From ground zero to seventh heaven

 From ground zero to seventh heaven. 
Cortlandt Street is where sad face & happy face is face to face.
Your mood will depend on which side of the street you face.
WE WERE just walking around the Big Apple, from one point to another, making the most out of our time, absorbing the city sights, imprinting to memory what the camera can’t catch with its lens. Time for this stop was not entirely on our side, but I am still grateful that I, for one, made it here. “Made it” = set foot, arrive. But I don’t mind “making it here” so I can “make it anywhere.”

The truth was I want to spend a longer time in this city. It was the most exciting stop by far, so much to experience. But the cold weather was not too kind, quite unwelcoming in fact, most especially to a tourist who has lived his life in the tropics, by the beach, baking under the tropical sun. If the locals were grumbling about the cold, then it must be freezing.

It was one of those battling trek against the icy gusts of outdoor Manhattan. Walking briskly got us to the next warm place but at some point along the stretch of Cortlandt Street, we froze on our tracks. There seemed to be a void in the city skyline, quite unusual in New York where, except for Central Park, precious space is utilized to its full market potential. Until it was pointed out, I wouldn’t have realized that I was where the tallest skyscraper stood proudly before that tragic day.

Ground Zero.

Where the tallest skyscaper was, a memorial will rise

The World Trade Center episode was and is still vivid in my mind from watching the news and the incident’s million reruns. It was much more than a disturbing sight, not only for NYC or the USA, but for the entire planet as well. 9/11 was the day the world (literally) stood still, when all eyes were stuck on the boob tube with millions of them shedding tears. Countless lives were lost, countless lives were changed.

Life must go on for the financial district. Men and women in dark colored suits toting suitcases and mobile phones darted across the streets. A few glanced over the hollowed crevice, the reminder of the tragic past, where workers were as busy in the construction of the memorial.

I was bit depressed but more cold, not until my friend said, “Look behind you.”

Voila, there it was, another NYC iconic figure. If you are a fashionista, that is. Century 21 is New York City’s best-kept secret, or so they call themselves. Covert it was not since the name is a byword in the fashion circle. This is a regular destination for the vogue-ish set from all over the globe.

Century 21 is where you find luxury labels at a fraction of its original price. Fifty years in the business, this retail giant has made designer clothes not as sinful to own.

Enter Century 21….(Background music: harp & violins)
….and dive into a pool of designer creations at discounted prices.
I was in Seventh Heaven.

Just as fast as I got into a state of gloom, diving into the pool of designer creations instantly perked me up. It was so refreshing!

With the grin back on my face, I braved the cold outdoors once more. This time with a new friend, Emilio Pucci.

What a beautiful day in the Big Apple.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on April 14, 2011.

http://www.sunstar.com.ph/davao/lifestyle/2011/04/13/ground-zero-seventh-heaven-150250


Thank you Tenny Asistido for telling me which side of the street I should be facing & Jennifer Gallenero-Allen for taking me for a swim in the designer pool made in heaven.

Braved the NYC icy day in the company of Emilio Pucci.
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