The above is the absolute worst blog post title I have ever written. But..
The average apartment in Manhattan stays on the market for 188 days, and that was before Bear Stearns. Have to keep remembering that. Then I feel guilty as I’m not facing foreclosure or being forced to sell. Yet I feel relaxed, so…
You never made it to 30. Then how did it seem you were there all my life?
We never talk about you anymore. We have moved on.
To some you’re a symbol of the beginning of a great war. Not to those of us who knew you well. We loved you for you; Manhattan’s best indoor mall. Manhattan’s largest office complex. A restaurant with the best views and decent food. A high flying lounge with great appetizers, a piano play and wonderful views. Even an observation deck we would go to once or twice, take tourists to, watch tourists go up to. The best damn TCKTS booth in NY. The line moved rapidly and the plays seemed better as the tickets were bought from you.
For several years, in my 20’s, I worked across the street from St Paul’s Church. It felt like such a long walk from your subway stop as it was so windy. I would often stop at Trinity Church to look at Alexander Hamilton’s grave.
In my earliest youth I would meet friends on the concourse for drinks. We would mean to stay for a drink or two and somewhere long after midnight….good thing subways were there and a never ending procession of cabs.
Later I moved up to the pricier places with a view worth dying for. I wanted to grow old with you. Not that I thought about it, except that day in 93, when I lived in an apartment that had a dead on view of you. I spent the night on the terrace looking at Staten Island and Jersey. Actually it was an amazing view seeing beyond your lights. Slightly discomforting but I knew you would be back in the morning.
My sister lived in the building closest to you. We had been together that day. I don’t remember if we thought it was a fire or knew that it was a bombing. We laughed about looking at Manhattan without your lights. Laughed and were frightened.
The new mall that was built was even better. You had more fun stores and better more modern concourse restaurants.
My sister’s daughter and all the kids I knew viewed you as a giant playground. One that was more fun than most real ones.
The “covered bridge” that lead to The World Financial Center had an art gallery for us older ones and pieces of rubber next to the large windows, kids could climb on and look. “Wow, Pia, can I really play on this?” The art gallery had socially significant events–the story of desegregation among other things. It forced you to think as you were walking. That’s the best kind of gallery to me.
That other day I try to forget it. But it’s imprinted in my mind. I can’t forget it, and I had my own personal tragedy the next month, the one that made me realize I would have to leave New York so yes I want to forget.
My heart still breaks for you. But this war, you wouldn’t have wanted it.
You were as New York as any of us. Many of us measured great moments in our lives through you. It hurt so much for so long to look down and not see you.
You had a New York tude. I was supposed to go to the last concert in your outdoor space. Pete the K9 cop was going to hold good spots for us. Janis Ian was playing. Fitting very fitting. We tried explaining how Ian was probably more socially significant than Alanis Morissette or any of the 90’s girl folk singers but each generation thinks theirs is the best.
You were so big. So sturdy. We didn’t realize we thought you would always be the backdrop to our lives. After your loss we realized how much we had depended on you.
People talked about “Ground Zero.” That’s meaningless to me. It’s you, The World Trade Center, that remains in my heart.
I could only find “tributes” to “Society’s Child” but this will do.
Pete the K9 cop–my good friends the Waldo’s brother-in-law was supposed to go to work at noon that day. He was driving his wife to work when he saw smoke. Before he could get a call, he called. Both he and his dog survived. It’s an urban myth that all dogs died. I know as I know Pete.
He retired, and has a management job at a large security firm. He and his wife bought a large expensive house. Life goes on. He was always a good time guy and still is. But sometimes….
Happy birthday World Trade Center. You didn’t live the long life you should have but you are missed As long as I’m alive you will be talked about as you were. It doesn’t hurt to think of you. I’m numb when I think of that day, but everything after–that hurts. And you had nothing to do with that.
I don’t know how to end this because your ending was so unnatural and so wrong. I’m no longer in mourning for the people or my mother–my personal tragedy. Now I mourn for you.
The Trade Center was bounded by Tribeca and The Financial District. They are the richest zip codes in Manhattan now Perhaps that’s your tribute.