Proud to be an American

So surprisingly my life has gotten way more interesting than my last bird seed ridden post. I partied in a VIP club, witnessed the 9/11 Memorial, strolled around the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and visited the Natural History Museum.

I AM 21 YEARS OLD FIRST OF ALL! A friend of a friend of a friend got me into a VIP club booth with bottle service. (Thank you to Aubrianne for the initial invite, you are the best!) I am used to buying the cheapest beer they serve at a club and lucky to find a seat to put my coat. Now I was sitting in a comfy booth above the dance floor with private security and unlimited bottles of liquor and chasers.

If you know me, then you know how much I dread going to clubs. They are loud, noisy and I really hate crowded spaces. Also, not to mention the creepy guys all over. I prefer small bars or ones with live music. I guess VIP is the only way to enjoy clubs, because you can watch the hot sweaty mess downstairs from your nice upstairs, plenty of room for 5 people, couch. (I felt like a Queen, watching the peasants below)

I do not think I will be clubbing again anytime soon. It is one of those things that I can only handle a couple times a year. If you can go VIP at a club at least once in your life, it is a cool experience. I am glad I went and I had a great time! (I will never be able to afford VIP…or even the vodka they served us)

Oh you fancy huh?
Oh you fancy huh?

Now to get a bit serious.

The next morning we went to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Anyone can see the memorial outside, but the museum has to be bought in advance. If you are planning a trip to New York, I would highly recommend paying to go into the museum.

I will not go into detail about everything I saw, but just some that really stood out to me.

When you first enter you see a giant concrete wall. When you read the plaque, it explains that this is the Slurry Wall, which was an innovative solution created for the building to retain water from the Hudson. Many people were scared during 9/11 that the Slurry Wall would be breached and cause even more damage, but amazingly it stayed in shaped.

Slurry Wall
Slurry Wall

A part of the steps are sectioned off because they are remnants of what used to be the steps of the World Trade Center. At the time, these steps were one of the only means of escaping the burning/collapsing building. The stairs are very rugged and steep. They looked like ancient steps, when in reality they were not too old. They would be harder steps to use on a normal day, but during a tragedy, I cannot fathom how so many escaped down this tiny staircase in a panic.

It made me think of my first day on the job at Viacom. If you did not read my earlier blogs or see the news article, there was gas leak on one of the floors and we were all evacuated in case of fire. As I climbed down the 38 flights of steps, filled with heels, dress shoes and panicked interns, I could not imagine what it would have been like if there was an actual fire and swirling debris coming down. Ever since this tour, coming to work and staring out the window makes me a bit queasy. I have never been scared of heights, but just knowing it is possible for a building so structurally sound to fall like the World Trade Center, makes me feel on edge.

The steps
The steps

The hardest part of the museum is a smaller room where pictures of all the victims of 9/11 are spread across all 4 walls. Out of respect for the victims, there is no photography allowed. Inside a voice reads off names and gives a brief synopsis of their life as their picture floats across the screen. So many stories involved people who had families waiting on them. Some were just recently engaged or pregnant. Others just finished college and were ready to begin their lives. Once you put a story to the pictures outside, it becomes hard to leave the room. You want to stay for hours just to hear one more person’s story. I think this is what made 9/11 so personal. Every body had a story, and so many people are interconnected. It’s crazy to me how people can come together after such a horrific tragedy. People seems nicer to one another. I think we finally realize that everyone has a story and everyone is human.

Around another corner there are huge pieces of debris and other emergency vehicles that were on the grounds of 9/11. One of them was the communications antenna from the North Tower. It was the size of a car with metal shards and wires jutting out. Another item was a firetruck. The whole front was burned. You could make out the exterior of the truck and some wooden panels where the seats were. All these items looked like movie props from an apocalyptic action feature. I think we always watch those movies, knowing in the back of our minds that we are safe from that situation ever happening. This was real life though. That communications antenna fell from the top and crashed to the ground. The chaos burned half the firetruck off.

Antenna
Antenna from North Tower
Firetruck
Firetruck

After there is additional room that has a timeline of events. One tells the history of Al Qaeda and their plans. Most are about what was happening on 9/11/2001 minute by minute. One of the timelines featured one of the hijacked planes. At a specific time, there is a voice recording of a man who says his last words to his wife. I do not have the exact quotation, but he explains that the plane has been hijacked and that he loves her and for her to have a good life. I could not imagine receiving that call and how I would even react. Sadly everybody on board that plane died on impact.

Then we headed to the fountain memorial outside. I am sure many of you have seen pictures or have even seen it in person. It is a beautiful work of art. There are many ways to interpret what the memorial means, but I wanted to give my take on it. All the little streams of water pour out fast and vigorous, but as they reach the bottom, where the water becomes one, they are calm and serene. Then the water gently drifts to the center and back through the fountain. Just like the victims and families affected by 9/11, there is chaos, but the next day, there is a calm. Everybody starts working together.

The 9/11 Memorial fountain
The 9/11 Memorial fountain

If you want to know more information just contact me personally. I can’t fit everything into one post.

On a lighter mood, we then headed to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. These were gorgeous! As with any botanical garden, there are rows of exotic flowers and trees. We just walked around the gardens for a couple hours and it was only $6 to enter for the entire day!

J Chillin at the gardens
J Chillin at the gardens

The next day my sister and I headed to the Natural History Museum. (If you have ever seen Night at the Museum, it is the same one) Of course we got to see the giant dinosaur in the entrance!

Is that the dinosaur from Night at the Museum? OMG I loved you as the dinosaur role!
Is that the dinosaur from Night at the Museum? OMG I loved you as the dinosaur role!

There were some great exhibits and I wish we had more time so that we could see all of them. I am not usually one to go to museums, but I really enjoyed this one. We went to the different animals exhibits to learn about the species from all over the world. One thing I found funny was the diet listed for each animal. Most had fruits, leaves or nuts on the list. For one of the bunnies “their own poo” was listed under their diet.

One stand out to me was “The Hall of Human Origins.” It explains evolution and how the human species has evolved over time. They even have a map that shows the paths humans took over time and why people have certain features in specific parts of the world. A lot of times, certain hair, skin color or eyes were common because of weather conditions of the area. (I will just leave you to look it up)

Natural History Museum
Natural History Museum

Now I am back to work for the week, but I have some cool things planned. Tonight I am heading to beer and bingo night, Wednesday I am going to Upright Citizens Brigade, which is an improv show and this weekend I hope to do karaoke!

Until then…watch the spread!

The subway just keeps getting better!
The subway just keeps getting better!

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