Presentation on theme: "March 16, 2002 New York’s 2001 Disaster By a Brooklyn Resident."— Presentation transcript:
March 16, 2002 New York’s 2001 Disaster By a Brooklyn Resident
Preview of Images in this show After September 11th, I put up the following pages and pictures for family and friends who wanted to know what it was like to be in New York on that day. There were originally twenty pages. I added another eight pages a few weeks later.
9.30 am -- This was the view from our living room window in Brooklyn, looking west to Manhattan, about 20 minutes after the second strike. It seems hard to believe now, but I didn't realize anything had happened until I was leaving for work. I walked into the bedroom to turn off the radio and heard the announcer say something about an airplane hitting a building. I turned on the TV and saw an image of the World Trade Center, turned my head and saw the same image out the window.
9.30 am -- A closer view at the same time. The buildings above the brown roofline are the only ones in Manhattan visible from our window. The towers were much taller than anything else on the horizon.
10:00 am -- I rode my bike to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, which is the closest point to the waterfront other than the docks below. The old ships are anchored at the South Street Seaport just in front of the FDR Expressway. The bridges and tunnels had all been closed by now.
10:00 am -- A wide-angle view from the Promenade
10:10 am -- I started riding toward downtown Brooklyn. A couple of minutes later, I heard people shouting and saw them running toward the Promenade. By the time I rode back, the first tower had collapsed. The edge of the standing tower is on the right, covered in smoke.
10.30 am -- With both towers down, the smoke kept getting thicker, blowing toward Brooklyn.
10.45 am -- Before long, all of southern Manhattan was obscured by smoke and dust. The last things to disappear were the two old sailing ships in the middle of the picture. For a moment, it almost could have been a scene from 200 years ago.
3 pm -- Much to my surprise, the pedestrian walkway alongside the Manhattan Bridge was still open later that afternoon. I rode across and took this picture at about halfway. The Brooklyn Bridge is in the foreground, and the old Woolworth Building on the extreme right.
3.30 pm -- At the Manhattan end of the Manhattan Bridge, looking south.
3.30 pm -- Another view from the same spot, with the Woolworth Building on the right.
3.30 pm -- The smoke was more obvious with the sun lower in the sky. The shafts of light were actually quite beautiful. With everything so quiet, it seemed almost peaceful on the east side of Manhattan.
4 pm -- There were police cars everywhere, most of them covered in dust like this.
4 pm -- Looking south down Broadway from Canal Street. This would normally be packed with cars.
4 pm -- Another view looking down Broadway, with cabs being redirected left onto Houston Street. In the DKNY banner on the building at left, you can see the twin towers in the 'N'. It really struck me how much of an icon those towers are, how so many times in the future we'll see them in old movies, photographs, magazines; a punctuation mark at the end of the skyline sillhouette, a familiar face in the neighborhood that just disappeared one day.
4.30 pm -- Underneath the Brooklyn Bridge near Pace University. The cars and road are covered in a fine white dust.
4.30 pm -- Underneath the bridge again. This is about one half-mile from the towers, and there was paper everywhere. I saw memos, pages from a manual, an article about securities, and bits of daytimers and calendars like this one.
4.30 pm -- Pace University with the Woolworth Building in the background. Most of the sky was clear by now, with one giant plume blowing toward Brooklyn.
4.30 pm -- Another view from the same location.
The subtlest change in New York is something people don't speak much about but that is in everyone's mind. The city, for the first time in its long history, is destructible. A single flight of planes no bigger than a wedge of geese can quickly end this island fantasy, burn the towers, crumble the bridges, turn the underground passages into lethal chambers, cremate the millions. The intimation of mortality is part of New York now: in the sound of jets overhead, in the black headlines of the latest edition. All dwellers in cities must live with the stubborn fact of annihilation; in New York the fact is somewhat more concentrated because of the concentration of the city itself, and because, of all targets, New York has a certain clear priority. In the mind of whatever perverted dreamer might loose the lightning, New York must hold a steady, irresistible charm. It used to be that the Statue of Liberty was the sign-post that proclaimed New York and translated it for all the world. Today Liberty shares the role with Death. Along the East River, from the razed slaughterhouses of Turtle Bay, as though in a race with the spectral flight of planes, men are carving out the permanent headquarters of the United Nations -- the greatest housing project of them all. In its stride, New York takes on one more interior city, to shelter, this time, all governments, and to clear the slum called war.