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Thread: World Trade Center - Fifth Anniversary

  1. #31

    Default Downtown Express

    Talking Point

    A return to reason five years later at Trade Center


    By David Stanke

    For four years, we had been too frail to hear or speak unfiltered truths, but the light of reason is finally breaking through. Over the last year, we have seen the agendas forwarded in the name of 9/11 openly challenged and debated.

    The emotional shockwave from the 9/11 disaster consumed our capacity to squarely face unpleasant realities. We searched desperately for heroes and shrouded ourselves in blind patriotism. Words and symbols became more important than actions and results. The current state of the World Trade Center reflects the results when action is left to the winds of passion.

    In the rebuilding dialogue, at meeting after meeting, family members came with pictures of their loved ones to proclaim their status as the ultimate victims of 9/11. The pictures were like I.D. badges, the credentials of victimization. No one responded to mourning family members, regardless of what they said. The pictures, originally spontaneous signs of desperate loss, became the hardened tips of weapons designed to silence opposition.

    Dogmas of 9/11 went unchallenged until the costs of resulting policies became intolerable. Mayor Bloomberg brought reality back to the W.T.C. memorial when he declared that $1 billion was too expensive. The lack of progress on the site prompted discussions on how the process had gone wrong and pushed open issues toward closure.

    In our neighborhood, real-world challenges denied us the luxury of indulging in rhetoric. By the time our broader society became aware of the rhetoric, we had long since finished shaking our heads and moved on.

    In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, politicians overrode the Environmental Protection Agency experts and gave the city the all-clear. Many people came back more quickly to establish homes, businesses and, most important, the Stock Exchange. Meanwhile, in the pit, the air was said to be poison and everyone was told to wear masks. But use of air masks, never enforced, was in effect a matter of personal choice.

    At the time, it was convenient to toss the masks aside to get the job done. Rudy Giuliani normally walked the site with his mask on, until the cameras turned on. The masks, critical for safety, were not good for public image. Calling workers heroes didn’t protect them from toxic carcinogens. Only recently is the cost in lives being exposed. A compassionate mayor may have attended funerals, but a heroic mayor would have protected the living.

    In our condo building adjacent to the W.T.C., our contractors quickly adapted the rhetoric of saving the building. The person we paid quite well to oversee work on the building had no problem telling everyone how he was saving 114 Liberty St. The city’s Office of Emergency Management gave him access to the site that residents of the building could not get. He even adopted the W.T.C. tragic/heroic saunter. He would always show up to take visiting media stars on tours of our building, but he frequently missed meetings with me, the condo board president. He would leave a day early and come back a day late. His lies and broken commitments left us in utter confusion. To the people he took on tours of our building, he was a hero, an unpaid volunteer. In the end, he was a huge obstacle and his firing came far too late.

    Today, more often than not, W.T.C. claims are challenged. When a victim’s family member recently demanded that more profits from the movie “World Trade Center” go to the memorial, an editorial defended the right of artists to make money creating 9/11 subject matter. Giuliani’s free ticket through the 9/11 Commission hearings is lamented by members of the commission. People who claim that the deceased are in the toxic dust on Staten Island are told that the cost of moving the material is too high. Lawsuits by the Coalition of 9/11 Families against the Port Authority are evaluated in our courts, and dismissed.

    Is the W.T.C. rebuilding moving forward finally because rhetoric is being dismissed? Or has the start of construction finally exposed the rhetoric for what it is? Five years after 9/11, I see the site differently yet again. The W.T.C. today isn’t just a historic place of a national tragedy, it is a compelling reminder of how problems fester if they are not addressed honestly and openly.

    But if the deals in place at the W.T.C. hold together and work continues, people will realize that what they need is not located in those 16 acres, in the memorial or in the twisted steel and broken concrete of the ruins. We will be able to focus on the real problems of life caused by the loss of 3,000 family members and friends, by an enemy of our nation that will not go away and by a city that was destroyed and is trying to fight its way back.

