I Love New York – 33-29!

Tonight, the New York State Senate passed the bill allowing full GAY MARRIAGE in the state.  This is incredibly significant for equal civil rights, because the precedence set by this passage could pave the way for other states to pass the same legislation.

The bill was passed with provisions protecting religious organizations if they wished to not allow gay marriage, or to refuse couples from using their buildings and/or halls for such celebrations.  These provisions absolutely MAKE SENSE, because they are perfectly within their right to disallow such things under the proclivity of religious freedom.  The provisions greatly helped the bill to pass, and the bill passed with bi-partisan support.

It hit me earlier today that this historic vote falls as the anniversary of the Stonewall Inn riots of 1969 approaches.  That this event is taking place now, on the eve of that anniversary, in the same state where it occurred, is incredibly moving.

I created the above image just as the vote was taking place.  The moment it passed, it became my Facebook profile picture, and within minutes, many of my other friends started to use it as their picture.

Feel free to pass it around.  And proclaim your love for New York loud and proud!

Happy Pride, indeed!





New York City, 1994

The year was 1994.

My sister and I, still enjoying our first computer and the friendships we made through Prodigy (a precursor to America Online and the Internet as a whole), decided to travel to New York to visit our new friend Tony.  He lived on Long Island at the time with his parents, and the plan was to visit New York City for a day, and then see the Elton John/Billy Joel concert on another day.  We also planned a trip to New Jersey to visit the Six Flags Great Adventure park, since my sister and I both worked at Six Flags Great America at the time.We did all the touristy things while in New York– the Empire State Building, Macy’s (back when Macy’s was a novelty), taking the Subway, and visiting some of the neighborhoods.

But the highlight was what we did at the end of the day– we went to the World Trade Center.

Our visit happened only a year after the bombing that occurred in the parking structure beneath the towers.  I remember being a little nervous about that– not terribly so, but since it was still so fresh, I couldn’t help but think about it.  By the time we arrived at the WTC, it was late in the day.  It had been muggy all day, and the evening haze was setting upon the city.  That didn’t hinder the views from the top, however– they were spectacular.I took photos from that trip and scanned them a while ago (this was, of course, before digital cameras were around).  Here is a slide show of photos I took that day, including those from the World Trade Center.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Looking at these, it still seems so hard to believe they are gone. Every year as September 11 rolls around, I find myself re-living the moments of that terrible day in 2001. And we should remember those moments– as horrible as they were.

But sometimes it’s good to recall what life was like before September 11, 2001.  We remember what we once had, and of course, we remember those who were lost that terrible day.  Hopefully, nothingd like it will never happen again.