Remembering 9/11

The tributes and memorials started weeks ago with the opening of World Trade Center (the movie).  The past few days saw several movies and documentaries bringing us back to that fateful day in 2001, and taking us through a journey to the present day.  We’ve seen the heroes, the grieving relatives who frantically searched for their missing loved ones, the progress made in identifying and bringing the people who were responsible to justice, how those who survived have fared since then.

It has been five years but you can still feel the deep sense of grief.  I feel it.

I remember in the days after 9/11, there were corridors in Grand Central with leaflets and posters of people missing.  You could see them smiling, celebrating weddings, full of promise, hope and life.  You cannot help but be moved.  A rose here and there, a bouquet.. in other similar areas there were even candles.  Such a sense of loss.

I was working in the Wall Street area then and had been allowed to return to work a week later — the stench of burning plastic and rubber wafted through down the blocks to the Hudson River.  It pervaded the air for weeks and weeks.. We were moving on to winter in December when the smell started to die down.  It was colder, but the recovery efforts never abated and were continuing.

New York has moved on in the past five years, but the wound has never totally healed.  So many deaths — such destruction.

It was not just a loss of thousands of life but livelihood as well.  For months, businesses in the downtown area suffered.  Cordoned off from regular traffic, regular residents having been requested to leave the immediate area, many businesses folded and never quite recovered.  In the Southstreet Seaport alone, big business caved in and withdrew.  Openings were cancelled. 

But Downtown has recovered.  It cannot, however, forget that life-changing event five years ago.  We, in New York, will never forget.  Specially those of us who experienced it firsthand in 2001.

Dressed to have fun

I truly enjoy Sesame Place because it’s not too big a park, it’s not far from New York, and Angel has a blast seeing his favorite Sesame Street characters.  And this is one park which has some water rides and wading pools although it cannot be classified as a waterpark totally. 

It’s just rather disconcerting to see people going into the water fully clothed.  Yes, in a polo shirt, pants, and everything else underneath.  Considering Sesame Place doesn’t exactly cost cheap (none of the theme parks go for pennies these days), I believe everyone is obligated to observe the dress code in going around the park.  Just as adults and children alike are expected to be dressed appropriately, it’s expected that those who aren’t so dressed will not go where they are not supposed to go.

This is not the first visit I’ve seen adults and children alike who had walked around soaking wet, or who had jumped into the wading pools for children dressed from head to foot.

It is doubly disappointing that the park does not enforce this strictly.  In most waterparks, swimming attire is required as well as swimming diapers for children who aren’t toilet-trained.  While parents usually follow their kids wearing all sorts of shorts, you will rarely find them wearing pants.  Top shirts are also acceptable, but not once they start swimming in the pool.

Given that some get surprised by all the water attractions when the place is generally known for its Sesame Street characters, you would expect that if they don’t purchase the appropriate attire from the various stores, they will refrain from going into any of the pools.  It’s not always the case and they mostly just shrug off the nasty looks they get from other people.  To each his own?  I think that would be acceptable if other people weren’t in the pool with them, but we are.