Tag Archives: new york city

A Quick Diversion

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I set out to write a post this afternoon about what it’s like to celebrate a post-grad birthday, but with the events of this past week still fresh in everyones minds, I just feel it isn’t yet appropriate.

Two days ago, as all of us are fully aware, Boston was struck by acts of terror, injuring and killing bystanders at the Boston Marathon’s finish line. These actions were completely unjustified. In my father’s own words, “utter bullshit.” Not only were they directed at innocents, but because there seems to be simply no reason behind it. At a time when each of the affected persons and families, all of America at that, is waiting for answers, there are none. We are all asking questions, and each is met with a resounding silence.

This is the latest in a series of events in our country that has caused me to doubt over and over whether or not we as humans are inherently good. It’s the question that was asked through the majority of my Sociology classes during my years at the University of Miami. “Are we, as people, inherently good, and do some diverge and become bad?” or “Are we inherently bad, and do the many who are able to overcome that, show us the good in the world?” Through all of these tragedies we’ve witnessed, from the Sandy Hook shootings to the Aurora Colorado massacre all the way back to 9/11, there is evidence abound for the latter assumption. And yet, I still have to stand behind the first.

As horrifying as each of these events is, and other smaller scale tragedies that don’t even make the headlines, what is even more breathtaking is the way we see people reach out to one another. If you’re following the news, you’re hearing these stories. Marathon runners who passed the finish line only to continue running towards the hospital to donate blood; Boston residents opening their homes to marathon runners; former NFL players carrying injured bystanders to safety. And cities across our nation uniting, and standing with each other.

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Like this widely circulated photo preaches, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that,” and as Dr. King’s quote continued, “Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

We see this, time and time again. When a state, or a city, or simply another American is affected by an act of terror or pain or anger, we stand together as a whole against that darkness. People reaching out to strangers, lending help and support to those in need. Whether it be in the form of monetary donations, blood drives, candlelight vigils, or simple social media updates. It’s our way of letting others know, “We’re here for you. Don’t give up. You’re not alone.”

And it is for this reason I know that we as a people must be inherently good. Because while some take the darker path and for reasons unbeknownst to the rest of us, hurt those around them, the rest of society joins hands against violence, against hate. And we fight, like so many around us, to stop these terrorizing acts that happen so close to home. And we don’t let these events stop us. New Yorkers went back to work in their office buildings. Students in Newtown, Connecticut went back to school. Colorado residents still go to movie theaters, and people across the nation will continue to run marathons. In fact, we may see people running marathons in honor of those victimized by these acts. Like George W. Bush declared in his address after the September 11th attacks, even acts that “shatter steel cannot dent the steel of American resolve.”

We’re asking lots of questions, about who stands behind this and why. But maybe the best answer, for once, can just be, “You’re safe. This person won’t hurt you again. There will be justice.” Imagine his or her name is not published. And he or she does not get the fame they probably wished to achieve through this. Well, good. To me, that’s justice. For them to be punished – and worse, to have no one even know their name.

My heart goes out to all who were affected, not only by the bombings at the Boston marathon, but to anyone who’s lives or families have felt the pain of tragedies big and small across America and across the world. And I hope that the light of the goodness of others can dispel the darkness.

Day Seventy-Five – You can keep the Olympics out of the USA, but you can’t keep the USA out of the Olympics.

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The day has finally arrived. Opening ceremonies for the 2012 Olympic Games in London!!! I’m so excited for all of America to behave with overwhelming ethnocentrism and talk about how much better we are than every other country. I know that sounds sarcastic, but I actually really enjoy that during the Olympics. Cheering on the USA and watching these tiny little gymnasts throw their bodies into the air and still land on their feet – it’s unreal.

I remember being very young, 6 years old, actually, during the 1996 Summer Olympics. My family used to spend a few weeks of summer in the Poconos, Pennsylvania. We’d rent a house and relax there, going to the pool, laying in the sun, and enjoying some down time. That summer, I decided that I was not Kristen Chuber…I was actually Kerri Strug, a 19-year-old American gymnast, who unfortunately, damaged her ankle during the games, yet still won a gold medal for the USA. Every morning, I’d wake up, force my grandfather to watch my “floor routine,” and skip around the living room in a leotard, before throwing myself to the ground in pain from my sprained ankle. I was a strange child.

This year, because my friends and I are mature, 22-year-old adults, we’re planning on celebrating by organizing some kind of Beer Olympics, featuring teams of two and every drinking game we can think of. The real summer Olympics.

Anyway, today Daniella and I were discussing when the Olympics were going to be held in New York City. And my answer was, “Hopefully NEVER.” And I feel that way for three main reasons.

1. Traffic

Traffic is one of my least favorite things ON THE PLANET EARTH. Like nothing stresses me out more than sitting in my car in bumper to bumper traffic when I need to be somewhere. Especially since I’m always running late. And as New Yorkers, we sit in enough traffic as it is. Rush hour or not, driving through any of the boroughs can be a pain at any time of the day. So let’s take a city that already has millions of people, always with somewhere to go, all at the same time, already hitting traffic, and throw an international sports event, featuring athletes from over 200 nations, right in the middle of it all. There will be. So. Much. Traffic. So no.

2. Terrorists

This is a no brainer. There are always threats of terrorism in the cities hosting the Olympic Games. I think NYC has experienced their share of terrorism for at least…forever.

3. Tourists

According to the 2011 census, 8,244,910 people currently live in New York, NY. Now add in the however-many people commute into Manhattan on a daily basis from Long Island, Westchester, Connecticut, and New Jersey. Now add visitors and tourists staying in hotels, flooding Times Square and wearing I ❤ NY t-shirts. A lot of people, right? Well that number will double, triple, quadruple if the Olympics were held in New York City. That’s a lot of crowded subways. And a lot of trash. And a lot of Olympic merchandise. And a lot of I ❤ NY t-shirts. And it’s too many people. Wayyy too may people. I JUST WON’T HAVE IT!!!

…But by all means, have them in Connecticut! That way the New Yorkers can still go and not have to deal with hassle 😉

I’m super excited to watch the Olympics, though. Especially the USA Women’s Soccer team, because of how close they came to winning the Women’s World Cup. Hope Solo…I want to be you.

Proud to be from the land of the free and the home of the brave.

GO TEAM USA!