Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘remembrance

9/11 Goodness

leave a comment »

I don’t have a lot to say on the anniversary of September 11th.

Or, I have so much to say, I’m not sure how to bring it all together and make some sense out of it.

Though I had already moved to Austin by the time of the attacks, the New York area was the only other place I had ever lived other than Texas. An attack on New York was like an attack on my person.

I was visiting New York on business just prior to the attacks, and remember sitting at Laguardia just two days prior, on 9/9.

It was a gorgeous day, another of those blue September skies, and I remember noticing the Twin Towers off in the distance, which was a revelation — I knew you could see them from Newark, but never from LaGuardia.

Two weeks later, I remember flying back up to NYC for another business trip, making that turn at the bottom of Manhattan, and seeing the still smoldering ashes and now ghost limb of a skyline.

As so many had said it would, things had changed during those two weeks.

The drumbeats of bloodlust and revenge were pounding. I landed at LaGuardia this time and it was a ghost town, like something out of a Stephen King novel. The only seeming inhabitants were the National Guard patrolling the gates with their assault rifles.

When I went down to the Ground Zero area, I remember passing by Canal Street and seeing the hundreds of missing persons postings, and crayon drawings of planes flying into buildings.

Once at Ground Zero, I remember the troops announcing that you could no longer take photographs, that this was a crime scene.

It was at that moment I knew we were headed for some slippery slope territory.

I was also impacted by all my New York friends’ stories — some who were in or around the Towers that day, some who were on their way there, one who had been scheduled for one of the ill fated flights and cancelled at the last minute, one who lost someone in one of the Towers.

There were too many close calls and coincidences than I cared to count.

On that day, my biggest priority was making sure all my friends and colleagues in the New York I had loved and left were okay.

And, thankfully, they were.

That is what I choose to remember about 9/11 on this, today, the 11th anniversary: The gestures, big and small, that were about reaching out in concern and caring for others.

Whether loved ones or strangers, there was a compassion and outreach expressed during those days and weeks after the Towers fell that revealed an inner kindness normally masked by our tough American exterior.

That was some of the goodness that emerged from the ashes, and that goodness is something I think we’d all like to see more of in our everyday lives.

Though it may have taken great tragedy to bring it about it, there’s no reason we have to wait for another such tragedy to reveal that goodness.

Perhaps the revelation of that potential for good is the one precious gift that rose through the horror and blackness of the ash and soot on that beautiful, blue September day.

Written by turbotodd

September 11, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Missing New York

leave a comment »

I’m working out of our 11 Madison Avenue office in New York City today, and having been a former citizen of the great city of New York, I must say it’s a pleasure to be back.

I left the Big Apple almost a decade ago for the wide open pastures of my native Texas, and it’s been an entire year since my last visit.

But also having traveled to parts well beyond for business over the past year, I must say coming back to visit NYC is a whole lot like coming home.

I know the weather’s been abnormally hot in the NY area this summer, but this particular Friday it’s most pleasant out.  There was a cool breeze blowing through Madison Square Park this afternoon, and I think the temp was hovering around a cool 88 degrees Fahrenheit.

Of course, there are things about living in NYC I miss, and there are things I don’t: Like the endless cacophony of police, fire, and ambulance sirens.  That I definitely don’t miss.

But the things I miss about living in New York, in no particular order:

1) The people.  People who live and work in NY are some of the smartest, funniest people on the planet.  Tha doesn’t mean people elsewhere aren’t smart or funny.  It just means there’s a great concentration of smart and funny people in New York, and I miss hanging out with them.  Especially all my New York friends.  I definitely miss the people.

2)  The food.  The food in New York City is some of the best and most diverse in the world.  You can go to Paris and have great French food.  And you can go to Tokyo and have great Japanese food.  And you can go to Bangalore and have great South India food.  But when you come to New York, you can have great food from anywhere, and I never remember how much I miss it until I come back.  I definitely miss the food.

3) The architecture.  If you’ve lived in New York for any length of time, and then you leave, you’re absolutely relieved to be rid of being surrounded by all the tall buildings (again, especially if you’re from the wide open spaces of Texas).  But, when you come back, you forget how amazing those buildings are.  They surround you in a tall envelope of grace, majesty, and magnanimity, and it’s very easy to forget how grand they are.  I definitely miss the architecture.

4) The traffic. New York has the best traffic in the world.  It’s the kind of traffic you like hanging out in.  There’s all kinds of interesting things to see while you’re sitting in traffic (Harken back to #1, #2, and #3).  You can scope out the city for new restaurants, new fashions, and yes, even new buildings.  And, if you don’t like sitting in traffic, you can get a bike and zip through the traffic (I used to be a New York City bike messenger, many moons ago, and lived to tell about it).  I definitely miss the traffic.

5) The New Yorkness.  Probably more than anything, I miss what I can only call the “New Yorkness” that is New York.  If you have no clue what I’m talking about, then you’ve obviously never been here, and you need to hurry up and come visit and get some New Yorkness at least once in your life.  You might could compare New Yorkness to joie de vivre, only that’s more of a French-like feeling.  I guess you could co-opt that particular phrase and call it joie du New York. 

The French probably wouldn’t mind. 

And the New Yorker probably wouldn’t care if they did.

Written by turbotodd

July 30, 2010 at 7:01 pm

%d bloggers like this: