by Nicholas P, published on The IUV, on August 3, 2018
1297 – Battle of Stirling Bridge: Scots jointly led by William Wallace and Andrew Moray defeat the English.
(What up Bravehearts!! Lol)
1814 – War of 1812: The climax of the Battle of Plattsburgh/Lake Champlain , a major United States victory in the war.
(Thereby Protecting Guess Where? Lol, ).
1974-? (no words)
No really, I’m a 9/11 baby, and anyone who’s ever taken my license going into a show, or proofed me for smokes, wine or beer (less frequently these days, though it did happen recently I’ll have you know, lol. KACB deal, or her just being nice, is there really a difference? ) has heard some of this in snippets.
The sad, but compassionate eyes, and the totally amazing NYC, “Oh that sucks!” or “I’m so sorry” comments, lol, sometimes get turned upside down when I share parts of it. Heart Thing .
Love to all the folks who did the work and continue to work to bring the Truth about that day to Light. I’ve never been able to go too far down that rabbit hole myself, but respect it, and sometimes just simply knowing is enough. Plenty of inside stories, and to those who lost direct loved ones? Just know….
Yes, what an awful thing to witness on your birthday, on any day really. Yes, what an awful thing to do innocent New Yorkers, and a Country’s citizens that day, and the days that followed.
(Including the stations that replayed it 24/7 in case we didn’t feel the sheer evil in that shit the first 72 times-not for nothing, but kids watching the news with their parents, like I and many of us did as kids, often don’t yet understand the concept of replays, and process whatever they’re viewing as happening over and over again. And they know it….Asshatish and unnecessary thing to do, lol)
What a thing to do to my Brothers and Sisters in the Military (War totally sucks, unless you’re a Master of War/War Pig, lol, and if you speak with a Vet that’s been in the shit, a lot will tell you that they feel the same, and fought for their brothers and sisters out there before anything. I’ll always rep, appreciate, and Love All of them), the countless Civilians….the Children…..the Recurring Images….my Brother (Was attending Pace U that day, and has his own story that he never speaks of…..All I’ll say is he’s def in some ‘running inside the store closeby when they fell’ videos…and hugged, Protected, and helped a lot of folks on the street that day, one of many Heroes).
Some sick shit, but then again, there’s always a Pony, even there (). Shit, there were Stallions underneath The Pile. If they only knew….
What, did you think I was just gonna sit here and bum you all out about things we all know are true, or Light up the fact that on some level I can’t thank them enough for making it personal, that it’s part of why I and many feel and give so much for and to this City and Beyond? Lol, my bad if any judgements come out along the way, just not a place I generally volunteer to go back to often, but give thanks for if that makes sense.
They almost got her though. Almost.
She has been a huge part of my Heart for approximately 59.0909091% of my lifespan, lol (so my phone calculator literally just popped up unannounced. Nice!) An even 60 if you count the story about the two 5 year olds who were found by their anxious Moms playing in a clothes rack in The Rego Park Alexander’s in ‘79, lol. It was absolutely her. Eyes and Hearts are as unique as our fingerprints.
We met again freshman year of college, traveled in the same circles there, ran around the South Bronx as friends like we were in a playground/second university, exchanged numbers at graduation (well hers, I was on the 4.5 year ‘too much fun over studying’ plan, lol, thank goodness my early employers didn’t look at undergrad GPA’s, ) and here we are.
She’ll tell you all about her if/when she’s ready, but between me and you she’s like the funniest person on the planet (Pryor, Carlin, and Patrice O’Neal funny, for real), has a ridiculously Enormous Heart, and straight up speaks Animal among her many developing abilities. ?
And she works downtown. Right there.
Thisclose to those 2 buildings.
I’ve seen the impact on folks who work down there firsthand, and really don’t know if I’d have been able to do it. I Am in awe at her, and their Strength.
It’s one building now, but let me speak first hand in saying that the area has more than risen above that day, and it’s got nothing to do with the new shiny pointy building, lol. It’s a beautiful part of town, and while I’m not a frequent visitor, best believe I always make sure to get there ridiculously early when Life takes me by there, to sit outside by the water, or the tables in the Oculus, (they have some cool exhibits there….and birds inside, lol…Love it!) and just Be.
It is a truly gorgeous place, and it’s great to see all the new shops and food places, the high tech underground mall/train interchange, the amazing new natural Green backdrop to the Heart of the Hustle and Bustle that is downtown NYC.
Maybe not so great to still see the cottage industry selling merch about that day, smh, lol (I can laugh now, but I would be lying if I said I never cursed out a vendor or what I perceived to be a disrespectful tourist. My apologies, it had nothing to do with you. I just took it really personal for a minute or 10,000 back then), but at least there’s not as many, and they are fading into the background of a new scene.
If you haven’t checked it out, I highly recommend it (You have to see Mich’s Ducksanity video sometime, lol, it is incredible! Or come film your own! Baby Ducks and Fish hanging out, lol).
