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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

9/11...20 years ago ....The King ...and today ....My tour of Ground Zero and Battery Park.

Pass this on to anyone you know who would have liked to view the surroundings on ground zero as well as the classy and respectful accolade for those who perished in the 9/11 tragedy.

20 years ago I was a clerk in one of the World Trade Center buildings, not the towers but the adjacent 4 World Trade Center, which were colored brown and destroyed as well. So after my day job yesterday, I walked the route I used to take to that job back then, and it was very emotional.

I grew up with some of the people who were killed, worked with some , went to elementary school with one, high school with about a half dozen and some I was doing business with at the time of the tragedy. I was from Staten Island and this borough lost 271 people total.

When I took lunch hour from work back in 1988, sometimes I would go to the center of all the buildings where there was a fountain that had an artist sculpture which is known as " The Sphere" that was in the center of the fountain. It was a peaceful fun place to eat lunch. Well the Sphere survived the disaster and was transferred to Battery Park downtown near the Staten Island Ferry. On my way in to work from the bus I take, as I took then, I saw flags in the grass where the sphere is now , which prompted me with the idea to have my walk when I was finished with my day. It was a rainy gloomy day, but I felt since I had not toured Ground Zero at all except for walking or driving by, that I would finally make the trek and remember what was....and what will be again one day.

Working in the commodity exchange was one of the best experiences of my life and the reason why I am still compelled to trading markets today aside from being The King Of Hacks. However , knowing all the people that I personally knew who passed on in this terrorist attack, part of me was so angry I never wanted to go near the remains knowing the anger I would feel and the frustration that accompanies that emotion. But today, well this was on September 9th and 10th that I took these walks and photo documented them. The walks made me feel like I was at a wake and drained my inner being, although knowing that all my friends and all who perished are in peace now, it was still very emotional as one would expect. The following is a bunch of pictures that were my visions 20 years ago and how they look today as I walked my usual route except this time walking around the entire sight and following up the next day going to Battery Park to sign the Metal Beams that will go into the museums being planned when the Freedom Tower is built. I know it has nothing to do with taxi driving , but this is my purging of the demons inside me that have layed there since that terrible day. I hope all of you are well and if any of your loved ones are involved with the war , I wish them a safe passage home, and if need be , just let The King know and I'll pick 'em up free of charge.

I am posting many photos for this post for people who can't get to New York and for some around the country and the world who may have known someone , there a a few pictures where you can zoom in to find the name. I'll start off on a light note showing you my I.D. card needed to get into the building so many years ago....yes I was a sad looking guido-ish bad hairdo punk kid ....but I sure was lighter back then...and better looking ....and...well what do you want !!!! ?? I was just a prince back then !!!!!!!

C'mon you know you love the 80's ....just think of the A'HA song as you look at this.

Backside of my badge to enter the exchange daily. No badgey, no worky.

The King as a Volunteer Firefighter with a little serial killer look in this one...minus the 80's hair.
This was 2004. I was a Firefighter/EMT

What I would see all summer as I walked off the ferry or express bus in awe of these buildings.

This is how the sphere originally looked with the fountain.

Sometimes concerts, but always a nice place to relax.

As I enter Battery Park I can already see the flags flying.

As I entered a familiar thought.

Entering Battery Park.

You can see the sphere in the background.

The Flag of Heroes has every name of every Firefighter, EMS, Police and other emergency personnel listed on this special flag being flown. Zoom in to read the words.

There were many pairs of boots around the Sphere location but only one pair had a mass card on it and it was Captain Patrick Brown's ...Captain Patrick Brown died on 9/11, surrounded by burn victims he hoped to evacuate from the Trade Center’s north tower. A legend long before then, he had been on Dateline, and in Time and the NY Times Sunday Magazine, to name just a few. Although he was exceedingly modest, the media loved him, especially in those instances when he put the possibility of saving a life above the imperative of playing by the rules. For instance, a fixed anchor could not be found during one famous rooftop rope rescue, so "Paddy" held the rope in his own bare hands while another firefighter climbed down to rescue the victim—who was ready to jump—from the window below.

