911: A Foundation to Remember

World Trade Center September 11, 2014

World Trade Center September 11, 2014

911 is an odd day in New York City. Police and fire fighters are out in full regalia, making the city look strong, more New York. But there is a weight, a weight people in the city have learned to bear. They move quietly, stoic, to their work, everyone already weary. The respect for the moment is intense and religious, as is the fear that something will happen again.

Construction of the slurry wall at the World Trade Cente, without which the city would have been flooded, was supervised by Arturo Lamberto Ressi di Cervia.

Construction of the slurry wall at the World Trade Cente, without which the city would have been flooded, was supervised by Arturo Lamberto Ressi di Cervia.

Christmas Card…with a stinger

I wish you a Merry Christmas. I wish you merry Christmas. I wish you a Merry Christmas. And a Happy New Year. 

Moon and World Trade Lit as a Christmas Tree

Moon and World Trade Centre lit as a Christmas Tree

Good tidings I bring to you and your kin.  Good tidings for Christmas. And a Happy New Year.

Construction Boots as Mistletoe

Construction Boots as Mistletoe

Bring me some figgy pudding. Oh bring me some figgy pudding. Oh bring me some figgy pudding. And a cup of good cheer.

Man Sleeping in Brooklyn Bridge Subway on Christmas Eve

Man Sleeping in Brooklyn Bridge Subway on Christmas Eve

I won’t go until I get some. So bring some out here. Good tidings I bring to you and your kin. Good tidings for Christmas. And a Happy New Year.

Empire State Building as Rudolph the Red-Nosed reindeer

Empire State Building as Rudolph the Red-Nosed reindeer

Ode to the New York Subway

This isn’t in praise of the system, certainly not the cleanliness nor service, but rather a sentimental rumination on the aesthetics of industry and decay. The water stains and hanging wires, the rats chasing garbage, scurrying over carcasses of each other. It’s like art, something true. There’s the silence, the distant footsteps and then vibrations and the approaching train, coming and suddenly there, not yours but the express, flashing past the steel pillars, thick and black. It’s strangely idyllic, a place of calm and respite, the traffic and weather above, the air from the tunnel rising up, the train coming at last out of the dark air and dirt. The conductors wear protective glasses – for the grit and abuse – and might hold the train for the switch from local to express, but then seem to prefer the opposite. It’s just a game. I took the E train on a late-night trip from World Trade Center to Jamaica Center and back again. It was full at times – leaving Manhattan and into Queens – and empty too – coming back from Jamaica at 1:30am. I woke, the train idle in the station, half of the shiny blue slippery benches filled with people not going anywhere. I’ve been kicked – hard and with intent – and stood idle after a brute of a man jumped onto the train, having punched another – hard and with intent – and all of us stood there, quiet, eyes averted, complicit. It’s something deep, the furnace of this city, the noise and quiet, the dark and roar, the rush and the emptiness again.