Saturday, September 30, 2006

I Love New York!

The Neocon was in New York City on Business over the past few days. Between meetings, I took the time to visit Ground Zero, Wall Street, and a few other New York landmarks, mostly on foot. I had been through New York many times on my way to other places around the world since 9/11, but this was my first real stay in the city since that terrible day.

I found the Ground Zero visit fascinating. A pathway has been constructed enabling pedestrians to walk around the entire base of the former towers with views of the “hole in the ground” from every direction. I was there early in the morning before my first meeting, and the usual demonstrators and conspiracy nuts were nowhere to be seen. I did notice a small group of young Arab tourists, men, and women wearing Burkas, smiling and photographing themselves in front of the gigantic empty space that was the WTC. I realize that it was likely an innocent scene, but it bothered me non-the-less. I imagined them going back home and sharing the photo’s with friends and getting a good laugh out of it. I was probably wrong of course, but I couldn’t help imagining it. To the casual outside observer, New York has more than just “recovered” since 9/11. The city is, as always, an awesome display of American power and vibrancy, pulsating with non-stop activity and movement with construction going on everywhere. I visited Wall Street where the market was poised to make a record high that day (and came up 4 points short). I walked into a number of the little shops down the street from Ground Zero; the same shops that sheltered countless pedestrians running for their lives as ash and debris descended down on them from the collapsing towers. The shops were full and business was good. That evening I walked from Times Square to Central Park and back, every store and restaurant seemed packed; I felt safer there than in my own city, average folks in the street seemed eager to give directions to various landmarks, and were unfailing courteous and polite. Truly a great city; far better, far cleaner, far safer than I remember it in the early 90’s during my last real visit. So I say without any sense of reservation: I LOVE NEW YORK.
Mozart and Islam

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