Great man and hero to all.

They had all sorts of hoses and other firefighting tools laying around the sphere and perhaps its not the American Eagle , but it was nice to see a New York pigeon drop by for respects.

"The Sphere"

The eternal flame that burns for all who were lost.

A Firefighters turnout gear.

The Sphere, The Gear, and The Eternal Flame.

Part of a firetruck , the gauges for water pressure, an Self Contained Breathing Apparatus always referred to as a "Scott" bottle because its the brand name, and the hose.

Firefighter Brian Cannizzaro's father was my elementary school basketball coach who came from a great family , he was a great person and seeing his name on this flag brought tears to my eyes .

This Flag has the names of all who perished.

Promo Flag .

Even in stickers they stand shoulder to shoulder with us.

This is a trailer that has traversed the United States with all the names of the victims. I believe if you click on the pic, it will zoom in automatically.

Side of the Truck view.

Back of the trailer view.

This is the first frame of the trailer.

The truck tells the sequence of events and lists the victims alphabetically. Click to zoom in.
This frame is the recount and list of the passengers of the first two plane strike victims and the World Trade Center Victims alphabetically from A-Br.

Br--through Fe

Fe through Ke

Ke--through Mu.

Mu --Throug Sch

Sch --through Zuk.

The Pentagon impact , and the Shanksville,Pennsylvania crash list. God Bless.

Flag of honor that lists alll names of victims.

This is where I used to turn around but no sphere , on my way to work.

Looking up the street where the Twin Towers and the building I worked in were visible from this spot....and now they weren't. Those fucking bastards !!! Does it ever go away , the anger??

Name of the street I headed north on every day back in 88.

The infamous garage when I was late I'd drive in and hand over a weeks pay just to stay a few hours.

This Bar was around in 1988 and still exists , it was popular back then as it is now....was the King ever in there you ask ??? Well I was underage at the time and I would never walk into...OK OK YES I WAS IN THERE !!!! maybe just once.

Now with downtown changing you have upscale boxing gyms where bars used to be.

Building that is directly across from where the Towers used to be.

A very very popular sippin' place when I was in the commodity exchange, many a deal was made in here as this place has survived as well.

O'Haras pub.

This is where I would just have to cross the street and get to my building which has evaporated.

A sight seen most days, people grieving their loved ones all day .

Part of the rebuilding crew.

The Foundation is finally going up !!!!! FREEDOM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

View as I get close to the west side and Battery Park City.

Entrance to the refurbished World Financial Center

Progress in action...FINALLY !!

Tours are a plenty for sight seeing , however this particular woman as I listened in, said she had lost her son in the tragedy....I guess thats her therapeutic,tough, and patriotic way of getting through this and explaining to people around the world how innocent her son was to suffer such a crime. God bless her.

The Lobby of The World Financial Center.

The Dome above the Lobby escalators in the World Financial Center.

Lots of cranes and dirt.

These banners were on the Vessey St walkway over the highway promoting the museums and a new downtown.

I figured you'd want a close up of who you'd be serving time for ...Lovely gal that she is.

Fire Museum promo.

Skyscraper museum promo.

Stock Market promo for the Museum of Finance, although I feel MY ticker stopped the day the towers fell.

Promotin for the Fraunces Tavern Museum where General George Washington bade farewell to his officers at the end of the Revolution, before returning to his home, Mount Vernon. The Fraunces Tavern Block, bounded by Pearl, Water, Broad Streets and Coenties Slip, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977, while the Fraunces Tavern building was not separately listed until 2008.[1] Thanks wkipedia.

Promo of a New Downtown..20 years ago if you were in down town New York at night ...IT WAS EMPTY!! No late night stores , no place to shop ...nothing ...after 8 o'clock it ws zombieville, yet now families are moving in and its actually becoming a "NEIGHBORHOOD" and not just a financial district.

