With all eyes on New York City as the nation marks the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I can’t help but reflect on my own experience from 10 years ago. On September 10, 2001 I happened to be in New York finalizing my new apartment lease. Now this was unlike anything I had ever done because in New York signing an apartment lease is like the equivalent to buying a small house in Texas! I had never plunked down more cash for anything in my entire life…and I like to shop!
I’ll never forget contacting Rona, an apartment broker, and asking about her services. If you remember the woman who played the real estate broker in the movie Wall Street, who liked to say, “honey” a lot, you will know whom I was speaking to. Rona was a true New Yorker who has done it all and seen it all. She told me she only got paid if she found me an apartment. Imagine my surprise when she informed that her fee was 15% of the first month’s rent. I said, “Rona, honey, I just want you to find me an apartment…I don’t want you to live me with!” She didn’t laugh. But I digress.
My lease was signed on September 10, 2001 and in one month I would move to New York City to start the next phase of my life. My flight that evening back to Dallas was severely delayed due to thunderstorms up and down the east coast. I remember them getting us on the plane and the flight attendant saying we weren’t going anywhere for several hours. And then the pilot got on and said we were delayed, but as soon as they lifted the hold we would get home. He then mentioned that we were lucky because we were going south. Anyone going west that evening was stuck for the evening. I can only imagine how long they were really stuck after the next mornings’ events.
Everyone remembers where he or she was when the planes hit and what they were thinking at the time. I just remember the first thing that came to my mind was, “I just plunked down my life’s savings and I don’t even know if I have a place to live.” But I never wanted to get some place faster than I did at that very moment.
Moving to New York has been the greatest experience of my life…from tremendous experiences through my job to meeting my husband and having a child. While Texas will always be my home, I’ve never been happier to be a part of such a vibrant city that after one horrific day in history made me Texas proud to be a part.