Commuter Corner: National September 11 Memorial, Fête Paradiso, and the Travel Halo

Events and things to do in New York City in September 2013

The Main Event

If you haven’t seen the National September 11 Memorial — which opened in 2011 at the former location of the Twin Towers — this month is an appropriate time to go. The site features two reflecting pools which are surrounded by waterfalls (the largest man-made ones in North America) and bronze plaques bearing the names of the nearly 3,000 victims. Admission is free, but reservations are required. Visit for hours of operation.

Fête Paradiso takes visitors back in time to turn-of-the-century Paris. Located on Governors Island, the festival displays vintage carnival rides from old-time French street fairs — including one of only two remaining 19th-century bicycle carousels in the world. Don’t miss it though; the historic amusements are only open to the public on weekends until Sept. 29. Admission is free, but rides and games cost $3. Visit for specific dates and times.

Head Rest

We’ve all been fed up with uncomfortable travel pillows that let heads smash into windows and cause cramps in necks. The Travel Halo — which picked up a Product Innovation award at the Travel Goods Show in March — offers a solution to both of these annoyances. It fits around the forehead like a headband and has two stabilizing cushions positioned at the back of the skull so your head stays in place. A handy eye mask attached to the front keeps light out while you nap. Another great thing: Buying one won’t break the bank, as it retails for $29.99 at

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Share Your Story

As a recent college graduate, I’ve spent most of the last few months on an epic job search. While driving up the Taconic (admittedly a little too fast) for an interview in Troy, I glanced in my rear-view — and my stomach plunged: A stern-looking policeman accompanied by flashing red lights was demanding that I pull over. As the officer gave me my ticket, he inquired where I was going, and I told him about the interview. He raised an eyebrow and said, “Are you feeling lucky?” Glancing at the aforementioned ticket, I replied, “Not anymore.” We then both laughed (he heartily and I awkwardly) and parted ways — at the speed limit this time. Although I suppose I did have some luck that day, because I was offered the job! — Laura Carter, Fishkill

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