Thursday into Friday

It’s been awhile since a new posting, huh?

– Tuesday was Insane Commute Day, as New Yorkers endured with the pouring rain of the remnants of Hurrican Frances (in a short interval) flooded subways. Massive delays. A 45-minute commute took… 2 hours. N/M/R/D line not working? Can I get the F train? No, the platform’s too crowded and no train’s coming for at least 20 minutes. They’d say that the IRT’s working – but, how the hell does one get to the IRT when the N/M/R/D line can’t even get you the IRT line (even though one is a mere two local stops away… if only the stalled train can move…) and one can walk faster than the buses… Fortunately, it’s all better now. ‘Nuff said. (not like I want to go into greater detail on the trauma)…

— Today’s NY Times had some interesting stuff:
– Article on the litigation involving or regarding 9/11: “In Nation’s Courtrooms, Wounds From 9/11 Persist.” Writer Leslie Eaton closes poignantly:

Many 9/11 lawsuits have been disposed of this year, decided by judges or settled by plaintiffs and defendants. But history suggests that others may be around for a decade or longer.

After all, earlier this year a State Supreme Court justice refused to dismiss negligence claims against the Port Authority in what is known as the World Trade Center bombing litigation. It deals with the first terrorist attack on the trade center – the garage bombing in 1993.

– And, there’s this other article about World Trade Center and the memory of it, “Lost From Skyline, But Not From the Landscape.” Do you erase the image of the two towers from book covers and symbols and logos and so on, because they no longer exist in reality and the sight of the two towers causes pain, or do we preserve the images precisely because they are part of memory? David W. Dunlap writes with a lot of poignancy; at the risk of copying and pasting the last half of the article, Dunlap observes:

[The Alliance for Downtown New York, downtown Manhattan business improvement district] had to figure out what to do about street signs – designed by Pentagram and installed around the trade center site two months before the attack – illustrated with photos of the twin towers. Complicating the question is that visitors, perhaps more than ever, rely on these signs for direction in the absence of the towers themselves, which served as a kind of pole star.

“How do you picture absence?” asked Michael Bierut, a partner in Pentagram. At first, as an exercise, he tried to substitute the famous photograph of three firefighters raising the flag. But that felt exploitative, he said. After a few months, Mr. Bierut said, “It seemed that the more obvious thing to do was to use the picture we had used.” [I added the italics]

The Lefrak Organization [landlord/property manager] was ready to remove the mural [of World Trade Center] from 395 South End Avenue [in Battery Park City], which was vacated for months after the attack. “We thought it would be especially right,” Mr. LeFrak said. “The building that happens to have the artwork is the one that got the most damage.”

But tenants thought otherwise. “It would seem like giving up if you’d taken it down,” said Tammy Meltzer, who has lived in the building since 1996 and worked as a senior manager in the catering department at Windows on the World.

“It’s part of our history, part of our neighborhood, part of our community,” Ms. Meltzer said, “an integral part of what was and what will be again. Remembering where you’ve come from and remembering the past is never inappropriate.”
[again, I added the italics]

Except for one original detail that simply had to be painted out, Mr. LeFrak said.

Two airplanes. On the horizon.

Poignancy; the Times is really packing its punches this week.

— The Towers of Light are ready for the tribute this weekend. Quite a sight.

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