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Posts Tagged ‘NYC’

The posts I thought I was going to do did not get done, quite obviously.  And it’s not because I brushed 9/11 aside.  Quite the contrary, Sunday night turned out to be the most emotional 9/11 I’ve had since the 9/11.

I went to a memorial service held in the Great Auditorium and within minutes I was in tears.  Between the solemnity of the occasion, the bagpipers, the flags, the orchestra, the two choirs and the speakers, not to mention the building, I was a wreck.

And why I didn’t think to bring tissues, I don’t know.  The speakers were all great but I have to say I was definitely partial to the Baptist Minister, former Secretary of State New Jersey.  He was quite the preacher man!

As I promised, I would post any memories sent in to me about 9/11/01, please read Heather’s account of that dreadful day, my generation’s day of infamy.

We had left Maine early on September 10th and were planning to stop in NYC to visit our daughter the next day.  We stopped overnight at a hotel in southern Connecticut to allow ourselves a relaxed time the next morning before heading into the city for our lunch date.  As we were getting dressed, my cell phone rang and it was our oldest son calling from his then home in Hatboro, PA asking if we were watching TV.  We had not been but the moment we turned it on, the only images we saw were the scenes of the first plane and then the second plane smashing into the World Trade Center buildings and the attendant misery as a stunned world watched.  Everybody was speechless and most of the hotel guests gathered in the lobby to watch the large TV and perhaps share the comfort of being around others

   Needless to say, we did not go into Manhattan that day but rather, several hours later, skirted around and headed south on the NJ Turnpike.  We were one of the only cars on that road.  The plumes of ash and smoke were clearly visible from the NJ side.  The rest stops were deserted and nearly all food outlets within them were shuttered.  The northbound traffic consisted of fire trucks and emergency vehicles ONLY.  It was a surreal spectacle and a surreal experience.
   To this day, whenever we pass along the NJ Turnpike,  we look over toward Manhattan, and we remember the tragedy of that horrific day.
I’ve blogged about Capt. Timothy Stackpole, whose memorial bracelet I ‘ve  been wearing for 10 years, my recent encounters with a fellow blogger and with Michele, two people who actually knew Captain Stackpole and went to his wake and funeral.  And last year I did a blog about 9/11 Then and Now.  See link below.

https://pbenjay.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=2914&action=edit

I featured the photo of the empty shoes which so poignantly spoke to the loss of so lives and how the left behind living try to cope when there’s no one there to fill those shoes.  That memorial display was in New Jersey and in New York City…

empty chairs, Bryant Park

A man remembers his father

photo by Murray Head

Timmy Stackpole, 9-11, memorial bracelet

Memorial bracelet - 10 Years

And Gail sent me this link to one man’s tribute to the wife he lost in The World Trade Center:


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Goodnight is right!!! Oh dear God, hurricane fever has been here for days and NOW, Irene is almost here.

It all started for me on Thursday. Peter arrived late in the afternoon and I was still at the Tea Room finishing up and we decided to go to the store and pick up a few Finley items such as whole milk and orange juice without pulp.  Once I arrived at Wegman’s two things became instantly apparent;  Finley probably wasn’t coming to the Jersey Shore and Hurricane Irene was on her way – have you ever been in a major grocery store and seen all the bread shelves EMPTY?? I mean EMPTY!  We did get milk because after all, milk is PERISHABLE and everyone knows you are supposed to stock up on non-perishable foods.  I think all of Monmouth County is planning on eating Pb & J’s all weekend!!!

And so it began….no news except hurricane news, talk, talk, talk, only about the impending storm and plans A, B, and C formulated in each household.  Who was staying and who was going, that was the really BIG QUESTION.  My thoughts immediately were to stay and I  think at that point I wasn’t really comprehending the breadth and depth of what was to come.  I said, “well the apartment is safe and the cottage is vulnerable, so I need to be here to protect it.”  Peter thought about this and agreed.  We really didn’t think we would be in real danger, just that house might be in some and perhaps if we were here, we could prevent and/or protect.  The thought of being in NYC and watching the happenings and wondering what was happening to my sweet La Vie en Rose was quite disconcerting, so I said, “We’re staying”.  Thursday night seems much like any other night.  Peter even went to get me ice cream.

Friday dawned sunny and bright and the buzz was everywhere.  Some neighbors immediately started hauling in porch furniture and tying down everything else.  Mmmmm should we go after all?  Several conversations later, it was decided that Finley would be better off in NYC with her Daddy and her baby sister.  Chiara HAD to go to the middle of New Jersey to attend a wedding on Saturday;  she is a Bridesmaid.   I thought she would never get off “the Island” which was probably evacuating itself westward to the City.  But she made it, dropped them off and kept on going.  I hope for the bride’s sake some people come to this wedding.

