What shall we use to fill the empty spaces?

I took this picture what seems a thousand years ago, when I was still a lad and my father was working on the 72nd floor of the Empire State Building. (You could actually just walk over and open the widows like they were the little sliver of a bathroom window in your apartment.) At the time it was just a bad photograph. Not quite perfectly exposed, not quite perfectly framed. A couple of buildings and a shroud of thick fog. Fwap! Onto the pile. But now? Well, with that whole “buildings in heaven” look it got going on perhaps it’s found a new relevance?

Dear big bro,
My office unfortunately or fortunately, i have not yet decided on the fortune of the situation, will in January be moving to 7 World Trade Plaza. This is somewhat creepy and daunting, a bit patriotic if the symbolism is dwelled upon, unsettling, and for me quite significant historically, but any hoo..

The offices of many city/state employees are being moved to fill up the rental space of the towers plaza, which is nearly 2/3 filled by private companies, AMEX is one, the others escape me.

See Mr. Pataki made a deal with that Silverman fellow to fill the building with staties to generate funds for the rebuilding project.

An aside; Said rebuilding project blasting commenced a few weeks ago just before the crane operators union went on strike demanding more than their $80hrly package, thus shutting the project down for a bit.

My gripe lies similarly to yours. Harlem is now being retailed as the location for luxury condos. Fucking HARLEM! Million dollar places next to housing projects. Not that housing projects shouldn’t be there, or that the degrees of separation from rich to poor should stretch many avenues, but think of the capital investment to make such a thing happen. Harlem can be revamped by the rich businessmen of which you referenced, but our prestigious towers, our right and left financial middle fingers sticking up towards Mr. Bin Laden and his associates can not be erected even above the curb level. Game over? 0 lives left?

Remember the effort to mount our Statue of Liberty on its base? If you do not here goes it: France built the statue, sent her over, we were supposed to create a base. It was costly. NY citizens donated pennies at a time to raise money for the construction of the base, PENNIES damn it. And it was built, on the shoulder of NY charity. And that was charity for a received gift, I would imagine revenge, pride, prestige, and most importantly spite could raise some charity to build our towers.
Instead we will put NYC workers in danger, whos wages taxes pay for, and whos office rent, also afforded by tax payers will subsiquently pay for the rebuilding of our limping, crutched monument to a globalized marketplace, controlled largely in part by NYC. Odd.

posted on 07.13 at 02:22 PM.

Yep, been there, at least in the last year. Empty pit with a fence. Subway station reopened, made a big deal about that. Al Gore notes in his movie that if Greenland melts, that hole will have twenty feet of water in it.

I figure it was a bit like this in the Roman Empire after about 300 AD when the Empire gradually became a two-bit ramshackle operation, getting sacked and shrunk and beaten regularly by tribes like the Visigoths who were only in the West becuase they were on the run from even tougher tribes, when it all started slipping through the Romans’ fingers and they couldn’t even maintain what was already built.

DeWitt Clinton would cane Giuliani bloody, and Pataki and Silverstein and Bush too, cane them like the hooligans and delinquents they are.

posted on 07.14 at 12:36 AM.

Beautiful shot.  It’s amazing how the meaning of photographs can change over time.

I have a snapshot of my grandparents, taken more than ten years ago at their fortieth wedding anniversary party along the river in Brooklyn.  The Twin Towers loom large in the background.  My grandparents have since passed away, and the photo itself has become a eerie memento of places and people now gone from my life.

posted on 07.14 at 01:10 PMMatt

No offence meant, Jaime, but aren’t you a bit overreacting here?

I mean, aren’t you using the Twin Towers aftermath to express your political ideas and bias against NY mayor and Bush administration? Is it fair considering the suffering and horror of the whole thing (including still buried victim bodies, as far as I know)?

I’m sure that if, 10 years ago, you were faced with a twin towers concept you’d have said: ‘bullshit’. And now you can’t wait for that Freedom Project? I reckon Manhattan needs thousand offices for the sake of business, but what’s all that high rise craze? Remember Buckminster Fuller’s dome project over Manhattan Island? There are alternatives.

