The man in the photo below is lying on a bench in the High Line in New York, a disused train line track which has been converted into a very pleasant ‘promenade’ that has become famous as an urban innovation and a destination for tourists and locals. People visiting New York from all around the world have the High Line on their top visiting places. For me going to New York, was one of the furthest places I have been (the furthest is Japan really but will post about it another time) and one of the most enjoyable places.

Although the transformation of the high line has happened three years ago, industrial presence lingers on. In some places I found diesel smells quite noticeable, reminding me of the high line’s past railroad activities. The line fallen into disuse was saved and transformed (by friends of the High Line) and now trees and plants are growing all over it. Soon nature will take over the ‘aerial green way’ as New Yorkers call it.


Day 21 – enjoying sunshine in New York’s high line

At this point this post gets political as I want to link it to another story that is happening now in Albania. For those reading for the ‘Come fly with me’ daily post, you can stop here or continue, the rest is going to be different and looking to raise awareness.

There have been rumors and behind the doors decisions that have been discussed about Syrian chemical weapons to be destroyed in Albania, between American and Albanian officials. The rumors are that we Albanians, don’t have much choice over the decision, because those asking or imposing it are the big USA, so we the little forgotten South West European country, don’t really have a choice but to accept.

I don’t know how true this is and we are all waiting for the decision of our government to be announced. And if it is yes, we will see thousands of tons of chemicals weapons arriving in Albania to be destroyed in our country. The sad part is that Albanians have been going through very difficulty times, trying to develop and emerge from a ruthless communist regime that stagnated the country for generations. One of the ways out has been considered the development of Albania as a tourist destination. Albania has beautiful beaches, delicious food, rich history and culture. So you could see how slowly this could have been achieved by investment and promotion. People are worried that destroying thousands of tons of chemical weapons in Albania will put a stop to these initiatives and will ruin Albanians natural resources. They are also worried about consequences on people’s health as they don’t trust we have the capacity to do a good job in destroying these chemical weapons.

So instead of a beautiful image of someone relaxing on the beach or on a bench like the man in this photo, we may see ruined countryside, poisoned land, abandoned villages etc. Is this really fair? Is this the kind of democracy the USA want to promote in the world? This man could be lying on a bench in Tirana or another Albanian city but he’s not, he is in New York. Double standards? Surely but I hope people will be strong to oppose and object the arrival of chemical weapons in Albania. The transformation of the high line was made possible by a group of people. The power of people can be strong, lets hope it will save Albania this time.