American Nomad Blog
About this blog
American Nomad covers the best of U.S. travel—from vacation deals to festivals, weekend getaways, travel tips, and more. A seasoned traveler and Moon author, Laura is the perfect guide to help discover new gems when traveling domestically.
- A Southern Girl's Wintertime Adventure in Yellowstone
- One Novelist's Odyssey Across America
- Gearing up for a Family Camping Trip
- Mint Juleps and More at Oak Alley Plantation
- Avoiding Identity Theft While on Vacation
- Money-Saving Travel Tips from Nomadic Matt
- Fashion, Fun, and Convenience for the Modern Traveler
- In Search of Irish Museums Across America
- The Inspiring Journey of a Solo Kayaker
- Getting Fit for Treks in Yosemite and Elsewhere, Part 2
- Getting Fit for Treks in Yosemite and Elsewhere, Part 1
- Experiencing Yosemite with YExplore
- Two Travel Contests Worth Mentioning
- A Word About the TSA's No-No List
- A Reader's Advice About Airport Security
The 9/11 Tragedy Still Unreal After a Near-Decade
Even without this week's extensive news coverage, it would've been difficult to dismiss the significance of yesterday's date. It was, after all, the ninth anniversary of the horrific events that occurred on American soil on September 11, 2001.
Although I wasn't in New York City; Arlington, Virginia; or Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on that infamous day, I – like the rest of my fellow Americans – felt intense shock and abject horror in the aftermath of those heinous terrorist attacks, not to mention incredible empathy for the people directly affected by them. While a lot has happened since then, including Hurricane Katrina's partial destruction of my hometown in August 2005, the 9/11 tragedy still resonates in this country, from its political ramifications to controversial issues like the ongoing Ground Zero mosque debate.
Given the enormous mass of articles, books, and documentaries that have already focused on the varied facets of 9/11, there's not much more insight that I can add to this ever-growing pile. Still, I can't help but think about 9/11 at this time of year – and, as a travel writer, how such a major event can alter the spirit, and sometimes the look, of a city. As with Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, there are still remnants of the 9/11 tragedy in Manhattan, especially at Ground Zero, where the twin towers of the World Trade Center once stood. Nothing has quite illustrated the absence of those once-majestic skyscrapers like the above photograph – a snapshot that my mother took of me during our three-week-long trip up the East Coast, a trip that included a few days in the Big Apple. In the photograph, which was taken in the summer of 1988, the towers are clearly still a prominent part of the New York skyline – a fact that sends a definite shudder along my spine and makes the September 11th attacks seem like an improbable, faraway nightmare.
Nevertheless, despite such changes, New York City is still a vibrant, multifaceted metropolis, filled with endless possibilities for travelers, from obvious sights like the Statue of Liberty to less widely known locales like the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden on Staten Island. So, in spite of an earth-shaking tragedy like 9/11 – or perhaps in honor of those who lost their lives during the course of that fateful day – it's important for travelers to support the hotels, restaurants, and attractions that define New York City's amazingly unique vibe. If nothing else, such support reinforces our collective resistance to the power of terrorism – and our unwillingness as Americans to let the “bad guys” win.
For more information about New York City's numerous attractions, consult Moon Metro New York City or NYC & Company (810 Seventh Ave., 3rd Fl., New York, 212/484-1200) – and have fun exploring the City That Never Sleeps.
As always, I’m open to ideas for future posts. If you have any suggestions, burning questions, or destinations that you’d like me to explore in greater detail, please comment below or contact me via laura [at] wanderingsoles [dot] com.
Disclosure: While I occasionally accept free or discounted travel assistance when it coincides with my editorial goals, my opinion is never for sale, which means that everything written in my American Nomad blog and my Moon travel guides is my unbiased reflection of the things that I see, do, and experience while traveling across the United States.
Photo of the New York City skyline © 2010 Gale Raitman / Text © 2010 Laura Martone