Sunday, September 04, 2011

the first time i went to new york

it was december of 2000.

i celebrated new years, 2001 there.

i traveled with friends who had far too much money (and myself at the time a single mom with none) so to say the experience was different is an understatement. i saw things i've never seen since. million dollar lofts in soho... apartments with secret passages and rooms. i seriously felt like i was on an episode of gossip girl- before gossip girl was even created!

it was crazy.

this first trip of mine to new york was also the first time i'd ever seen the twin towers. i remember getting off the subway at the last stop and walking through the mall. i stopped in a small store and bought a light blue candle that had yellow stars and moons carved into it. i remember thinking how weird it was to have a mall underground, but that i wanted something from one of the stores in it.

i swear i remember walking past an express clothing store before taking the escalators up.

my girlfriend took me into the towers. i believe it was tower one that had the observation deck? or maybe that was where you bought the tickets? i think i'm wrong.

one world trade center directory

i didn't know the difference between them. hell, in all honesty- being from southern california, i had never even HEARD of the twin towers before seeing them. when an LA'er thought of new york, they thought of the empire state building, times square, the statue of liberty, central park... i remember asking my girlfriend what the big deal was about those buildings and she was shocked i didn't know what they were, let alone had never even heard of them before (she was from canada where they know everything! :) ). she gave me a little historical background on them, and while i was impressed with their height, i remember thinking.. eh, they're just buildings. and they're nowhere near as pretty as the empire state building, or the chrysler building (you know, when i wasn't thinking the chrysler building WAS the empire state building).

now of course i miss their beauty desperately.

there had just been a HUGE snowstorm and even if the deck was open, we weren't going to be able to see anything. i remember that the outdoor one was closed and that even though it was after christmas and right before new years, there were plenty of people working in the buildings. i remember meeting one security guard at his desk and taking a picture with him. although i can't find that picture anywhere!!! the inside of one of the towers had huge silver snowflakes hanging all around and i remember thinking how cute it was that this huge building got all decorated for the holidays. we walked through both towers. we saw all the stores in one of the buildings and i remember thinking, there's a tailor here? who buys suits when they're already at work? my girlfriend laughed, and tried to explain to me just how many people worked on wall street, let alone the sheer number in the 2 towers.

i think for some reason i simply just didn' like i had no comprehension. maybe because it was the holidays and the buildings were virtually empty. the normal hustle and bustle was something i never got to witness. maybe without seeing it, i couldn't even imagine what it was like on a normal workday there.

i remember we left the buildings, walking through tunnels that connected them, or walkways... i can see everything in my mind, but i just have no idea what everything i'm seeing is.

this is my first time seeing the towers

after this huge snowstorm at the end of december 2000

i went to the empire state building by myself on that trip to new york. i think i waited something ridiculous like 4 hours to go up. but it was worth it for this picture alone...

view of the twin towers from the empire state building

i came back to the city 4 months later and took this picture from a ferry i was on in May 2001

this pic was taken in may of 2001

i had no idea that i'd be seeing those cloud souring towers for the last time...


Audrey at Barking Mad! said...

When we moved to upstate NY (from Maine) about 18 months ago we had to go down into NYC into the Chelsea Market area for a project I'm working on...I'd never been to NCY for longer than a few hours and even then, stayed indoors. This time we drove around the city, in our own car, and when we came to "Ground Zero" it was like someone had punched me. It was a very visceral feeling and I can't explain it.

I instantly had tears in my eyes. Our 5 year old was with us and she asked me why I was starting to get tears and I couldn't find the words.

I still can't find the words but with the 10th anniversary, looming literally overhead, I'm going to try to begin to describe to her what happened, and maybe I'll show her your photos too.

Great post, Jenn.

J Fo said...

My friend got married three days before 9/11 in jersey and it was on the river right across from Manhattan, I was taking a ton of pics of the empire state but the twin towers were a little too far away and I just thought to myself, I will get pics of them another day. Three days later gone. There were alot of firemen at that wedding to were at the scene when they went down, one of them died in one of the towers

CATJACKS said...

these are gorgeous pictures Ster.........really touching.

mesbah uddin said...