The Future.

The Future View.

What the reflecting pools are supposed to look like. the King on this one , Chinatown needs no promo.

I don't know if any of you noticed but all those banners were promoting museums for New York workers AND NOT ONE FOR THE YELLOW CAB INDUSTRY !!!!!!! What are we , chop liver ?!!

More progress.

AND more progress...

This was a public legal condemned notice which mapped out the entire sight , hanging on a fence with a plastic sheet over it to protect it fro the rain. I guess its protocol.

Entrance to the overpass.

The temporary PATH station which goes to Jersey , and the prior one was destroyed in the attacks.

Two Cranes.....

Sunlight BEAMING through the two cranes on the next shot....made me feel.......HOPE

There weren't many opportunities to get a good picture of the production, but I did wait in line as the tourists snapped away at this crack in the fence.

This is out of sequence , from St Paul's Church , but all our fellow Americans and People who were from abroad that perished on that horrible day , this slate says it all as far as I'm concerned. They are our angels now.

Click to read.

The patches left behind show how the world came to help us....inspiring.....damn inspiring.

Items from the fence.

More items from around the globe.

Italy ...



Click to read , a young age and an old soul had to have written this...

Children , and anything they write will break your heart, because they tell the truth from the heart. Read it ...Trust the King.


One of the original cots they used for relief.

The American Seal....not the clubbed one silly.

One of the few originals.

Volunteer ...for anything the end , you are helping yourself.

Thank God people volunteer for moments like these and the boundaries we cross are endless to help those who are helping others.

This is on Wall St , the exact sight where George Washington was inaugurated President of THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA !! I work next door, tourists take pictures with George ALLLL day long !!! LOL .

G.W.'s Pew

Blacksmiths from Virginia forged this cross out of salvaged steel from the wreckage. David Munn and Fred Christ. Great job men , GREAT JOB !!

St Paul's just after 9-11

Alter dedicated to the lost ones.

more of the fence.

Thank you for the lives you save....indeed.

Click to read, about the 100 year tree.

100 year old Sycamore.

The remnant roots of the 100 year old Sycamore at Trinity Church.

Bell given to St Paul's to ring by the city of London.

Close up of the words.

Now ......

The meaning.


This is a view of the World financial Center where I was earlier in this post.

I used to eat a slice 3 times a week on the way to the bus home in 1988,great pizza , and they survived. If in New York , trust the King , great slice....and next to the infamous shopping center Century 21, which has also been there since way before 1988.

Fredom flying as we REBUILD !!!

This is a sculpture they relocated to the new park which used to be Liberty Park but now it is named after someone. This was a piece to inspire skyscrapers, not from the WTC.

Before they renovated this park I used to play guys in speed chess or backgammon for $3 a game .....these guys are good , but The King beat their asses every now and then .....and sometimes I won at Backgammon too. LOL

I walked near the chess table and everyone wants The King to beat them in chess .....NO ONE !!!!!!

If you zoom in you can see the bronze business man who was also there in was already cordoned off by the popo ( police for non NYC people ) for the ceremonies.

He probably has a cell phone and a Blackberry now !!

A familiar sight then and a familiar sight now ...I LOVE NEW YORK !!!!!

Feed them my patriot brother !! They will never be scared of terrorists !!!!!

Looking at Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island as I cross the Verrazano bridge from the express bus I take home. Reflecting on my day with a lump in my throat.

September 10th....signing the beam.

The next day , after work, before I got on the ferry to Staten Island , I wanted to sign a metal beam that they will put in the museum for the World Trade Centers. So I went on over and did just that.

The sphere , the next day but as you can see , all the fire gear removed from the day before ...I don't know why ??



Once again ...the future.

People signing away !!

They let the king be one of the first to sign the bottom where it bends .....and I mean every word!!