I can understand the pain in the heart of a New Yorker. I’d be careful though not to use it as a mean for political purposes.

posted on 07.18 at 03:23 PM.

Bias? *Bias*? If one is not permitted to be biased against truly bad things and people, then one may as well be permitted no opinion at all; and while Giuliani is really only rather bad, Bush is so bad that.. well…. he’s the turd in the punchbowl, okay? He’s so bad that he engenders disbelief. Who would defecate into the common punchbowl at a party? What manner of enormity and perversion would make someone commit such a deed? Nevertheless, there he floats, daring us to remove him.

And to think! To think that a third of the people at the party continue to sip and praise the subtle, musky flavor. Are you, Laurent, one of that third, that coprophilic minority? And is it really so, that the mere third would force their odd taste on the rest, and force us to drink also, and praise?

Here is the sign of mass insanity, that you may know it: when the mad are the ones in power, deciding who is sane; and the sane are called mad and locked up. For instance, wherever there’s a war starting, at least one of the nations (the aggressor) is in the grip of mass insanity.

Who’s for punch?

posted on 07.18 at 06:52 PM.

No offense taken Laurent, but no I don’t think I was overreacting actually. If Sept 11th hadn’t been propped up as the symbol for every bit of duplicitous and questionable business which took place afterward in this country then I’d shrug and say, yeah maybe. But as it stands any discussion of Ground Zero can not be without a political aspect, that’s what the whole damned thing is about, politics, and that’s the reason why the empty hole pisses me off so much. The fact that all these years later it remains a hole in the ground shows quite clearly the reality behind all the rhetoric.

As for skyscrapers, I don’t give a crap about them. My point is simply that the Freedom Tower plans are pathetic and ugly and flawed and compromised at every turn, and that at this point I’d much rather look down town and see the Towers again. I also happen to think that if our reaction as a country were to rebuild them immediately it would have been a far stronger symbol of strength and pride than all that we have done while that hole remains a hole.

posted on 07.18 at 07:31 PMjmorrison

One of John Cage’s mottos was: ‘No government is the best government’. I guess he took that from a Transcendentalist like Thoreau or Emerson. In an 1987 interview he said ‘Reagan is the best president because he’s the worst’. He meant that the people will go so pissed off by politics that they’ll reckon the urge to get rid of it. I wouldn’t get rid of any government but I’d happily do without politicians.
I appreciate Tom Buckner’s hilarious diatribe but ultimately he is into politics, so for me he misses the point.
I can’t actually imagine re-build Twin Towers shortly after 9/11. This is utopia.

posted on 07.19 at 02:39 AM.

Actually, I am not into politics; I hate politics and would smash politics forever. Only if you have had a toothache or a kidney stone can you grasp my feelings toward politics. Wailing in unremitting pain from an abscessed tooth, the suffer speaks of nothing else: but nobody would mistake that focus for enthusiasm.

If I had the power I would immediately institute a demarchic system; my version of I call the Random Mandarin system. Nobody would rum for office; it would be random choice, as in jury duty. Any attempt to rig the system should have the same legal penalty as murder. Loonies and morons would be excluded by testing; extreme views would be represented, but only in the portion they appear in the population. Unix geeks and hackers would be in charge of figuring out any security flaws in the system and getting rid of them.

While I’m at it, I’d tax the churches, legalize drugs, nationalize health care, abolish a lot of corporations, and arrest anyone caught not having sex in public.

posted on 07.19 at 06:52 AM.

Are you french?

posted on 07.19 at 09:14 AM.

I pledge allegiance to the dreamjokenation of dada, and to the anarchy for which it stands; one planet, under no dogma, with bicycles and absinthe for all. And never forget: it is unwise to feltch a rhinoceros.

posted on 07.19 at 08:36 PM.

I keep coming back to stare at this mesmerizing picture.

posted on 07.24 at 08:25 AMmisteraitch

Very amazing picture, even more so now than ever!

posted on 08.04 at 02:59 PMTegl

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