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View Diary: The WTC as I knew it (12 comments)

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  •  I remember the WTC under construction (4+ / 0-)

    In 1977, my morning commute consisted of the 7 and 6 trains downtown, followed by a two-block walk to the WTC, followed by the PATH train to Newark. On my way home at the end of the day I frequently stopped to go shopping in the underground mall there. From 1979 to 1980 it's where I headed at the end of my work day so I could get a seat on a Queens-bound E train.

    I'm not sure the last time I was actually IN the WTC; sometime in the early 80's visiting from DC with my ex we took the elevators to the observation deck and then went to gawk at the entry to Windows on the World.

    On this day in 2001, after arriving from Boston the evening  before I was visiting a friend in Lindenhurst, NY.

    •  Your description (3+ / 0-)
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      kishik, sfbob, BlackSheep1

      is exactly what I see when I close my eyes: the underground mall; the yawning escalator swallowing people like a human waterfall down to the PATH train; the observation deck, where you could stand so close to the windows that you could see straight down to the ground. Glad you were no closer than Lindenhurst that day.

      Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead. ~K. Vonnegut

      by Greek Goddess on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 09:43:47 AM PDT

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    •  ah.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Greek Goddess, BlackSheep1

      my father worked at 20 West Broadway when I was a kid, and I remember him complaining about the construction because it limited parking space in that area!  I vaguely remember driving around this huge area before construction began, but after things were demolished because there was so much empty space. But don't remember seeing the buildings going up because by then, my father wasn't working downtown anymore.

      All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

      by kishik on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 09:55:34 AM PDT

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    •  I vistied NYC often during construction... (0+ / 0-)

      My girlfriend was in Art College in Manhattan and each visit to her I would see the WTC construction progress as they climbed upwards...

      And then one memorable night in the early hours near Christmas the year the towers topped out... while driving around lower Manhattan in a VW microbus (under the chemical influence of something "spiritual")... we were on the west side highway drawing level with the WTC... it was a full moon and the WTC lobbies had large, bright and colorful Christmas decorations...

      I insisted we stop immediately right then and there opposite... And then urged the driver to let me open the roof of the Minibus so that we could look up to the top of the towers since we were so close to the buildings we could not really see the tops and the moon...
      And it was worth it... from our vantage looking almost straight up through the roof opening the Full moon was over the two towers in a dramatic and beautifully eerie way... a stark clear cold night and the towers were stunning in the moonlight...  it took my breath away. We were alone on that road staring up in the night speechless for a little while. That beautiful image and feeling has remained with me ever since.

      In another year or two I went up to the observation deck and thoroughly enjoyed the view on a clear day... spending a good hour or so just gazing in the distance and at NYC... Inside the top level below there was a mural or poster with very optimistic predictions for the near future of science and technology etc... I copied them down and have them somewhere still... from what I can recall pretty much all of them have still not come to pass (lunar colonies, Cetacean languages decoded etc.)

      Those who brought down the towers also attacked the  optimism, aspirations and dreams the list embodied; by extension all the wider dreams of what mankind might achieve. But those dreams or the spirit of them live on in so many other ways while we live in a world that achieved things the creators of that list could never have imagined.. both wonderful and horrible... pushing the boundaries of the possible and the amazing while held back and dogged by the past and the darker sides of our natures.

      But for me all the optimism and wonder that the building and that mural represented still endures in the world and is forever linked to the feeling I had looking up to the full moon over the newly completed towers that cold winter's night in the early 70s... That will stay with me always.

      Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

      by IreGyre on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 02:01:06 AM PDT

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