New York Daily Photo Analytics

Friday, August 26, 2011

First, Last, and Only Patient




Time flies, and nothing better illustrates that in New York City than the realization that it has been 10 years since 9/11. It seems much more recent.

I go to Ground Zero very infrequently - progress and visible change have been very slow. The entire project of rebuilding was mired in controversy and battles, right from the initial design phase. Authority and control of the design and construction have been jockeyed around. Through various negotiations and contortions, the reconstruction is now overseen by architectural firm Studio Daniel Libeskind, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Silverstein Properties, and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.

I visited recently on a drizzly, foggy evening and saw the current state of One World Trade Center, which will rise to 1362 feet, the height of the original South Tower. An antenna will rise to the height of 1,776 feet, symbolizing the year in which the United States Declaration of Independence was signed. The completion date is 2013.

Like many, I have my own distinct memory of what I was doing on the day and time of the attack. My home has unobstructed south views to the tower, but I did not look out my window that morning, as I was rushing to a dental appointment for a root canal.

On my way to the subway entrance at Waverly Place, I saw a number of people staring south. As I looked down 6th Avenue towards the World Trade Center, I saw smoke pouring from the North Tower minutes after it was hit. Not knowing the severity of the disaster, I descended to the subway. When I arrived at 57th Street and my dental procedure began, I watched the horror on a TV monitor which my endodontist had mounted for his patients. I occasionally tugged on his shirt to direct his attention to the TV screen as various incidents in the disaster unfolded.

Soon, it was evident that this was a monumental, unprecedented event in American history. Remarkably, my dentist remained focused on the exacting procedure throughout, including when the Pentagon was hit. When I suggested that perhaps many patients would cancel, he told me that his staff had already cancelled all appointments for the day. I was his first, last, and only patient…

Related Posts: Veterans Memorial Pier, It Behooves One, Post-9/11 World, Little Lady Liberty, FDNY

11 comments:

Karen said...

I guess none of us will be able to forget where we were when it happened. I too can remember all the details of my day that day. When my receptionist called me just shortly after the first plane hit I was in complete disbelief that something like that could ever happen in New York. Even though I'm from Canada and was on the other side of the continent it made me cry. I still cry every year and tear up when I think about it. As for the plans for the site and the controversy, what would be right? But you can't just leave a hole in the heart of a city. What could ever be appropriate or right for the site and what it represents? I think that's the toughest part for everyone. I will definitely visit the site next time I'm down.

s.c said...

I don't know why but love the stairs most. But all pictures are great.

Mary P. said...

Karen's right on.

Rosilee said...

Thanks for sharing this with us, the photos are great.
I was on Vancouver Island that day visiting my brother and his family when we heard that shocking news.

time traveler said...

I recall vividly my angry emotions..Within the first half hour after the attack I decided I wanted to go back in the Marines and get some of the people that saw fit to kill so many innocent people..I was not only disappointed but kind of rudely awaken when I was told I was to old to reenlist!!..MAN...

Daniel said...

I´m from Sweden, Stockholm, but here in Sweden we are generally very americanized so we care a lot when something like this happened.

It was afternoon in Sweden when the planes hit. I was sitting at my desk in a office landscape and heard someone say something a couple of desks away. A bunch of us gathered around a computer and all the news sites in Sweden was clogged. None of us could believe it. About ten of us decided to leave the office and rush across the street to a bar which had a TV. And we sat there watching the planes hit. It was so surreal. I still cry when I see those people falling from the top of the building.

Cheri said...

I am from Oklahoma and I remember when the first tower was hit so vividly because we had been through that with the Murrah Building. I love the second tower photo, it is a little haunting. Cheri

Karen said...

To add to my original post, I'm in Civil Engineering and New York is the ultimate example of ingenuity. The skyscrapers of New York, Central Park and the public works projects across America during the Great Depression inspire me every day. When I hear the interviews of the hard working trades people that are working on the project and the pride they feel in rebuilding part of America it makes me happy. I try to think of that instead of the awful images the news posted of the citizens in the terrorist countries cheering and celebrating during the attacks. Nothing will ever break the American spirit!

fz6sirius said...

Still today I feel the horror of that day in my skin every time that I remeber the facts.
That morning I not wachted tv in all the morning, when finally I put the Tv I can see one of the towers burning. At first I thought that was a film, too real, the commentator was silent, I couldn't understand what I was watching. Few minuts later I could hear that the person that was talking was the commentator of the news, my brain stopped abrutly, it was real, it wasn't a film.
Later Madrid was attacked for the same people.
I hope it don't hapen never again.

Lucy said...

It seems like a lifetime ago. NYC and everything has changed so much since then. It will be a big adjustment to incorporate these new building(s) into the skyline.

Glad you remain energized to keep documenting all the details of the city's changes as framed through your personal experiences.

Goggla said...

Beautiful shots of the towers in progress. I've avoided the entire area all this time, but I can see the towers going up from my office window. I had no idea they were so tall already. You've inspired me to go down there the next time it gets foggy. :)