Last Friday, I took a city day. The news of bin Laden’s death and subsequent reflection of 9/11 made me really emotional, and I wanted to pay my respects at Ground Zero. After I left campus in the afternoon, I bought a bouquet of daises and took the 4 to Lower Manhattan. I saw the One World Trade Center under construction, gleaming in the late afternoon sunlight. I walked around the block, and as I headed to St. Paul’s Chapel, I ran into some Buddhist monks. One of them began talking to me, asking me where I was from and what I was doing in the city.
We parted ways, and I wandered into the chapel’s graveyard. There were a lot of visitors, and I waited my turn to see the Bell of Hope, a gift from the City of London after the terrorist attacks. I placed my daisies there, said a little prayer and walked inside. St. Paul’s Chapel, an Episcopal church, was a site of refuge and rest for many volunteers and rescuers the months following the attacks. I cried as I walked the church’s exhibits honoring the volunteers and the victims. I’m not a very religious person, but afterwards I wanted to sit and reflect. Another one of the monks was sitting near me, and we started talking to. And then he asked me to take a picture of him and his friends. Only in New York, right?
After I left St. Paul’s, I took the 4 train back uptown, since I was meeting some friends for dinner on the Upper East Side. I was a little early, so I took my time wandering down Lexington Ave. I found this little Colombian (!) bakery, between 82nd and 81st, and I couldn’t help but see what they had to offer. I ordered an empanada, and when I was about to walk out, I saw their soda case. I immediately ordered a Colombiana, which is possibly my favorite soda ever. Oh, and it all cost me $2.25. I was a happy girl, but I only got happier once I had dinner with my friends at a Turkish restaurant (we’re classy).
It’s evenings like that one that remind me why I love New York City, and why I always dreamed of living here. And I’m looking forward to having a lot more days like that. This morning, my friend (and occasional photographer) Christine and I finalized our plans to stay in the Bronx this summer. We’re subleasing a lovely little apartment off-campus, and we’re both interning around Midtown. (I’ll be blogging for Lovelyish – check the site out sometime!) As weird as it is getting ready for my first summer away from home (and by home, I mean my mom), I’m actually getting really excited. New York is supposed to be amazing during the summer, and I’m looking forward to exploring. Any suggestions as to what I should add to my NYC summer bucket list?
P.S. You know a pair of heels are a keeper if you stay comfortable walking across the city in them. Payless, I salute you.