My dad escaped the horrors of the World Trade Center attacks. Yet for both of us, the trauma remains.

I had big plans for September 11, 2001.

I left my childhood home in Queens that morning dressed in flared jeans with patches below the knee. As I hopped on the F train at 179th Street and Hillside Avenue, Krystal Harris’ song “Supergirl!” from The Princess Diaries played on repeat in my Discman. I was just a teen, a sophomore at NYU headed to class and counting down the hours until that evening, when I’d meet with my friends to see O-Town perform live.

That day didn’t go as planned.

Instead of dancing and singing at the top of my…

If I could speak to my idol 20 years later, here’s what I’d say to her

It’s been a big week for Aaliyah fans. Her album One In A Million is finally available on streaming services after two decades of radio silence. And the biography, Baby Girl: Better Known As Aaliyah gives fans a glimpse behind her beloved swoop bangs with a look at her life behind the scenes.

I’m thankful to have the opportunity to contribute to the fan section of the book. Here’s what I had to say.

Dear Aaliyah,

When I hear your name, there’s always one memory that instantly comes to mind and fills me with happiness.

I think of the night…

I can not stop talking about Peloton — let’s rewind to see how I got here

At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, when it felt like everything was out of my control, I was adamant about one rule: I wouldn’t buy any massive pieces of gym equipment.

I know myself. From the Nintendo console that’s been collecting dust under my childhood bed since I was seven to the pair of ice skates that have never seen a rink, I tend to pack away expensive equipment after just a few weeks of tinkering. …

Learning how to move underwater around tiny swimmers taught me that it’s okay to give a new thing a try

I was never the most athletic person. Rewind that VHS tape to the ’90s, and you’d find a shy kid who was really into books and listening to my heroes, Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson. I’d pray for a stomach ache to keep me out of gym class — if the idea of playing an organized sport didn’t give me one before the bell rang. In high school, I even found a way to keep physical activity from affecting my nearly-perfect grade point average: extra credit papers. …

Anyone who said NY was dead after Covid-19 arrived wasn’t a New Yorker to begin with

A pride colored heart is seen on a subway car near a person wearing a mask as the city moves into Phase 2 of re-opening following restrictions imposed to curb the coronavirus pandemic on June 25, 2020 in New York City.

There’s one way to put even the mellowest New Yorker into a fit of rage: insinuating, in any way, that New York City is dead.

Last March, grief overtook the city I’ve lived in my entire life. Although the events of 9/11 caused me PTSD due to the trauma of almost losing my dad twice in the Twin Towers (first in the 1993 bombing, and then in 2001), the uncertainty we experienced for months in New York City was a new danger that no one in our lifetime had lived through. And as the nation surpasses 500,000 lives lost to…

Jada Gomez

Senior Platform Editor at Medium. Girl with the long last name from the Empire State. NYU Alum. Runner. Puppy Mommy. Smiler.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store