    David Stanke lives and writes Downtown. His e-mail is davestanke@ebond.com.

    http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_17...ntoreason.html

  2. #32
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    A look back at what was, what is no more and what should be part of a new Downtown ...

    Remembrance of Downtown Past


    Creative Time
    “New York Ripple,” a 1978 installation by Patsy Norvell for “Art on the Beach,” a project
    on the Battery Park City landfill.

    NY TIMES
    By HOLLAND COTTER
    September 1, 2006

    My City

    FROM my apartment near the top of Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001, I watched two lines of black smoke as thick and slow as oil spills pour across the sky far downtown. In my mind, that morning, I also stood in another apartment, just below the World Trade Center, and it was 1974.

    That year I had moved into a small 19th-century tenement with plank floors and two blocked-up fireplaces on Greenwich Street. I shared it with an artist, two cats, grow-light-dependent plants and a xylophone.

    I recently revisited that narrow, leftover stretch of Greenwich, once cut off and isolated by the Twin Towers, and found pretty much the same tawdry jumble I remembered. Our old block, a short walk from the Battery, has kept its three superb late-18th-century brick row houses, but only because they shelter late-20th-century trade, notably an upstairs-downstairs bar called the Pussycat Lounge. Almost certainly, garbage trucks still show up at night, choking and shrieking as they grind up debris from the back of the American Stock Exchange across the street.

    By the time I got to the neighborhood, the Twin Towers had been open for two years, but were hurting for tenants. The 92 acres of nearby Hudson River landfill were ready for Battery Park City, but there was no cash to build it. So for years, the long-planned revitalization of Lower Manhattan consisted, basically, of two squared-off, pinstripe-patterned 110-story structures set beside a riverside lot of scrub grass and dunes.

    We all saw the Trade Center for what it was: a supersize real estate venture, a monument to corporate power. At the same time its towers were also so freakishly large that they were fun.

    When the acrobat Philippe Petit strung a tightrope between them in 1974 and walked across, doing little jigs, to the awe and delight of a crowd below, he captured the spirit of the place as a surreal and largely unsupervised playground.

    Inside the buildings, it seemed that anyone could go anywhere. We used to ride the powerful pneumatic elevators up and down. If you timed a jump to the very instant they whooshed to a stop, you could float on air for half a second, or feel that you were. The doors might open on offices or raw, unfinished spaces; you never knew. At night, you could take a boom box to the circular plaza between the towers and roller-disco till dawn.

    This unguarded, nothing-to-lose atmosphere extended to the depressed financial district as a whole. It made an oddly nurturing environment for creativity. Art and geographical isolation were the elements that cemented a pocket community in the Trade Center’s shadow. And cultural ghosts of all kinds were everywhere. Our building had once housed immigrants: Eastern Europeans, Greeks, Middle Easterners. In the 1890’s, Washington Street, directly behind us, was known as Little Syria, and was almost exclusively Arabic-speaking. That community — Jacob Riis barged through once taking pictures — extended into Washington Market to the north, 13 blocks of low-rise houses and shops that were bulldozed in the 1960’s to make way for the Trade Center. Many residents were forced out, though we could feel their presence.

    One night every year, a band of men and women carrying candles and a bier with a recumbent crucifix passed under our windows, singing. They were parishioners of the tiny St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which stood across from the South Tower. They had long since relocated to Brooklyn, Queens or New Jersey, but came back every year for Easter.

    In the early 19th century the same part of town was comfortable bourgeois and home to some leading literary figures. Herman Melville’s birthplace was a short walk from where we lived, across from Battery Park. Whitman had cruised the streets as a journalist. Somewhere we read that when Edgar Allan Poe arrived by boat from Baltimore with Virginia, his teenage bride, they had lived for a while in a Greenwich Street boarding house — it would have been a few doors from our building — where the landlady’s huge and affectionate cat kept Virginia warm.

