My brief visit to New York City was a travel adventure of epic proportions. I traveled by all manner of locomotion during the 72 hour round trip, most variety being within the Big Apple itself. Let me state on the outset that one can never be over-prepared for one’s first trip to NYC and should be advised or accompanied by someone who is familiar with the city and its geography. Had my ego permitted this fact, the adventure would have been considerably smoother and I would have had a great deal more time to see the city.
The adventure began with a flight into JFK, followed by a cab ride to the hotel. My reservation was at a hotel on Long Island, a fact which had no significance for me prior to my arrival in New York. I learned fast that it is a hugely relevant detail, as cab fare double once the driver crosses the bridge. Needless to say, I learned the hard way ($80 later) to explore transport options before jumping into the first available automobile. The next day was the interview and reason for my trip, and I did just that. I walked from the hotel to the nearest train station and obtained a schedule. A very kind gentleman helped me map out the best way to get from Hempstead, Long Island to Queens using the train and saving myself a fortune. I took the Q and arrived at my destination well ahead of schedule, despite the fact that I had gotten off one stop removed from where I needed to be. After the interview I picked up a city bus back to JFK to catch my flight home. Having decided to play it safe following my recent harrowing adventure, I decided to head straight to the airport and find a nice place to eat while I awaited my flight.
By the time I got to the airport, I believed the worst was over. I had navigated the city and returned unharmed and wiser for my experience. Little did I know that the events to follow would change the course of history. I was flying United and my p.m. flight was delayed, then ultimately cancelled. I was placed on another flight with a much later departure time, but was grateful to have any chance of getting home. By the time this new flight arrived at D.C. Dulles, no other flights were departing for the evening and I was placed on a flight to leave around 8 the next morning. I slept in the airport, using my small bag as a pillow. The next morning, the skies were clear and beautiful. I boarded my flight and made it home. Sadly, thousands of other Americans lost their lives that day…. September 11, 2001.