Saturday, September 22, 2001

Memories of WTC

Memories of WTC

Last spring, while I was buying an Italian ice on the corner of Chambers and Greenwich, a woman walked up to me and asked, "Where is the World Trade Center?" Instead of answering, I turned my head and slowly looked up. And up.

"Oh." She'd followed my gaze.

During the winter an eight-year-old friend and I bought ice cream at the new Ben & Jerry's in the mall under WTC. We wandered, looking in the stores. Our cones done, we wanted to throw away our trash--but there were no trash containers. The kid finally took our rubbish into a fast-food place and gave it to a worker there, who told him that there were no trash cans for fear of bombs that could be placed in them.

That same eight-year-old and I liked to sit and watch the fountain in the outdoor courtyard at WTC. It was great: low, with spreading water falling gently over a circular, dark, probably marble, two-foot edge.

The last time I went to the observation deck was with the kid, too. We saw the replica of Captain Cooke's ship Endeavor anchored just a short walk away. Down we went, and over to the ship, where we looked up, back to where we had been.

The first time I went up in the building was thirty years ago, when people were first being allowed to visit. The interiors of the floors I visited were still empty, just floors, windows, and ceilings, and electrical boxes sitting here and there where interior walls would be installed. The view was tremendous, but I did not care for the building.

Now I miss it.

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