    A century later, in the 1950’s and 60’s, a distinguished group of artists — Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin, Robert Indiana, Lenore Tawney and Jack Youngerman — had lived as a loose community around the corner from the Melville birth site, on Coenties Slip. Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg were nearby at that time. Most of the people who lived in the area when we did were young artists too, as well as writers, dancers and musicians, all willing to put up with hassles for a cheap rent. The closest supermarket was a subway ride away in the West Village. We occasionally took to living off the land, growing tomatoes on the roof and fishing at Broad Channel. Air-conditioning was an unthinkable luxury. But the Staten Island ferry on hot nights was not; nor was a 3 a.m. stroll to the South Street Seaport to see the Brooklyn Bridge glowing noirishly through a haze.

    By 1974 New York was bankrupt, and no one was going to bail it out. “Ford to City: Drop Dead” went the famous Daily News headline. An odor of decline was pervasive, and it extended to culture.


    The New York Times; satellite image by Sanborn via Google Earth

    Art had had a fizzy run in the late 1960’s, with Minimalism, Conceptual art, earth art, video and performance all setting off sparks, many of them generated by the artist-intense enclave of SoHo. But by the early 70’s, the energy was winding down. SoHo had shifted from being primarily a place where arts was made to being a market where art was sold. And suddenly, art wasn’t selling so well.

    Nor was real estate. The World Trade Center had been conceived in the early 60’s as the first giant step in the rejuvenation of the downtown financial district. And even after progress was stalled, grand claims continued to be made for it. Its architect, Minoru Yamasaki, spoke of his record-tall Twin Towers as a “living symbol of man’s dedication to world peace.”

    There was a lot of that kind of spin, and you get a good sense of it in a new exhibition titled “Looking Back From Ground Zero” at the Brooklyn Museum, which focuses as much on how the towers went up as on how they came down. A short film, “Building the World Trade Center,” produced by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 1983, is on view in the galleries. It is, in part, an invaluable document of the neighborhood the Trade Center wiped out. It’s also a classic example of promotional advertising as history.

    We were young and self-involved, and for better or worse focused on a different history, the cultural history of the present and the recent past. And we were lucky in our neighbors.


    Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Life Magazine
    An image by Alfred Eisenstaedt, from
    “Looking Back From Ground Zero.”

    Ann Wilson, the youngest of the Coenties Slip group, lived in the apartment next to us, and was a link to that past. When we met her though, she had just been working with the theater artist Robert Wilson and his Byrd Hoffman School of Byrds, an experimental performance workshop. Mr. Wilson was about to bring “A Letter to Queen Victoria” to Broadway, and “Einstein on the Beach” to the Metropolitan Opera a few years later.

    A small flock of Byrds lived in the building too, rehearsing Philip Glass music and doing Sufi spins. A new form of dream-theater was developing around us. It was an art very much of that exhausted, tamped-down, post-hippie moment, an art of slowed time and expansive silence that required lots of open space, which was exactly what Lower Manhattan, with its surplus of empty real estate, had.

    In 1974 two nonprofit art organizations, Creative Time and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, formed in direct reponse to this availability. Not that Wall Street had not been doing its dutiful bit for culture. The Whitney Museum of Art had a corporate-sponsored downtown branch, and commissions for public sculptures were many and growing. But the opportunities in the fiscally stagnant 1970’s were different, dramatic and immediate.

    Creative Time, led by Anita Contini, struck gold when she persuaded the Battery Park City Authority to let her use its empty landfill for art events. The location, which we were already using for sunbathing and kite flying, was stark, stunning and slightly eerie. The art critic Craig Owens described it:
    “Fragmentary evidence of past human presence has accumulated here: oxidized I-beams upended in the sand, what seemed like miles of dilapidated snow fencing. Even the sand underfoot seems to testify to some forgotten disaster — small bits of broken asphalt mix with the gray, sandlike charred remains.”

