Reconstruction

In 1987, Will Eisner wrote, “I came to feel more keenly about the disappearances of people and landmarks. Especially troubling to me was the callous removal of buildings. I felt that, somehow, they had a kind of soul…barnacled with laughter, stained with tears, are more than lifeless edifices.”

Two days ago, I went down to the WTC site around 5pm. It was so different than it was in ’02. On that first anniversary, there were people there being respectful and mourning. The only irritation was the media shutterbugs being nuisances and snapping pictures right in your face as though you were a car or a piece of cake or some other inanimate object.

At 5pm on the 6th anniversary, there was a lot of buzz and anger. People were out shouting about how it was a conspiracy. How there was another building, 7 WTC, that went down that same day. You can’t really see into the site anymore. Now it is officially growing like a pot of boiling water. I don’t know if they moved the piece of scaffolding that was shaped like a cross. The Deutsche Bank building is finally coming down. I won’t argue whether all this is good or bad.

Being there on the 11th, I feel like it should just be a memorial. The economy seems to be doing better without buildings there. I would feel like I was on sacred ground were I to do any kind of business on that site. It seems like we are moving more rapidly into breaking the promise of “never forgetting”. I am troubled by the fact that no one has taken responsibility. I am worried we are tipping the world and messing ourselves up over something that we may never know the truth about.

As I wander around the city, I am astounded by the buildings that go up at the speed of a sneeze. The contrast between these high-priced mega towers with their glass edifices and the small, almost sad but charming older buildings is unsettling. Everyone is going real estate crazy and it seemed to get jacked up after 9/11. Like people lost a bit of themselves with those buildings and now they going out and getting one of their own. Or many. We are getting obese on real estate along with fatty foods. We will be moving back to a time of landlords and serfs before you know it. I saw that The Onion made a joke article about the widening gap between the rich and the super rich. It’s funny because it’s true.

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