Never Forget

Each year on 9/11 we stop for a moment to take a breath not just to think about what happened in 2001, but all that has happened since then.  I am confident that we are living in a better country and a better world today. I will continue to believe in the American spirit and continue to honor the freedoms that so many people gave their lives to protect. Thank you to the men and women who serve our country and remind us that we are truly privileged to live in a country that values its people.

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“In all we do every day, in our attention to the micro as well as the macro, we strive to make New York City a better place. We work to help those who are without in our own city and, in so doing, serve as a model for what can be done elsewhere. In that way and in many other ways, each of us as individuals and collectively as Robin Hood, honor the memory of 9/11 and the spirit of what has been done since. This is a part of what it is to Be Robin Hood.”

– Emary Aronson, Managing Director, Robin Hood Relief Fund

Return to the Home Base

This weekend I am going to visit my lovely parents for the weekend. I find it extremely important for my mental health that I return to my home base every so often to “re-charge” and “re-fuel” on PMA (positive mental attitude). Matt jokes that I am like Superman returning to Krypton.

I love spending time with my parents and being in my hometown. I like spending a night or two in my small twin bed and poking through the piles of things I have left in my parent’s basement, hoping to reclaim them once I move out of the shoebox, Matt and I like to call home in NYC (Ok, our apartment isn’t really THAT small, but I like the dramatic effect of calling it a shoebox)

  • I love the predictability of life at my parents’ house.
  • I like knowing that by 10-10:30pm, both of my parents will be falling asleep on the couch as they watch some detective type show like Numbers or Law and Order.
  • I like knowing that Saturday night dinner will probably be hamburgers on the grill and corn on the cob.
  • I like knowing that our basement is always fully stocked with craft supplies
  • And I LOVE knowing that if I suggest to my mom that we get ice cream at the local drive is, she will support that 100%

I can’t wait to see what fun the weekend brings. Of course we will miss Abby but I am sure we will have some quality iPad face time to try and include her. (I guess I should say we will miss Matt too since he is part of the family now… )

I hope that you all do something you love this weekend. It is a special time to remember, reflect and appreciate those “little things” in life that you can sometimes take for granted.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Every year millions of tourists come to New York City to catch a glimpse of the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and skate a few laps around the world-renowned ice skating rink. The tree gives people a reason to celebrate. It serves as a symbol of hope, a beacon of peace and is the official sign that the holiday season is upon us. This year’s tree arrived in Rockefeller Center this morning and will be raised later today. No matter how hard I try to hold off on celebrating Christmas until Thanksgiving has passed, it is difficult not to be excited by this sight.


(A special thank you to Matt for stopping to take these pictures on his way to work!)

Although the official Christmas tree tradition at Rockefeller Center began in 1933 (the year the 30 Rockefeller Plaza opened),the unofficial tradition began during the Depression-era construction of Rockefeller Center, when workers decorated a small 20 foot balsam fir-tree with strings of cranberries, garlands of paper, and even a few tin cans on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1931. Some accounts have the tree decorated with the tin foil ends of blasting caps. Click here for a photo tribute and history of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree.

Many Rockefeller trees were given to Rockefeller Center by donors.Members of the Gardens Division of Rockefeller Center, scout in a helicopter for the desired tree in areas including Connecticut, Vermont, Ohio, upstate New York, New Jersey, and even Ottawa, Canada. Once a suitable tree is located, a crane supports it while it is cut, and moves it to a custom telescoping trailer that can transport trees up to 125 feet (38 m) tall, although the width of New York City streets passing through Rockefeller Center limits the height of the trees to 110 ft. This year’s tree is  74 feet tall and hails from the town of Mahopac (in Putnam County) which is located approximately 50 miles from Manhattan.  The 75-year-old Norway spruce, is especially meaningful since it comes from the yard of 9/11 first responder and firefighter and was found on September 11th of this year.

Once at the Rockefeller Center, the tree is supported by four guy wire attached at its midpoint, and by a steel spike at its base. Scaffolding is put up around the tree to assist workers in putting up 30,000 lights attached to 5 miles of wiring. The star that has topped the tree since 2004 is 9.5 feet in diameter and weighs 550 pounds and is made out of the famous Swarovski crystals.

This year, the annual Christmas at Rockefeller Center tree lighting celebration will take place on November 30, 2010.