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This will always be my New York.

October 2000
This was a skyline that represented so much to so many people.  It was my New York.  I photographed it as I saw it every day, many times a day, for three years.  This view was as common to me as my own reflection in a mirror, and, at least in my perception, a million times more beautiful.  Often I would walk or drive by it and completely ignore it.  On nice days, I would sit on the pier at lunch with my work friends, eating folded slices of Telly’s pizza, chatting with the women and flirting with the men, paying no mind to the city behind me.  But while I was in the city, it was my playground.  I didn't waste a moment as soon as I stepped off the subway.  Everyone has their own New York.  That was my New York.

Like my reflection, the skyline was something with which I could peacefully coexist, met most often with casual indifference, and encountering only the occasional frustration.  The moments of glory were the most memorable; like my reflection dressed up for a special event, the skyline sometimes would take on a photogenic evening of beauty.  Those were the moments where I would really look at it, try to see in windows, think about the people so high up who occupied those illuminated upper levels.  What were they doing up there, so late?  What were their lives like?  Did they live in the city, or just work?  With all those people over there, how could it be so quiet on the pier, so nearby?  Where did the voices go?

This anniversary gets a little more strange for me every year, because I grow so much farther removed from my city life as I evolve.  I always run through the sequence of events in my head as I experienced them.  I remember the days that followed, as I carried on a life that I barely remember now, supported by people I rarely if ever communicate with today.  But there’s one thing that remained the same over the first ten anniversaries: the skyline.

This year, eleven years after my view was changed forever, the skyline is evolving again.  What they’re constructing is entirely different from what collapsed in 2001, and I like the idea of a new silhouette.  I feel a nudge of guilt for never visiting the grounds after the towers fell, but I’m not the kind of person who materializes memories.  I never wanted to see the empty hole because it wasn't my New York.  The next time I’ll visit 2 World Trade Center will be after the completion of the new tower. 

I already feel connected to it.  It’s changed so much, and so have I.


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