    There in 1978, Creative Time inaugurated its multidisciplinary “Art on the Beach” program. Dozens of artists and architects, among them Alice Aycock, Andrea Blum, Maren Hassinger, Nancy Holt, Patsy Norvell, Dennis Oppenheim, Jody Pinto and Nancy Rubins, were invited to install large-scale, temporary, site-specific sculptures, the kind of work they could never do indoors.


    WIND ANTENNA
    Art on the Beach, NYC 1982
    Temporary work formerly at Art on the Beach, NYC.
    The aluminum parabolic dish functions as a resonator
    and provides ideal focus of wave frequency transmissions.
    This work is an exploration of energy conversion systems.
    Wind Antenna uses both mast and parabolic dish to convert
    wind energy into sound waves.


    “Eye of the Garden,” Lenora Champagne: Art on the Beach, New York


    Don Hogan Charles/The New York Times
    A recent view of an area near the site of the “Art on the Beach” project in the 70’s.

    The aesthetic of ephemerality was further extended in performance pieces by Charles Dennis, Eiko & Koma, Melissa Fenley, Simon Forti, Bill T. Jones, and Sun Ra. Many of the artists directly responded to presence of the river: it was right there; you could reach down and touch it. Others made oblique, sometimes resistant reference to the overshadowing forms of the Twin Towers nearby.

    Creative Time also wrangled the loan, from Orient Overseas Associates, of a cavernous street-level bank space at 88 Pine Street, where a series of major indoor projects were created from scratch. The most popular of them by far was the 1975 installation by Red Grooms, Mimi Gross (then Mr. Grooms’s wife) and a team of 20 other artists, called “Ruckus Manhattan.”

    The enormous piece, every inch of it handmade, was in progress almost daily for seven months. Everyone downtown, from artists to office workers, followed its progress from the street, and lined up to have the Mr. Grooms and Ms. Gross draw their portraits. The final product, with a crazily tilting 30-foot high model of the Twin Towers made from wood, paint and papier-mâché, was a big success. It was the right thing, at the right time, in the right place: a loving, leering walk-in cartoon of New York that let a bummed-out city feel good about itself.


    Photo © 1981 Robert E. Mates
    "Ruckus Manhattan" (1976)
    Ruckus Revival
    Red Grooms, Mimi Cross
    and The Ruckus Construction Company
    creativetime.org

    "Subway" from "Ruckus Manhattan" (1976), Red Grooms

    Art kept coming way downtown. It was as if acute urban anxiety was creating a fresh audience for vanguard culture. The United States Customs House on Bowling Green, empty beginning in 1973, was given over for a few years to art installations and performances. Its oval rotunda, lined with “Ruckus”-worthy Reginald Marsh murals, was a setting for ambitious programs of new music by Laurie Anderson, Richard Landry, Charlemagne Palestine, Steve Reich and Mr. Glass, sponored by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

    The Cultural Council itself had found quarters in the World Trade Center, with artists-in-residence studios on the 91st and 92nd floors on the north tower. For almost three decades, through market bust and boom, this organization helped keep art percolating downtown. Then on Sept. 11, 2001, it lost almost everything, including one of its resident artists, Michael Richards, who had stayed in his studio space overnight.

    I thought of those studios as I looked downtown that morning five years ago. I had paid a visit to them not long before. The elevator opened on the 91st floor to the sight of wide-open space with wraparound windows, precisely what I remembered seeing, by chance, on those elevator rides in the half-empty towers in the 1970’s.


    Nicole Carstens
    An image by Nicole Carstens of her fellow artists in residence in a studio in Tower One of the Trade Center.

    Young Sam Kim
    The artist Hoon Kim in 2000 with his installation “Electricity III” in his studio on the 91st floor
    of Tower One of the World Trade Center.

