Monday, April 17, 2017

Spring in New York City!


In NEW YORK CITY, April showers us with flowers - you'll find dazzling displays throughout the Streets of New York City;  and don't miss a visit to the New York Botanical Garden for a dazzling display of verdant landscapes and over one million living plants in extensive collections.

Each year over one million people visit the garden's remarkable diversity of tropical, temperate, and desert flora, as well as programs that range from exhibitions in the Conservatory to festivals on Daffodil Hill.

We at the Radisson Martinique are thrilled to welcome you to our wonderful city!
    Visit our website for information on city events and to book your next reservation.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Meet Our 9/11 Heroes at the Radisson Martinique

Leigh Gilmore and her mother, Faye, would have likely died in the 9/11 attacks if not for the quick thinking of two strangers.
"They are total heroes," Faye said of Greg Frederick and Arnulfo Ponce, two hotel employees who helped evacuate them from the World Trade Center complex.

On that day, the two women were among hundreds inside the 22-story Marriott Hotel, which was located in 3 World Trade Center in between the twin towers.
When the attacks happened, the Marriott's elevators and phones stopped working. Leigh, who has multiple sclerosis and depends on a wheelchair, had no way to escape. She and her mother waited in the hotel's fifth floor hallway as other guests fled.

"Everybody that came past I would say, 'Please tell them in the lobby that I'm up here,'" said Leigh, 50. "I felt like no one knows I'm here." An agonizing half hour passed, but still no one came to help Leigh and Faye.
Suddenly, with the situation growing desperate, Marriott engineer Greg Frederick appeared. He and his boss, Arnulfo Ponce, had helped Leigh with her room two days earlier. Despite everything that was happening around him, Frederick remembered where Leigh was.

"It was chaos," said Frederick, 43. "For some reason, I thought of Ms. Gilmore, and I had a bad feeling that this lady is up there."
Frederick used the hotel's freight elevator, which was still working, to bring the women down to the lobby. They separated, and moments later, the first twin tower collapsed on top of the hotel, decimating it. Faye and Leigh had barely escaped with their lives.

"Good Lord, these men saved our lives," said Faye. "They took the time to come and check on us. They could have easily just run for their lives."
In the years after 9/11, Frederick and Ponce talked often about Leigh and Faye, though they did not know the women's names or what had happened to them. The mystery haunted them.

"I thought they were dead, but I knew they had a chance of surviving," said Ponce, who was the hotel's chief engineer. "But I never heard from them."
It would be eight years before Ponce and Frederick would get their answers. Last month, they saw Leigh and Faye featured in the History Channel documentary "Hotel Ground Zero." "Tears started coming out of my eyes," said Ponce, 49.

The four eventually got in contact when the men flew from New York to Chicago for a reunion party at Faye's home. "I'm alive because of you!" said Leigh as she hugged Frederick for the first time.
There were tears and laughter at the reunion. And for these four people joined by fate, there was also a sense of relief. "It brought closure to emptiness inside my heart," said Ponce. "I feel like these two women are part of my family now."

Arnulfo Ponce and Greg Frederick, after their heroic endeavors during the World Trade Center attacks, joined us at the Radisson Martinique as part of our engineering staff. We are honored and privileged to have these two courageous men as part of the Martinique family.