Monday, October 19, 2009
My Two Big Loves!
I love two great cities with all my heart!
I love my city, New York, the city that formed me, the city that was the back drop for years and years of adventures, loves won and lost, great success and crashing failure.
I left my beloved New York fifteen years ago, beaten down and damaged.
I was saved by a Tangoman and by our love of discovering tango together. This journey has taken us all over the world, and finally we settled on making a home in New Orleans.
Both cities offer a haven for artistic souls, for dreamers and schemers, for the off beat and eccentric. Both cities have suffered and lost so much in the past few years, and the people of both cities have the resolve and heart to come back even stronger.
So the other morning we made our way to The French Quarter, to the edge of the mighty Mississippi to say bon voyage to something that was built out of love and with resolve.
It was the USS New York built in the shipyards near New Orleans. A good portion of it was built from the mangled tortured steel that came from the fallen towers of The World Trade Center.
Many Katrina survivors had a hand in building this ship.
I donned my "I Heart NY" tee shirt, and patriotic Mardi Gras beads. Flags were handed out to all who came. Alberto had his trusty Flip camera.
It was an extremely foggy morning. We couldn't even see the other side of the river.
A high school marching band played, local newscasters reported, people talked, and a crowd slowly filled Woldenberg Park.
We found ourselves completely surrounded by a class from St. Dominic School, and it couldn't have been better.
The little girls sang Milie Cyrus' new song "Party In The USA".
We all waited over an hour, and finally there it was appearing like a ghost ship out of the fog.
The band struck up the "Star Spangled Banner" and all the kids sang (and we sang with them).
We cried, and waved like crazy and hoped the crew could see us through the fog, could hear us singing and screaming " good bye", "good luck."
The ship turned around Algiers Point and disappeared. We lingered for a little while and heard the guns at Belle Chase (a military base) salute the ship.
Never was I prouder of my two cities.
PS Two other smaller ships are being nearly finished in the ship yards near New Orleans, each using the steel from The World Trade Center. One is called the USS Somerset, in honor of the plane that went down in Pennsylvania, and the other is called the USS Arlington in honor of those lost at the Pentagon on September 11.
If you'd like to see the little video Alberto made please go HERE
And go HERE if you'd like to read about where I was on 9/11.