12.21.2009

Manhattan Christmas Eve (x)

We continued around the western side of the site, walking along the edge of Battery Park City. Sue pointed out One World Financial Center and said that a college classmate had worked there. It was one of the parameter buildings that had suffered the ripping and tearing of falling debris.

As we continued through World Financial Plaza along the Hudson’s riverbank, we could look back across the site at the tall facades of the buildings all along the eastern edge of the site. The fenced off sections of the park along the North Cove Yacht Harbor, where all the benches are and the shrubbery was, looked like a ghost town. It was a place that should be full of people having brown bagged lunches, reading the paper, soaking a little sun before returning to the office. Seems as if they were just there and now they are gone. Like a ghost town.

We paused at Murray Avenue contemplating whether to catch a bus back uptown or to continue walking. The ancient the Cathedral of Commerce that is the Woolworth Building gleamed in the late morning sunlight as it has for over eighty years. Another church saved from the destruction. Across the Hudson we could see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. In the midst of the destruction here were these well known and long enduring symbols, so big as to send a clear message to the whole world and yet able to make that message special to each individual.

Lee ran off down Murray Avenue in search of a photograph. We waited a couple of minutes and then followed him. We met up and saw that we were now on the north side of the site and should just continue back to Broadway and complete our circumnavigation of the site.

[an essay in 13 parts from Pablo Notes, 2001]

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