Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The World Trade Center

The plaque on the Ground Zero cross.
7 World Trade Center being rebuilt.
The Ground Zero cross at St. Peter's Church.
The graveyard at St. Paul's Chapel.
1 World Trade Center being rebuilt. 
Looking down Church Street.
The area in the 1930s was known for it's radio-parts stores.
The twin towers.
This Sunday the twelfth will be one year since I've posted my first blog about the life and times of yours truly living in New York City, and, oddly enough, I've never even mentioned Ground Zero, the site of the city's biggest event, so I thought I'd give it a go. Actually, I think the name "Ground Zero" is practically never used anymore, because it looks like the city's actually making some progress. When I'm down there, its strange to see part of the Freedom Tower for real instead of just in CGI. (Forgive me, nobody is calling it the "Freedom Tower" anymore, either. That was just one of those terms that seemed to stir people's emotions shortly after 9/11, but nobody wants to call the building that FOREVER. World Trade Center 1 is a better fit.) That area remained a giant construction site for years, though. Like so many other places in the city, it was an inconvenient eye sore that stayed put while bureaucracy took over. But this September 11th will be the ten year anniversary, so suddenly everyone's rushing to get at least the memorial finished.

Plans to develop a World Trade Center in New York City were first suggested in the early 1940s, but the city's economic growth was concentrated in Midtown Manhattan, around the city's most striking skyscrapers. But by the early sixties, prominent businessman David Rockefeller suggested a new center in Lower Manhattan to promote urban renewal. Previously, the area had been somewhat neglected. Small antique shops lined the streets, and it was the center of the radio repair trade, with such prominent radio-part businesses as Heins and Bolet. Its hard to believe that there was once a time not too long ago where when you bought something, you kept it for life. That mentality, in a way rather regretfully, seems pretty far removed from how the vast majority of Americans live today. But it's also a result of progress, technology building upon itself at such a rapid rate that most people wonder if they can keep up ... myself included. How about a computer or a phone that doesn't go out of date in a year? I still use my phone to call people and talk to them (what a concept) and I'm sure my computer is a few years out of date but by God it gets the job done! (And by "the job", I mean departing this gem of a blog to you my readers. You're welcome.)

Anyway, I'm rambling. The twin towers, when completed in 1973, were the tallest buildings in the world, and despite their ugliness and plainness that everyone always criticized them for (I would've too if I had even been that aware of the city's landmarks back then), they were a pretty impressive testament to the city's industry. Like everyone else, I remember where I was that morning -- in my college dorm room at New Paltz, and, like most of us, it was the most unreal thing I'd ever witnessed. To this day I sometimes find it kind of absurd that these hijackers actually pulled it off. It also feels good to finally say the U.S. got Bin Laden, but I never would've thought it would take almost ten years.

Anyhow, I took a few pictures and started to take the long walk back up to the Upper East Side. In the quest to lose a few pounds and reacquaint myself with an active lifestyle, I've been trying to take these long walks around the city more. I headed north through the narrow streets of TriBeCa and SoHo, and up toward First Avenue, past Bellevue and the U.N., even briefly running for a block or two. Boy were my dogs barking, but you know me ... eye of the tiger!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Right here New York City Blog,
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