I don’t hold out much hope though because the NEWS which was now broadcasting 24/7 alternated between Governor Christie declaring a State of Emergency on THURSDAY and Mayor Bloomberg saying the City was in the cross hairs of the storm and therefore, the subway and bus systems would be shut down, the news just got more dire by the hour.

By Friday afternoon, Peter and I had packed up the back yard furniture, put away the umbrella, turned the glass top table upside down, removed bird feeders, and with bungee cords anchored the trash cans and some chairs.  I moved the upstairs porch furniture into the guest room making my tiny cottage just that much more smaller.  Things were beginning to feel weird!

Ocean grove, police tape. beach is closed

Beach is CLOSED

Let’s go to the beach!  It was 4:00 the sun was still somewhat high in the sky so we took off to get a good long look-see at our beach not knowing when we would see it next or in what condition it would be.  There was police tape across the  entrances to the beach so we walked a ways to Bradley Beach and got onto the beach there.  We took our chairs and our books and sat down near the water’s edge for about an hour or so enjoying the last of the sunshine, sharing the experience with about 5 other people as far as the eye could see.  The tide was extraordinarily high which was the result of new moon.   Well clearly we were illegal and I heard later on that if you got caught going into the water, you could get a $500 fine.  Of course Peter had to push the envelope a bit and get his bathing suit wet which caused the young ticket taker on the boardwalk to come rushing down to inform us that the “main lifeguard” sent him down to tell us we could NOT be in the water.   Why didn’t someone tell the surfers that?  As we left the beach, two young surfer dudes, boards under arms and a young girl passed us on their way to the shore.  The young girl looked at Peter and shook her head and rolled her eyes.  Governor Christie told everybody to get off the beach in Asbury Park, they had enough tan, now get out!

Governor of New Jersey

Christie says "Get Off The Beach"

 

Ocean Grove, beach is closed

From Here to Asbury Park

Friday night we had dinner out because it would probably be our last good meal once the power went out and surely it will, they say.  And in New York City, Broadway was shut down, the subways system cut back and Battery Park City under mandatory evacuation!  We received numerous calls imploring us to return to NYC and truly we vacillated so many times I couldn’t tell you what the number was, but something has kept us here.  It didn’t help that the beach town north of us and two towns to the south of us were under mandatory evacuation, and the Governor reversed the highways so you could only leave and not come, they even made the tolls free.   There is a bit of foolhardy adventurism at play, the swagger that comes from having toughed it out and not the least, the need to be here to protect the homestead.  At 11:30pm an email alert came through from Neptune Township informing us that Broadway from Ocean to Pilgrim Pathway was under mandatory evacuation: WOW we are two houses in from Pilgrim Pathway.  I sure hope the storm surge knows where it is supposed to stop.  Tomorrow is another day and Irene is expected to hit the Jersey Shore in the early evening. 

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Yay late last night the plow came up our side of Broadway, a sign that perhaps life outside of these four walls could start again.  I heard the truck and plow make a least two more passes.  I was hoping that the plow had not pushed a new wall of snow up against the car.  I mean let’s not forget that this cleared parking space cost me $ 40.

We had ventured out yesterday in hopes of putting Peter on the train back to NYC and his version of civilization.  Since the majority of my readers don’t have a sense of the roads and towns around us, I can’t relate the horror story of that adventure.  Let me just say that we left at 1:15pm and got home again at 4:15pm AND Peter never got near the train station!!! State highways remained un-plowed and abandoned cars littered whatever pathway we tried to take.  AND to add to the stress of this total misadventure, we were in an accident.   Yup, an ambulance side-swiped our car and we were STOPPED on the side of the road.  Well that all happened in Day 3 and this is supposed to be about Day 4.

Today Peter decided to dig a path to the shed.  Why? Well it wasn’t to retrieve the 50 lbs of salt he had stashed in there, and it wasn’t to get the folding shovel that is supposed to be in the car at this time of the year but for some irresponsible reason was still in the shed!!  NO, he wanted to get at the bird seed so he could at least toss some seed on the snow so that our little feathered friends and our furry little squirrels would have some sustenance!  Digging his way to the bird feeder would be another day – the drifts are just too high.

Ocean GRove, La Vie en Rose, shed, blizzard, snow removal

Going to the Birds!

Ocean Grove, bird seed, La Vie en Rose, bird feeder, blizzard

A Banquet for the Birds

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