Friday, September 9, 2011


I took a few photos of the World Trade Center while living in New York--the old fashioned way, on film.   I also have maybe a dozen photos of the events of September 11, 2001.  I was home at the time and I heard the planes hit, but didn't know what it was.  I thought a building in the neighborhood was being demolished by a wrecking ball.  Then I got a voice mail
mentioning a disaster in New York, asking if I was alright. (hoping I was dead)  I didn't even turn on the TV.  Maybe I remembered the slightly metally crash sounds I'd heard earlier.  I don't clearly recall hearing an explosion--mostly just a crashing, crunching sound.  I looked out the front window.  The Chrysler and Empire State buildings stood tall under a pristine blue sky, dominating midtown as usual.  A cool breeze blew in as I scanned the scene.  Those two buildings and the Twin Towers kind of served as a navigational aid in Manhattan.  If you were between them and got crossed up directionally before becoming really familiar with Manhattan, you always knew the Empire State and the Chrysler were uptown and the WTC downtown.  Independent rock band Luna has a song called, "Going Home" with the following typically whimsical Dean Warham lyrics:
The Chrysler Building is talkin' to the Empire State
The Twin Towers are talkin' to each other.
When I looked out the back window, the smoke trail drifting from the burning towers seemed to already stretch for miles. 

Everybody's got stories like this, but the fact is that between TV jobs I worked two separate stints delivering seafood in Manhattan for a company a friend did sales for.  We had a stop directly across the street to the south of the tower and usually made it around that time of the morning.  I don't recall whether I was working there at the time or not.  I also don't think it was an every day stop.  It is what it is.  It was right there

I recall the smell coming from ground zero being considerably strong all the way in Greenpoint for at least 2 weeks.

I considered scanning the photos from that day and posting them this week, but why?  Everybody saw what happened and my pics just show one more angle and distance of the horror.  I know I've seen those images more than enough in addition to seeing much of it with my eyes.  I should have done the pre-9/11 ones.  Maybe I will.

Instead, I got these pics this morning in San Francisco of a building under construction.  Neat, huh?  Sometimes you don't know how these things might go over.  I wouldn't post the close-up without the wide.  One of the pics I got of the WTC, pre-9/11 was a pretty nice wide silhouette taken from the roof of my Greenpoint building at dusk.  My girlfriend suggested using it in our Christmas card in December of '01.  If there was any shot of the buildings you could do that with at the time, that was one of them, but I still thought it wasn't a nice reminder on Christmas.  She insisted, though, so guess what?  It was a very warm and fuzzy shot, though.

I always thought that a cool thing to include in the WTC site memorial would be a sculpture shaped like one of the columns in the bottom floors' exterior facade in which the vertical lines go straight up from the ground and at the second floor converge and head straight up, kind of shifting the pattern.  Just take one of those and maybe have the tips broken off at different heights.  A three-dimensional structure standing alone.  Two facing each other other or aligned as the buildings were might be even better.  I think that would be quite appropriate and properly effective in many ways.  I always liked that facade.  Scroll down for a great shot of it in on this page:

Some of these iron skeletons waiting so patiently to be filled and covered by cement seem to hint at that shape.  I like these pics.  There's something sad about them, for sure, but they are shots of a building going up:

(I just noticed the bird in this shot.  Very cool:)


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