9/11/2001

9/11 has changed my life in more ways than one.  Seriously.  I didn' t even know anyone who died.  Today on the sixth anniversary I wanted to pay tribute, but also give you something to read at the same time.  In 2004 when I was graduating from high school, I was one of a few seniors asked to write a senior statement to be published in the school newspaper, the Newtonite.  I immediately knew I wanted to write about 9/11.

Here is what was published in our graduation issue.

"For the past four years, Newton North has been part of many memories that will stay with us forever. We've won awards, made life-long friends, attended proms, and even became state champions. However, one day at North will especially stay clear in our minds forever. As freshman, the class of 2005 was still learning to find its way around the expansive North on our fourth day of high school. The date was September 11th, 2001.  Just about every senior I've asked remembers that day at Newton North in fine detail. It can be compared to the day President Kennedy was assassinated, and our parents remembering their exact whereabouts at the moment they found out. As for myself, my day started in Mr. Vignone's history class, which went as usual except for him turning on the radio, which he had never done. My next class was English with Ms. Craig-Olins. It was here when Mrs. Huntington made her first announcement to the school, briefly describing what had happened up until that point. I then remember hearing a rumor that more had happened then was announced, but I brushed it off as crazy and impossible. Later in gym class, we didn't do much because it was signup day, so people quietly talked. I heard Ms. Baugher and another teacher talking about what they knew, and it confirmed the rumor from earlier. As soon as class let out I went to the library and got on a computer to see for myself. A small crowd of stunned kids gathered around to see too. Not much else went on at school that day, although I did sneak into a classroom that had the news on for a little while. I don't think many kids, including myself, really understood how big the events of the day were at that time. However, it seemed more serious when the bus my friend and I took home everyday, was free of charge, just to get everyone home safe. That night, aside from being glued to the television, I looked through some photos and video I had taken myself less than a month earlier on a trip to New York, which I am now so glad to have. For the Newton North class of 2005, we are the last students to have been at North on that day, and even after a new school is built, it's something we won't ever forget."

I took this picture 28 days prior to 9.11.2001



First Visit to Natick Collection

Believe it or not, the town of Natick hasn't always been so "Glamorous!"   I vaguely remember going to the original Natick Mall, before the first new mall was built in the early 90's.   Part of it was outdoors I think, with a playground in the middle.  I also remember the old shoppers world and Jordan Marsh with it's huge dome.  Then there is Lechmeres, and Service Merchandise...  Ha!  Maybe some of those were in Framingham, but who's really keeping track?  Go Here for an interesting article.

Last week, just up rt. 90 West, Natick got it's newest "luxury" expansion, The Natick Collection.  Attached to the old mall is a stunning new wing filled with higher end stores.  The mall is kind of segregated now, it's funny.  They did however integrate the two sections very nicely, I almost didn't notice we were walking into the regular mall.  Maybe I was just too focused on the new water feature, made of black granite.  Did I mention they have valet now?

A few construction pictures first...  Here is the street that ran past Macy's (now J.C. Penny).  Taken Sept 22nd, 2005.
Every time I would go to the mall I parked in the same spot at the top of this garage (now gone) and I'd take a photo of the construction. 
Here, the construction continues on December 27th, 2005.  (I must have been returning a Christmas gift...)
Filene's before it left.  March 2nd, 2006.
A temporary re-route took me past the point where the new mall would eventually connect to the old mall.  Taken June 3rd, 2006.
Looks like this is probably Neiman or the new condos...
Nearing completion, January 29th, 2007.
What's coming "09.07.07"
And, today!
Neiman Marcus.
Nordstrom.  The first in the area and perhaps my new favorite store!
Doesn't this look like an artists rendering and not a photo?
The "trees" are really cool, I have to admit.
This is near where the new part connects to the rest of the mall.  The water feature is very cool.
There is a street that runs under the mall as well as new underground parking.


It's NEVER Too Late For Belated Presents!

Over the holiday weekend, Kim, Steve, & I went to Copley for some shopping.  I think it's my new favorite mall... (until Natick opens).  Anyways, before we left, Kim wanted to go to check out Tiffany's...  (Like she's never been before or something).  I tagged along, checking out the expensive engagement rings and other finely crafted neck wear.

I've never been one for jewelry, or any kind of "accessory" actually.  I didn't even wear a baseball hat until a few years ago!  No watches, no fancy belts, not even sun glasses...  They just never interested me, I guess.  However, a couple years ago on a cruise to Bermuda, I took my casino winnings and bought a gold chain.  Since then I've realized it's okay for guys to wear whatever.  I now have about a dozen hats, a replacement gold chain (RIP), a couple nice belts, glasses... etc!  (still no watch though... hint, hint ;) 

Back to Tiffany's - Did you know they have mens?  I didn't, but apparently Kimmy did.  After splurging on herself (I don't think she wants me to tell you what she bought), she surprised me with a late birthday gift!  It was a sterling silver ring...  Something I've SERIOUSLY always wanted!!  At weddings I'm always taking pictures of rings, but since I'm not married, I never had one of my own.  This is not a wedding ring or anything, lol, but I do love it, a lot.  Steve bought a really nice one, too.  I recommend them as a gift for your guy friends... way to go Kim!

This was a hard shot to take by myself, lol.
Favorite.
In the ring of fire.
I also bought a necklace...  Cool isn't it?
Money can't buy happiness"  right...


Fire in Newton

Newton is a big city.  With that said, tonight I heard fire engines racing somewhere around 8:30pm, from my home in Newtonville.  Around 9pm, Amanda called me from Waban, asking if Newton was "under attack or something".  Apparently she could hear them not only from across town, but also a half hour later. 

I turned on our police scanner, lol, and tried to hear what was going on.  Not willing to wait any longer, I got in my car and headed towards Waban.  Then Mom called and told me it was something on Washington Street, which is a main artery of Newton with lots of large buildings.  It didn't take me long to find the flashing lights, and the suspected fire. 

By the time I had arrived, the apartment complex fire was already out.  The only reasons I go to these are because 1) I am nosey & 2) because I freelance for CNC, one of Boston's major publishers.  They rarely assign things to me but when I come upon something on my own, they'll usually publish it. 

The ladder truck shown here is the one my brother Joe works on.  He wasn't on duty tonight.  I'm sure he'll be disappointed to have missed this one.

Water being sprayed through the roof.

Firefighters on the top floor making sure everything is out.

My favorite.



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