Ironically she bought nothing whilst I purchased a pair of black Go Walk Skechers (yes Karyn, see I do listen to you hehe, but couldn’t get them before I left home even though I had looked everywhere within reach). I tried them on and my feet just died and went to heaven. I had no sockettes with me or they would have been worn for the rest of the day (my feet are just slowly dying now as I sit here typing this). I cannot wait to start walking tomorrow!
After there we headed towards the Memorial. And I pause …
I woke up on the morning of September 11, 2001 to get ready for work as always. A text message came through from a friend. Her sister, also my friend, had left for the US and was due to be at the World Trade Centre that morning on a sightseeing tour. Natalie hadn’t heard from Janine. I turned on the news. And I sat and I cried.
We heard shortly thereafter that Janine’s flight had been delayed in Los Angeles so she hadn’t yet made it to New York. Read into that what you will … We were so relieved. But for the grace of God …
That news footage though, is etched into my memory. My very visceral response to it, is etched into my memory. For days, it was all I could do to come home, glue myself to the television, and watch and cry.
What sort of world had we become … and what sort of world were we going to become. So many lives gone in an instant.
Tragedy. Devastation. Injustice.
The victims were no more responsible for their Government’s foreign policy than we each are for ours. In democracies though we have become politically apathetic; another diatribe for another time.
The Memorial is absolutely beautiful. In the bustle of the city, also very serene. And very tasteful. Almost an acre each in size, matching water features where both towers once proudly stood. The names of the deceased mark the surface that we view from, at night illuminated. I read that the deceased are grouped together from feedback from their families. I thought that was a beautiful touch. As I choke back tears again. The entire centre was tasteful though, and well thought out.
It is a must see on a trip to New York. It reminds us that in tragedy we all work together, we all cry together, we all survive together. One reminder after another that realistically not much differentiates us from one another. When we really think about it.
I started to feel quite ill inside. The energies are strong there. Empaths will struggle; I am relieved that I am wearing my sugilite pendant. I still struggled. Lauren felt it too. It’s just so sad, and so much sadness and tragedy in an overwhelming quantity. It is not a place one ventures in to to smile.
We are grateful that we did it today, our first day; a measure of respect to this city and its people.
Who have been very generous to us. If we need help, we have asked and received every time.
If you travel to New York and you decide to go (and you really must – the first time I have felt comfortable with the security checking that you endure travelling because it makes security checks reasonable), download the apps from the App Store (911 Museum and 911 Memorial Guide). Robert de Niro narrates a tour, and it is personal and easy to listen to, and free. It added another dimension to the excursion.
Tomorrow though, the more touristy aspects begin. A hop on hop off bus tour to get our bearings and a New York pass to see some sights.
Then Saturday night, John Butler Trio at Madison Square Garden. Woo hoooooooooo!!!