Just when you do head down there, before you hit Shake Shack or the Awesome Lobster Roll truck, check out the Free Duck Show or sit by the Water, give Respect, and Send Love and Thanks in your own way. For your own reasons of course, but also for the Divine Wind that incident gave the Collective.
There may not be headstones and statues there….but you understand.
The place is Sacred.
So Beautiful and Alive!!
Do I miss those towers dearly though. No revisionist history here, lol, I’ve been to the Empire State Building like 3 times in my life, and use it more as a marker whenever I find myself needing some slight directional assistance. There are so many NYC’s, every few blocks is a new vibe, and All are welcome.
There really is a lot to offer visitors that many New Yorkers forget is there for them too. Don’t know why, and I’m guilty of that too (I dig Salmon, but not being a Salmon, which passing through Times Square morphs me into, lol.), but it’s nothing a Metro Card can’t fix.
Really have to get to The Bronx Botanical Gardens and the Metropolitan Museum of Art soon, note to self, lol.
(Quick NYC 101? Always walk like you know exactly where you’re going, even if you have no idea, and use the buildings if you need to, lol. * You’re never really lost anyway
(*The Village Aside, those streets march to their own amazing drum in a truly non-grid, non-linear sense, perfectly…Ahem! *)
and there’s cool and interesting things to see everywhere. Yes I absolutely meant to walk in a complete square around a block to get to where I needed to, lol).
But the towers were different. I mean I was in them once or twice really, but remember visiting Mich a lot when she started working downtown. I’ll forever have this image in my Heart of laying on the Bench in a plaza between the buildings, looking up in awe, the towers appearing to sway and dance under the blue NYC Sky. They just fit so perfectly in the skyline, and were Ours, no matter how many times we visited them. What beauties…
A few days before my birthday, my Pops and I went to a game over at the Meadowlands. It’s been our thing for as long as I can remember, and is something he did with his father as well. He died when I was young, but know him deeply through my Dad’s love for him and the stories he shares (Ok, so a lot of my fam in Iowa are like Uber Republicans, All Love, Hearts First, no horse in that race….but on some level it stems from Grandpa’s philosophy that if Mickey Mouse ran on the elephant ticket, he’d vote for him, . Who knew?).
We usually take the GWB, but on this day I got a lil ‘lost’ leaving the stadium, and ended up taking the Holland Tunnel, which took us by Downtown Manhattan. It was a clear, cool NYC evening, and as we exited the tunnel, we both commented on how beautiful the skyline looked, how awesome and amazing those Towers looked. They were majestic, and the skyline was like a perfect puzzle of lights.
Didn’t know it at the time, but they were in effect waving Goodbye. It was the last I’d see them in all their Majesty. They really were a sight to behold.
You F*#k@$g Bastards! How Dare You!
My bad, Lol. Yes, just playing their roles, and they’re forgiven, maybe even a lil gratitude and Love thrown in for what it led to, but doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt, or that I gotta be all cool with it.
Perhaps 2001 came out for a sec, lol. Breathe.
Correction, that last view, and the sky bench views are the ONLY images of them I carry with me, and visit them when called to.
I wasn’t exactly looking forward to my 27th, as at the time was I still perhaps processing that living like a rock star does not one a rock star make, lol. So many Amazing musicians I listen to are part of the ‘27 Club’, and after not thinking I’d see 21 and making it, 27 was the next fear milestone, lol. Silly and a tad melodramatic perhaps, lol, but all part of the puzzle, no regrets. Ever.
Ok, so I was being a bit of shit, lol. (Had to Live, Learn, Fall, Rise, Forgive, and Love the whole journey to earn the KACB Panda Bear patch, lol. Maybe it’s just me ).
The plan was to take the day off and play the B-Day Xbox all day, and hang with Mich when she got back from work.
(Lol, I was a legendary soccer manager in the video game world I created and lived in for a while. Played FIFA on that xbox till I was spinning the CD by hand practically. Yeah, encourage your kids to make stuff, nurture their imaginations, have them do team activities, and play outside, lol).
I was totally like “nothing to see here, we’ll do dinner or something later”. Now did I totally want her to stay home and hang? Of course, but when you’re being a shit, aka letting the fear/programming drive….lol, what a road.
As Mich was getting ready for work, having overslept a bit, she mentions, for the second time, something about forgetting her new shampoo.
The day before, 9/10, she came home a lil bummed out that she forgot this new shampoo she treated herself to, “And I’ll never see it again”.
She actually said that.
I kind of brushed it off, and just figured she’d just pick it up tomorrow, problem solved.
Dudes, lol. ?
Turns out She felt the same something/premonition/message from Self as she left her office that day for some reason (I mean we know now), but couldn’t place it.
Goosebumps every time.
She knew she would never see her office again, and it really freaked her out the night before.
