I’m headed up to NY on Thursday for the anniversary of 9/11. For reasons I don’t quite understand, I’d rather not be there on that day. Any other day but that one. I was living in Manhattan on 9/11, and I maintain a deep affection for the city. I love the train ride up, the happy-cup coffee I’ll get on the street when I arrive, the rush of consumption and conversation and humanity.

But to see it up close on that day is always a little raw. It’s hard to know what expression to put on your face. Let alone what to feel in your heart. Other than the hole that was there the day before and the year before. Seven years is a lot and nothing all at once.

But the city churns on, in some ways for the better. The World Trade Center Survivors’ Network has a day of remembrance planned for people who evacuated from the Trade Center. Obama and McCain will pay their respectstogether at Ground Zero, which is kind of a nice touch. On Friday, I’ll be moderating a panel at the ServiceNation Summit on creative ideas to get people involved in disaster relief. I’m not sure if we’ll come up with anything revolutionary, but there’s always that chance.

GeneralAmanda Ripley