The one on the left was taken on the 11th at about 9:20. the one on the right a day later.
Last thursday night my friend Woobie and I sat on my roof and admired this exact view of the Towers. Of course, that was when they were still there.
The other night, the 10th, Dylan rented 'Deep Impact', that kind of crummy but entertaining comet-hits-the-earth movie. We cheered when the tidal wave hits lower Manhattan. Interesting.
We certainly were not cheering 12 hours later.
While watching the towers burn from my roof we all (my neighbors, my roommate Dylan, the guys who drive the fruit trucks that park next to my building and myself) believed that the worst was past. We wondered, out loud, how one would go about extinguishing two simultaneous fires burning in adjacent 110 story buildings. But we knew that someone was taking care of it. There was a plan of some sort and as terrible and gigantic a thing as the plane crashes and ensueing fires were it was still as bad as it would get. When the first tower went down we realised that we had been mistaken.
Just after the first tower went down one of the fruit truck drivers, who had been providing provocative commentary through the whole thing, said "that shit is thiiird wooooooooooorld.".
I only took a few pictures while they burned. I realised that even without me taking pictures it was probably the single most photographed event in the history of humankind. It was certainly designed, timed and implemented with that in mind.
Dylan and I sat around the apartment for most of the day, watching the same sets of footage over and over and over again, mouths open, dumbfounded. I imagine most of the world is going to be seeing these same images forever. Think of how many times you have seen JFK get shot or the challenger explode. I am pretty sure that for staying power this has both of those beat. At one point I ate a bowl of Apple Jacks and felt awful about it; a mile and a half from where I sat there were people trapped beneath thousands of tons of rubble and theres me eating cereal.
I don't have cable and there was only one NY television station broadcasting. All the other transmitters were on top of the north tower. I am not sure but I suspect that the one that was not on the WTC was not on the tower intentionally. Just in case.
Later on in the afternoon I went to sort of hang out with some other friends of mine. It seemed important to be with other people. The subway was already running again. When I got to their neighborhood (farther south and west in Brooklyn than I live) I realised that they were exactly downwind from the fires. There was a thin coating of ash on everything, the air smelled like a trashfire and there were many many pieces of paper in the air and on the street. There were some kids riding their razor scooters around, giggling like little madmen. I was glad to see them.
Yesterday, the 12th, I came to work. I was the only person on the entire floor for most of the day. Everything up in midtown, where I work, was quiet and slow. Today is more or less back to a semblance of normalcy
If you start hiding how do you know when to stop?
The U.S. of A. is going to mess someone up but good. And perhaps rightfully so. We have been attacked, viciously, in a way that will never allow us to feel quite so safe again and we are, I suspect, each and every one of us scared and sad and very very angry. However, we need to keep in mind that killing innocent people in some other country will not bring back the innocent people that we lost on tuesday. Remember, also, that the Gulf War (for instance) was supposed to at the very least oust Saddam Hussein from power. Well, that all started ten years ago, many thousands of Iraqi civilians have since been killed and yet ol' Saddam is still in power. He even expressed his condolences to the American people in these dark times.
Again: The U.S. of A. is going to mess someone up but good. We are a country that historically has been prone to harsh military action. We are a country that historically has benefitted economically from war, and we are economically in a position that could use some benefitting. We are led by a man who has clearly shown, through words and actions, that he is willing to kill people (see his astounding execution record as governer of Texas).