    The Cultural Council was all but paralyzed by the 9/11 losses, but is getting back on track with new programs. One, titled “What Comes After: Cities, Art and Recovery,” sounds especially noteworthy. An international gathering of artists, performers, writers, lawyers, activists and scholars, it is designed to address cultural trauma in cities that have experienced profound violence, from New Orleans to Sarajevo to Beirut. It is scheduled to run from Sept. 14 to 17.

    The council also has a hand in the upcoming River to River Festival, sponsored by the Lower Mahattan Development Corporation, which will offer free dance, theater, and art programs in the financial district Sept. 6 to 10. The participating institutions, the Joyce Theater, the Signature Theater Company and the Drawing Center, are among several established organizations with plans to relocate to Lower Manhattan as part of what is being advertised as a post-9/11 cultural renaissance.

    However it shapes up, it’s likely to be a different sort of renaissance from the happenstantial, fugitive, transient one I experienced in the 1970’s. The nasty flap last year over the Drawing Center’s showing of art deemed politically incorrect by conservative watchdogs, is certainly not auspicious of cultural rebirth.

    But, then, Lower Manhattan is a different place from what it was 30 years ago. The South Street Seaport, home to artists in the early 1970’s, is a shopping mall now. Part of the former “beach” is a gated community. The World Trade Center is, of course, gone, taking the little Church of St. Nicholas with it. To my amazement, my old apartment building is still there and still occupied. The names on the buzzer, including mine, have been overwritten by hand many times. I moved out in 1981.

    The big change is that, when you walk out the front door and look north on Greenwich, you see nothing. Or rather, you see light, distance, sky and space above ground zero. If I were asked to choose between reconstituting the solid weight of the past, even a past dearly loved, or preserving the open space of a swept-clean present and future, I’d go with space. Years ago, art in an empty field, by a wide river, in an ever-changing city, under an endless sky, taught me that.

    Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company
    Last edited by lofter1; September 1st, 2006 at 08:10 PM.

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    More from "Art on the Beach" ...

    Poster: ART ON THE BEACH, 1980



    "A great poster of the Twin Towers in 1980 from
    the sandy beach landfill, which is now the location
    of buildings and a park west of Chambers St.
    A performance series called Art on the Beach was
    held there each summer for a few years. I played a
    solo concert that is announced on this poster."

    http://www.jongibson.net/Posters1.html

    Art On The Beach 4: 1982 - Creative Time - Battery Park City Landfill


    "HUDSON RIVER GULLS" by David Saunders, 1982, steel rod.
    48" x 48"


    "LIZZIE & GAFFER HEXAM" by David Saunders, 1982, steel rod.
    60" x 432"

    http://www.davidsaunders.biz/1982-1.html


    Art on the Beach 6: 1984 - Creative Time - Battery Park City Landfill

    Eight collaborations by 32 artists (artist, architect, performer)
    July 7 - September 16, 1984
    Battery Park City Landfill


    Mac Adams, Henry Smith-Miller, Peter Gordon
    "Dead End" was an installation about a mysterious crime and consisted of
    a real automobile partially buried in a 120 foot trench.


    Kate Ericson, Juergen Riehm, Ellen Fisher
    "The Happy Hour" was a multi-media extravaganza which took place on a
    tropical oasis, expressed through a 150 foot by 150 foot section of bright
    green carpet located on the Northwest corner of the Landfill. A boat full of
    pirates arrived and disembarked with a treasure chest joining dancing palm
    trees, a sea horse, and elegant ladies and gentlemen sipping cocktails.


