Visiting NYC on 9/11

My first trip to NYC:
two days of shooting new episodes of The Women of Yoli, two days of exploring the city.

This city is full of ghosts…

…immortalized in literature and art that has been created here, the imaginations of men in the buildings they made, songs written in NYC, songs about NYC, and countless stories, movies, and TV tales set on these streets.

…not to mention so much of our nation’s history that has occurred here, from inception to today.

I love this place.

Auspiciously, my visit was on Sept 11, the 21st anniversary of the attack.
As we approached ground zero, we heard street preachers on soapboxes declaring the gospel of 9/11 being an inside job.
Another display was maintained by a guy in a poorly fitting suit, slicked back hair, and lots of gold bling around his neck. One piece of that bling was a crystal – he was a spiritual salesman. I could see that 6 days a week, he makes his hustle selling used late model Mercedes Benzes at Louie’s Fine European Pre-Owned Autos… but on the seventh day, he, too, shares information about Building 7 with all who will listen.
There are two reflecting pools that are in the exact places of the original towers that fell. As I stepped up to the edge of one, It was immediately clear that I was standing on a mass grave, a sacred place.
Water falls from one ledge, into a lower level, and then finally into a smaller square pit in the center that appears bottomless. The falling water evokes the falling of the towers and a constant flow of tears for a wound that will never heal.
The place is sacred and peaceful, yet – the ether still reverberates with the screams of horror for those who foresaw their fate, and the shockwave of suffering that emanates from thousands of lives being snuffed out in a fraction of a second upon impact.

We say “Never Forget”, but never forget what, exactly?

That 2,996 people’s lives were taken in a moment? 

That our nation’s most cherished monuments of financial and military dominance were defiled?

Never forget that disturbing phrase of the powerbrokers,
“Never let a good crisis go to waste”,

And never forget that the US government has not let it go to waste.

Never forget your Constitutional Rights that have been eroded year by year, in the name of “fighting terror” and “keeping you safe”, all beginning with The Patriot Act, and continuing to this day.

Never forget the blood that has been spilled waging wars, destroying the lives of even more innocent people, enriching the shareholders of the defense contractors that make up the Military Industrial Complex…. because, 9/11.

Never forget that life is all too short, and that you never know when you are doing something for the final time.

Never forget.
…. aside from being at Ground Zero on 9/11, I had a brilliant time exploring the city with one of my old friends from SLC who has since become a New Yorker.  I had a bit of a love affair with the architecture in the city, absolutely brilliant. Over the course of two days, we walked 22 miles around Manhattan and we:
Visited The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Bought (legal) weed and a couple of beers from a corner deli, and enjoyed them in Central Park
Strolled through the Upper East Side and talked about why Anthony Bourdain hated it so much
Went to a comedy show at the legendary Caroline’s Comedy Club
Ate a street hot dog
Visited Grand Central Station
Walked through Times Square on a Saturday night
Perused Little Italy and Chinatown
Walked past my (probable) soul mate without ever saying a single word to her
Rode the subway a hundred times
Checked out The Federal Reserve building
Watched people touch the balls of The Bull of Wallstreet
Saw the Flat Iron building
Walked past the incredibly unassuming door to the New York Stock Exchange
Accepted a free joint from a generous shopkeeper in Brooklyn
Walked the Brooklyn Bridge
Drank local beer in a charming neighborhood bar in Brooklyn
Rode the Stanton Island Ferry past the Statue of Liberty
…and a dozen other unspoken things you do in your head while walking this city. 
This city is an exercise in coexisting with darkness and light. 
The woman for me does a dance with darkness and light. 
For this reason, I am sure –
I want to fall in love in New York City. 
…smoking a joint in Central Park, strolling through the Met, or dining in a tiny spot in Little Italy…  
My only question is – does she live here already, or will I bring her here? 

Will it be our 7th date? Our 77th? Either way, I will fall in love with her in this city, for the first time, 
for the 11th time. 
Many thanks to my old friend from SLC, Super Nate, for the couch to crash on and the fantastic adventure.
I can’t wait to come back.