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.
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't.get.it. 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.
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...
i came back to the city 4 months later and took this picture from a ferry i was on in May 2001
i had no idea that i'd be seeing those cloud souring towers for the last time...