August 20th, 2002.

New York.
An unfinished 'Meanwhile.'

The following article was left unfinished and unedited and should be read as such. Notes can be found below the article.

So I went to New York City. It was the briefest of brief trips, really just one afternoon, and as it turned out a damn hot one at that!

The real reason for my trip down to NYC was to go to 'ground zero', the former site of the twin towers. Being a skyscraper nut I had wanted to go up those towers since I was a young boy. I got to stand on the roof of one of the towers two years ago, an event that I caught on video. The whole experience was awesome. Those towers were truly enormous in every sense of the word, huge great towers that you had to see with your own eyes to appreciate just how big they were.

After what the Americans now refer to as "9-11" and the complete destruction of those towers I had wanted to revisit NYC. As strange as it sounds I wanted to humanize the fact that the towers were gone. Like everyone else I've seen the TV footage time and time again, but I wanted to put that into context for myself. Going to New York City was the only way I would be able to do that.

Of course nearly a year after the events of September 11th, the whole Ground Zero site is a well-organized building site. A fact that made the whole experience seem a little strange to me. It was very hard to visualize the twin towers standing in that massive construction footprint. It just seemed so 'matter of fact'.

Only the still apparent destruction of surrounding buildings gave you any glimpse of the devastation this had caused in reality. I looked into an abandoned basement office of one building. Filing cabinets and boxes still on the shelves, a desk, and chair sitting on the edge of a shattered floor still covered in cement dust.

The outside of this now boarded up and abandoned building was scared with huge holes and gashes. Whole walls and floors were missing, leaving exposed metal beams bent like wire twists on a sandwich bag.

Around the corner the human factor of the tragedy of that day was evident. The wall of St Paul's church was covered from top to bottom with pictures of the 'lost' accompanied by poems, notes, and stories. Eventually, all this stuff will be cleared up, but for now, this is New Yorks unofficial memorial site, standing in what would have been the shadow of the towers that are now gone.

I don't know what I expected from this experience. I am still taking in what I saw as compared to what I used to know. Right now I almost feel like New York has cleared up the mess and got on with the job of being the center of the capitalist world. And where nearly a year ago a building was crushed to dust and 3000 people were murdered, people were selling DVDs, postcards, pictures, books and T-Shirts with a 9-11 theme. A twisted irony of the rampant commercialism that drove an extreme terrorist group to carry out those attacks in the first place.

--- Article Notes ---

Time of death : Not specified
This was originally an email to a friend that I planned to publish as a Meanwhile. In the end I never did because I wrote a reflective article about 9/11 and published it a year after the event itself, just a couple of weeks after this was written.