Never Forget

I was going to write a Facebook post, but I figured I have a blog for a reason–to speak my mind. Those who want to read it may do so, and others can just continue on with their days without being bothered by the things I have to say.

This year, more than any other year, the events of 9/11 are hitting me more emotionally hard than they ever have. Maybe it’s because I just returned from New York a week ago? Maybe it’s because my favorite spot in the city is the One World Observatory, a building that obviously only exists because of what happened 16 years ago today? Maybe it’s because I visited the 9/11 Memorial 10 days ago? Regardless, I’m couldn’t tell you exactly why, but I just want to talk a bit about the most resilient, powerful, and awe-inspiring city I’ve ever been to–New York City.

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You can literally see the curve of the Earth from the One World Observatory.

I’ve been to New York quite a few times, and each and every time I go, I tell myself “Anna, you need to stop coming back here and see other parts of the world. NYC isn’t the only place to go, anyways.” But time and time again, I find myself in the city that never sleeps, and time and time again, I fall more and more in love with that place.

I just watched a video on Facebook that gave me absolute chills. I got misty eyed at my desk, and I can’t even fully put into words why (aside from the obvious bravery and tragedy exhibited in the video). I’ve never visited somewhere as frequently as I have New York City, and watching the footage from this day that, at the time of it happening, I was too young to understand, my heart aches both with pride and sorrow. I put myself in the position that thousands of Americans were put in on that day and realize that this remarkable city and the people there have recovered from this detrimental tragedy.

Now, I’m not one for country music, and those of you who know me, know this to be insanely true. I’ve officially made an exception for the song by Alan Jackson that played in that video.

There really is no real purpose to this blog other than just to express some heartfelt emotion. The more I visit this city that I wouldn’t be surprised to find myself living in one day, the more respect I find myself having for it. (I didn’t even know my respect could continue growing, but alas.) My heart aches for events of the past, but with each tragedy that befalls us makes us even stronger.

Thanks for reading.

xx – A

The Big Apple

Alright, so if y’all read my last blog, you should know I went to New York City for the….I think it was the 6th or 7th time. I’ve lost count at this point. I had kept telling myself that I wasn’t going to keep going there and instead would vacation elsewhere, but when your dad buys you courtside tickets to the 50th Anniversary of the US Open, you go to the US Open. (More on that later, though.) I’m writing this blog to really just fill in my peeps (that’s you guys) on the things I did while I was up there. If anyone is going to NYC anytime soon, I highly recommend doing any of the same activities because they were all fantastic.

Fun fact: we did about 30 miles of walking from Friday to Tuesday. My feet have some lovely blisters to prove it.

We were staying at a hotel on the corner of Lexington and 48th, so on Friday, I planned for us to check out midtown. My dad hadn’t been to NYC in like 25 years, so things were much different for him. We walked to Central Park and spent quite a bit of time there before making our way down to Times Square and then to Rockefeller Center. Friday night was our night to go on a dinner cruise, so we dressed up nice and did that. Our dinner cruise gave us some breathtaking views of the city while feeding us amazing food at the same time. 10/10 experience.

 

Saturday, we spent the morning walking the Chelsea High Line then went to the Chelsea Market, both spectacular places to check out! Mars and some old family friends of mine met us at a restaurant nearby and we spent the remainder of the evening drinking local beer, chatting and catching up. It was a very wholesome day!

img_7554Sunday’s activities consisted of the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, tooling around in Brooklyn, and walking to One World Observatory by way of the Brooklyn Bridge. (Loads of walking!) If you ever want to walk the Brooklyn Bridge, I recommend wearing comfortable shoes…although I have done it in freezing temperatures wearing heels before, so to each his own. I like to wear nice outfits for the photos, so I was okay with suffering through the foot pain. That evening after having spent some time at the top of the tallest building on this side of the world, we had an appointment at the Color Factory, and although I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect with this event, I booked us spots anyways. (The weekend was on the verge of selling out when I booked on the Wednesday before.) Turns out, it was a fantastic time filled with creativity and picture taking and playing in a giant ball pit. Spectacular.

(Head over to my Insta for more photos of my NYC adventures.)

img_7694Monday. Monday was spectacular. We had front row seats at the US Open in the Louis Armstrong stadium all day long. I watched Nishikori’s sweat drip off him as he beat Kohlschreiber as well as having the same intense view watching 2014 US Open winner, Cilic beat Goffin later that day. Of course, I watched some women’s tennis too and let me tell you, women’s tennis is much more intense when you’re basically sitting on the court. Some other big names you might recognize that we watched play on other courts: Nadal, Federer, Millman, Sharapova, Djokovic, and so many more. It was a spectacularly long 14 hour day, but it was the experience of a lifetime.

Now, I hadn’t ever really tried to tackle taking the subway to get around, but my dad insisted we give it a shot, so after some resistance, I gave in. One of my best friends, Mars, lives up there and recommended an app called City Mapper to help navigate the city subway system, and let me tell you, it was a lifesaver. I owe both Mars and that app for my learning the subway system. By the end of our trip, I would consider myself pretty adept at navigating the subway. I surprised myself. 🙂

I’m aware that this blog is longer than usual, and I apologize. I tried not to ramble too much, but sometimes I just lose track of how much I’m writing. Anyways, hope you enjoyed my little vacation update. This is my third big vacation this year, and I absolutely love it. I love traveling.

Have a great Thursday!

xx – A

P.S. Videos from the Color Factory included below. More to come on my social media. 🙂