    Photo © 1984 Lona Foote
    Erika Rothenberg, Laurie Hawkinson, John Malpede
    "Freedom of Expression National Monument" was a giant megaphone pointed
    at the skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan, designed to counter the "sense of
    powerlessness" felt by ordinary people in an age of electronic blather.

    http://www.creativetime.org/programs...Art_Beach6.htm


    Art on the Beach 7: 1985 - Creative Time - Battery Park City Landfill

    June - September, 1985
    Battery Park City Landfill


    Dennis Adams and Nicholas Goldsmith
    "Podium for Dissent"


    Ann Magnuson, a performance and video artist, performed
    "All Hail the Lizard King" in which a split photographic image of
    Reagan with a sound system became a "soap-box"
    for Magnuson's satire.



    Photo © 1985 Lawrence Lesman
    Claudia Fitch
    "Eye of the Garden"



    Photo © 1985 Lawrence Lesman
    David Hammons
    "Delta Spirit"

    http://www.creativetime.org/programs...Art_beach7.htm

  4. #34
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    Building Towers Is One Thing, Burying Them Another


    Naja Productions/Spike TV
    Members of Local 40, an ironworkers’ union that helped in the cleanup of the World Trade Center,
    from the documentary “Metal of Honor.”

    NY TIMES
    By VIRGINIA HEFFERNAN
    September 5, 2006

    TV Review

    Almost as soon as the first eyewitness accounts of Sept. 11, 2001, in New York were published, some people complained that they were sick of personal stories. The stories might have seemed self-indulgent at the time, and not expansive or discursive enough for what was a national — even global — tragedy. But what did readers want? Editorials? Calls to arms?

    Well, now we’ve had all those, and more. And still the first-person accounts, in which individuals come to terms with what seemed like an apocalypse, stand as uniquely compelling, honest and illuminating.

    Tonight, in anticipation of the fifth anniversary of Sept. 11, Spike TV presents a team of men who had a particularly intimate and deeply felt reaction to the destruction of the World Trade Center: structural ironworkers. “Metal of Honor,” a film by Rachel Maguire, is simple and profound, a treatment of events grounded not in emotion or politics, but in the stubborn materiality of the attack on New York City.

    “The work’s dirty, but the money’s clean,” one ironworker says of his job. Also on camera is his colleague Paul Gaulden, a quietly heroic figure who helped build the Twin Towers, and then helped bury them. Before the program moves into a chronicle of the ground zero cleanup, several ironworkers remember the towers with awe. The two buildings, says one man, were “New York flexing its muscle.”

    For these men, for whom iron and steel are regularly an extension of their own strength, pride in the towers, together made of more than 200,000 tons of steel, seems like pride in their own bodies.

    “That was our steel,” says Tommy Harris, an ironworker. “That belonged to us.”

    Many of these men have skin that appears blistered and singed. In photographs of the aftermath, amid the smoldering mangled steel and body parts of what they call “the pile,” the ironworkers look like men working in hell.

    The ironworkers of course are not police officers, firefighters or soldiers; by entering the inferno, they nonetheless did what they saw as their civic, union and human duty. They are not used to working with body bags, and many break down.

    “It was like I was going to war,” says Jim Gaffney, a foreman.

    Mr. Harris also remembers the crowds that used to greet the men on their way to help with the clearing. The heyday of the unions seem to come back, briefly, as Mr. Harris recalls how he and his co-workers were cheered. “We ain’t no sports players, we ain’t no president, we ain’t no celebrities,” he says, shaking his head. “We just ironworkers from Local 40.”

    “I cried like a baby,” Mr. Harris concludes. “And it’s as simple as that.”

    Building on Ground Zero

    PBS
    The Tribute in Light for 9/11,
    from “Building on Ground Zero.”

    Nova’s white-collar take on the twin towers, “Building on Ground Zero,” lacks the simplicity and sincerity of Spike TV’s documentary. Beginning with the overwritten voice-over that labels the World Trade Center a “towering icon of American economic might,” PBS sticks close by W. Gene Corley, the aloof head of the engineering team that investigated the collapse of the towers. Graphics, charts and blueprints materialize; Mr. Corley and other engineers opine clinically.