She decided she wasn’t just gonna let me sit at home solo and be a mopey wet noodle on my birthday, lol, and as she was late already, decided to just call in and take the day. I turned on the TV (Just to see if the Xbox worked, lol) and saw those initial images of the first tower.
She’s on the phone with her office as the second “Plane” hits. Heard it through the phone in the other room as I watched in sheer disbelief. I hear her scream, and speak to her hysterical coworker……no need for the rest, all that terror, helplessness, fear and pain was surreal and real as shit, and is all over the internets.
And for a few bucks you can buy a commemorative tape and corresponding picture book down there. Totally Ridonc, I’m sorry.
But she was Home, with Me.
She’s outside or thisclose, right there, who knows at that time had she listened to my silliness and not followed her Heart. What does ‘I’ll never see it again’ mean had she gone? Not saying anything, just that she was Home. Not there. Victory number 1, and A True Birthday Gift. So Thankful.
I was working at a place on 23rd street and 1st ave at the time, far enough to not see the Howitzers and Rifles and Humvees in the streets, lol…..but close enough.
The pictures, while visceral, don’t really do it justice. It was that Smell. That burning, dark, nose hurting twisted smell . Watched the smolder with my own eyes….but I wasn’t alone, and the way that this entire city came together, in our day to day is something I will never forget.
The way this country came together. Love to everyone who sent Prayers, Energy, Time, Donations, Love; who trekked across the country to help from day 1, the folks (many of my LI brothers growing up) who worked the Pile 24/7, and those that supported them, the NYPD and NYFD, the PD’s and FD’s from everywhere. Everyone.
We looked out for each other, for real, and were just cool to each other. Didn’t matter what you looked like, where you came from, what you know God as, who you fancy, what political horse you dig, what music you like…we were One. Victories number 1a-8 million.
I remember going down there and looking at the Thousands upon Thousands of pictures and notes on those walls, holding the hope but on feeling the pain that whoever put them up was experiencing or about to. Remember that feeling that by just Being there, you were doing something, anything to help. Giving respect and Love. That was an intense time.
I’ll never forget looking at one wall, and seeing a face I recognized. It was my teammate from my youth soccer team, who’s Dad was our assistant coach. To this day whenever I’m watching a game, for as long as I can remember really, whenever the ball goes out for a corner kick for the team I’m rooting for, I’ll involuntarily exclaim, ‘Esquina!’, just as he used to. Good coaches/teachers have a huge impact, and he was a great coach, and a better Man. Love to you and your family, and Thanks. )
We really did what we do best. Just Be New Yorkers. We came together and carried on, because that’s what we do. Well played, but you couldn’t have picked a more perfect city, and people to rock with.
You know I was on the train not too long after, lol, I had folks to assist in rediscovering their strengths and find jobs. Just an obstacle, not a barrier.
It made me even more dedicated to serving, and helped me just be Me, free from a lot. You so underestimated our Hearts, as usual, lol, and I so Thank You for that! We may not always show it, but it’s there for all to see. It was a terrible, but at the same time amazing period.
Not to say that the born day was fun in the years after. Did I skip the family dinner that year? Did I research getting it changed to the 10th or 12th at times? Maybe, lol. Did I maybe go to Vegas and act like the Samoan to Mich’s Raul Duke in ‘02? Allegedly, lol. Did it mess up how I’d approach and create birthdays for other people around me? Perhaps.
Over time, with the help of a lot of seekers and inner work, things changed.
Of course that had to happen on that day (Looked up my name once, Nicholas loosely translated is Quirky Dude that Loves People, lol, I kid! Victory of the People. You ????).
Do I still take off if it doesn’t fall on a weekend? Si. (Ok, no matter how old you are this time around, and every day is your day… your birthday is YOUR day, celebrate! You’re a huge gift, own it!).
Do I happily and gratefully share that day with the Brothers and Sisters who lost their lives, and Families who lost someone, and take time of reflection and gratitude solo to honor and celebrate their lives? Damn right. And is every day a Birthday no matter what’s going on? _______________.
How awesome is it that it doesn’t take tragedy to bring people together anymore! It’s the exact opposite, and this way lasts way longer, . Lol, I carry that feeling with me every day, as you can’t go back once you show your Self, and that’s exactly what NYC did to me in the days, weeks and years that followed. How I Love This City. ??
(Fast forward 7 years, and one of the first schools I’m assigned to is this all Girls Yeshiva in Far Rock. Me. Story in and of itself, lol, but the Director of the Special Education Services was/is a Godsend, we connected instantly, and is the realest, most Brooklyn person ever, lol, does amazing advocacy for her girls, and in the time we worked together it was like being in a comedy troupe. Love to you and your family, congrats on the new grandson!!!
We were talking one day, and I shared some of the story. Turns out she has quite the story as well. Please check out Ari Schonbrun when you get a chance, haven’t had the pleasure of meeting him yet, but you don’t have a wife and kids like he has without being a Great Man….1 of 4 who survived from Cantor Fitzgerald. A True New Yorker. Respect. )