Saturday, December 10, 2005

I love New York!

NYC at Christmastime must be one of the most wonderful vacation spots ever. There is so much to see: people everywhere, holiday decor, the occasional snow flurry, and streets that never sleep. Fabulous! My friends Merea, Amy, and Molly and I spent 4 days and 5 nights seeing everything there is to see in the city. We saw two Broadway shows (The Phantom of the Opera & Chicago), the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. I enjoyed every minute of being in a big city again. It reminded me how much I loved city life in Istanbul....there is always something going on, people outside, and the constant feeling that you are not alone. I love that feeling. Maybe I'm a big city girl at heart.

We also had the opportunity to visit Ground Zero. This was a really amazing experience for me because, as many of you know, I was not living in America when 9/11 happened...I was in the middle of the Muslim world. While there was sadness, confusion, anger, patriotism to be experienced during that time, I must admit I felt very disconnected with what was happening on my home soil. I never saw entire buildings covered with the American flag or people with homemade signs reading 'we will not forget' standing on highway overpasses. I didn't experience those first few days of utter disbelief, shock, and then unity that came during that time. In the Middle East, I was able to watch from afar as my country grieved, but I often felt I wasn't a part of it because it was so surreal. Visiting the site allowed me to visualize and (finally) identify with a time that so radically redefined our history.

Here's a list of some of my NYC favorites:
1. Walking everywhere (even in the cold).
2. Ice skating in the park.
3. Friendly New Yorkers - yeah, they were friendly!
4. Walking past the abc studios everyday to peek at who was on Good Morning America.
5. Getting dressed up to go to the theater.
6. Eating New York cheesecake.
7. Riding the subway and never missing my car.
8. Strolling through Central Park.
9. The view of Manhattan from the Empire State building.
10. Times Square.

If you'd like to see more NYC photos, click on the link to my photo albums. There are plenty of pics to browse...