    There’s no sobbing. Instead there’s talk of transfer girders, trusses, kinetic energy, progressive collapses and the precedent set by the destruction of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Okalahoma City. Once you give in to the program’s pointy-headedness, though, the pedantry is not worthless. We learn that the towers had, engineers say, no structural flaws that caused them to collapse.

    The hunt for flaws in the architecture of the buildings parallels the political and cultural self-scrutiny that’s gone on in the United States for five years. Did Americans have it coming? The answer the engineers arrive at is a relief: Nothing the architect or engineers could have done would have changed the outcome of 9/11.

    METAL OF HONOR
    The Ironworkers of 9/11

    Spike, tonight at 9, Eastern and Pacific times; 8, Central time.
    Filmmaker, Rachel Maguire.

    NOVA
    Building on Ground Zero

    PBS, tonight at 8; check local listings.
    Written and produced by Larry Klein. A BBC/WGBH, Boston, co-production.

    Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

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    "SOARING SPIRIT"

    Cover / John Mavroudis and Owen Smith

    September 11, 2006

    http://www.newyorker.com/

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    REFLECTIONS
    OLD COUNTRY

    THE NEW YORKER
    FIVE YEARS LATER

    Talk of the Town

    Issue of 2006-09-11
    Posted 2006-09-04

    There’s no knowing what place September 11th will occupy in our minds in another five or ten years, but the surprise just now is that so many of its persistent, recircling images are about age. How could it be, one still asks, that no Pentagon strategist or op-ed cogitator, at home with the kids on a weekend in the nineteen-nineties, ever noticed that tall, million-windowed downtown office buildings and a sky stuffed with tipping, X-winged planes are an endlessly inviting subject for a seven-year-old Crayola master, and that if the two themes accidentally overlapped somewhere on the page the kid needed only to add some orange, then purple and black and gray, to achieve a disaster? How is it that, in memory, those booted, hose-burdened firemen glancing back as they hurry toward their fatal tasks in the South Tower are always in their mid-twenties, while the terrified bystanders and survivors running toward us, minutes later, from out of a monstrous cloud wear the white makeup and ashen garments of a ghostly Kabuki ancestor? We already knew that history could age you and shake you up sometimes, but not this way: not like a pinscher with a rat.

    Those of us in our eighties or late seventies can still remember when this was called a young country (it was said all the time in school) and, if we lived in New York, retain the vision of earlier iconic towers—the Empire State, the Chanin Building, the George Washington Bridge—going up, week by week, to prove the point. The Depression and Pearl Harbor and Guadalcanal and Dachau and Hiroshima aged and toughened us, to be sure, but perhaps not as much as the History Channel would have it. In the early sixties—in our forties, that is—we suddenly cheered up when some historian noticed that the late, Massachusetts-born, white-mustachioed Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., who had served on the bench into the nineteen-thirties, had in his long lifetime shaken hands with John Quincy Adams and also our new incumbent, John F. Kennedy. How young we were, after all!

    None of us, no one in the world, holds such a notion today. Our United States feels as old as Tyre. Also anxious and bloodied; also short of sleep. What’s a shock, as this special September comes along, is that 9/11 is only five years back. Boys and girls born that spring and summer are entering kindergarten this year, and before they leave elementary school will have learned and tucked away the date in about the same place as Antietam and the typewriter and the Great Plague—that is, if they’re paying any attention at all. We worry about them, as elders do, but what we know about them that they don’t is that they are the older generation. Even while this ancient, inescapable irony dawns, we think back more often to a deceased parent or to a friend gone too early, to a favorite teacher or poet or departed doubles partner—anyone who died before September 11th—and wish ourselves that free again, and that young.


    — Roger Angell

    Copyright © CondéNet 2006

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    Another sign of these changed times since 5 years ago ...

    OEM Kicks Off National Preparedness Month
    By Passing Out Survival Brochures

    ny1
    by Bobby Cuza
    September 07, 2006

    Volunteers in each borough are handing out brochures Thursday to help New Yorkers prepare for emergencies as part of National Preparedness Month.

