Connextions Magazine Issue18: Shine Up & Out

Page 32

The View From Above THE CITY’S MIRACLES AND PROGRESS AS SEEN FROM ABOVE Editorial by: Manny Velasquez-Paredes

New York City post 911 is a stronger, gentler, and more vibrant than before. On September 11, 2001, the world was witness to what can only be described as one of the worst tragedies of our time, with New York City as the epicenter of this nightmare. However, out of this tragedy, New Yorkers got a chance to show the rest of the world that together we can rebuild and together we are stronger. Prior to becoming a New Yorker, I visited just a couple of months before 911, and I clearly remember the city’s vibe and no nonsense attitude. I remember standing near 34th Street trying to find my way and hopelessly seeking the non-existent assistance of strangers to guide me. However, this was a challenge I was begging and willing to take. This city had me wrapped around it’s roasted-nuts scents. I was high on the endless nights of the city that never sleeps. I was mesmerized by the glam and lights of Times Square and drunk on the Broadway talent and culture.

A year and a half later, I was on a plane with suitcases and boxes moving to New York! The city, as most New Yorkers call it, was calling my name. I couldn’t stay away, I needed to feel that New York vibe again. Only this time, I remember trying to get on a bus and making a line, something I had never seen before. I remember being able to walk into a Gray’s Papaya and actually be able to place an order, despite the large crowd around me. It was as if people suddenly decided to allow each other the time to speak and listen. It was definitely a gentler giant and they welcomed me with open arms. As a Travel Writer, I’ve had the luxury to travel all around the world, and I am always happy when I return home. New York started the healing and rebuilding process almost instantaneously, however, change doesn’t occur over night. Change and progress take time and miracles happen all the time. One of those miracles is getting ready unveil its brand new observatory, which overlooks Manhattan for as far as the eye can see, providing breathtaking panoramic views and three floors of innovation, pride and inspiration.


Connextions Magazine


Photos provided by: World Trade Center

I decided this place would become my home. Then 911 happened and my move didn’t. I can blame everyone in my life for prohibiting me to move, but I must admit that in the end I was responsible for myself and my own fears and insecurities. So, I decided that it was in my best interest to stay in Florida.

Shine Up & Out


Summer 2015