    The brochures, called "Ready New York," are full of tips dealing with both attacks and natural disasters. It describes three main things needed to survive an emergency: a household disaster plan, an emergency supply kit and a "go-bag," which would contain things you would need in the event of an evacuation.

    The Office of Emergency management is urging everyone to pay attention to the advice.

    The brochures are available in Union Square, at Brooklyn Borough Hall, the Bronx County Courthouse, Jamaica Center or at the Staten Island Ferry terminal.

    For more information visit www.nyc.gov/oem.

    NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.

    New Yorkers may be constantly aware of the terrorist threat, but that doesn't mean they've done anything to prepare.

    "I probably think I should [have an emergency plan]. I'm a procrastinator, so I'm probably the person that's going to be left running around," said one New Yorker.

    "I think actually when you have an emergency, the best thing to do is run," added another.

    Clearly the public can use some education, which is where the city's Office of Emergency Management comes in. To mark National Preparedness Month, city workers and volunteer groups trucked to all five boroughs Thursday, setting up information tables and handing out pocket guides like these, entitled "Ready New York," a tip sheet for surviving a disaster.

    "Probably the most important thing for families is to have a plan. And say, 'if something happens, this is how we get out; this is where we're going; this is where we'll meet; this is how we'll communicate with each other," said OEM Commissioner Joseph Bruno.

    "On 9/11, I couldn't get in touch with anybody. The phones didn't work, and I know after, we said, 'oh we should really come up with something for the next time,' and we didn't," said another New Yorker.

    The city also recommends keeping an emergency supply kit at home and a "go-bag" to take with you in the event of an evacuation. The awareness campaign began three years ago, but gets a renewed push every year at this time, though the issue isn't just terrorism. Disaster can take many forms.

    "There's no question that if people had done some preparation in Queens when we had the outage, they would have been better off," said Bruno. "When the heat wave came, they'd have been better off. When Ernesto hit us this weekend and they lost power in many parts of the city and beyond, if they had prepared and had some supplies, had that battery-powered radio, they would have been better off in dealing with the emergency."

    The city planned to hand out about 100,000 brochures Thursday. And there's a number of other events planned throughout the month, including an ad campaign you'll be seeing throughout September on city subways and buses.

    Copyright © 2006 NY1 News

  8. #38
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    OK, Everybody: Ready, Set ...

    Household Preparedness Guide



    OEM's Household Preparedness Guide takes an all-hazards approach to teaching New Yorkers emergency preparedness essentials.

    This guide was the first created in the Ready New York suite, and it outlines steps New Yorkers can take to prepare for all disasters. The Household Preparedness Guide is a comprehensive pamphlet that may be downloaded online or received by mail by calling 311.

    Click the icons below to link to the guide (in PDF) in English, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Haitian Creole, Arabic, Russian, Spanish, Polish, Korean, and Japanese.










    ***

  9. #39
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    All joking aside: that pamphlet ^^ is very comprehensive and, given the times we live in, we'd all be wise to pay attention and get some things in order.

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    I saw the Tribute in Light lit up last night. I wasn't expecting it and it was a bit startling - like seeing a ghost. It is the one memorial I really find touching (and appropriate).

  11. #41

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XTJ28veLn0

    Here is a video I made of that day

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by millertime83 View Post
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XTJ28veLn0

    Here is a video I made of that day
    ^ Wow dude that was really well made.

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    It is still so sad to watch. At least your video presents facts and real footage, unlike Disney/ABC's fictitious propaganda piece "The Path to 9/11."

  14. #44
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    Excellent work on that vid -- and oh so sad to watch ........

  15. #45
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    Photographer's Journal: Elegy for an Icon

    For decades, The Times's Keith Meyers took shots again and again of the twin towers.

    Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

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