Firefighters from other states already playing and getting ready for ceremonies.

The only pair of boots left and today right at the front , with the Captain Patrick Brown Mass Card.

Eternally forever.

We will NEVER forget !!

Zoom in as this doggie is getting his fill of hydration.

The Lady of the sea. and the Flag flying on the right ........precious .

nuff said...

This is a tribute to the U.S.Navy.....For their efforts in preserving our battery park.

Side view.

The Words.

Caught this squirrel eating a french fry ....couldn't pass that up ....C'MON !!!!!!! ITS FUNNY !!!!

Sign telling us they are building an aquatic merry go round right outside The Staten Island Ferry.......don't know , so don't ask but it does look interesting.

Promoting Staten Island ???? Thats a New One for me !!

What I saw on my outdoor ferry ride home. I used to drink a tall boy( tall beer can of budweiser) that you could buy on the ferry in the summer on the way home. ..The ferry was a quarter back then, NOW ITS FREE !!! Best bang for your buck in the city.

The Waterfalls of Governors Island.

FAST water taxis that were NOT available when I worked in Manhattan.

Sailing crew in front of Ellis Island

Liberty on the left and Freedom flying on the right .....WE WILL NEVER FORGET AND WE WILL ENDURE THESE HARD TIMES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Torch is lit... for our Freedom stays afire.

Peace to you all, reflect, grieve, but never forget , and HANG AN AMERICAN FLAG OUT YOUR DOOR TODAY IF YOU ARE AMERICAN!!!!

If you know a firefighter pass the following on, the song is a tribute to all the firefighters who passed on and people who perished. It is a very popular song amongst the brotherhood here in New York.

Check out this great man's cd BrianDeVales Raise Your Glass which features a song called(Click to see video) " New York's Damn Bravest " which has become an anthem for the firefighters here in New York and many other places as well. You can hear a clip of the song as well on this sight. Click here for the lyrics New York's Damn Bravest . Brian sends donations to the widows fund with the profits he makes from the cd sales. There is also a great song called "Thank you for being America"..great music.

In closing today I am no King , The KINGS AND QUEENS ARE LOOKING DOWN UPON US WONDERING WHY IT IS TAKING SO LONG FOR US TO GET OUR SHIT TOGETHER. GOOD NIGHT EVERYONE, I AM EDWARD, FORMER CLERK 20 YEARS AGO AT 4 WORLD TRADE CENTER, present day trader and hack driver. See you when I pick you up .Peace Brothers and Sisters.

P.S. If anyone wants photos so they can zoom in on a flag or the truck and see a name , just email me and consider it done ...cheers all.


  1. This was beautiful - thank you for taking the time. And I the fry-squirrel is groovy too :)

  2. Very few bloggers have brought tears to my eyes. This one buckled me.

    Outstanding post.

  3. Mate, thanks for this comprehensive 911 pictorial. It's a credit and honour to the victims and surviving locals. God bless on your special day.

  4. What an incredible tribute, reminder, and personal mourning...this was an amazing post. Your pictures are incredible as are the stories and memories you share. This day will continue to be powerfully sad for all of us who lived through it for a long, long time, but my heart positively aches for those who lost people they loved.
    This was so well done - it must've taken you hours to compile, write, and upload - and after reliving it so thoroughly, you must have felt like it was fresh and raw again.
    Nice to meet you, Edward.
    Sending you hugs from Oregon,

  5. Thank you for this great post, Edward. We do not forget.

  6. This was a beautiful post. My roommate went to sign the beams, but I felt strange about it since I'm not a native New Yorker and wasn't here during the attacks. Now I kind of regret it, though.

    I think an identical statue sitting with the briefcase (or one of them) is now in Jersey City at the waterfront (don't know if it's an original or was put there), near the Katyn Statue at Exchange Place..there's a briefcase guy and he has a firefighter's hat, a flag, and some other relics with him in his briefcase. Interesting stuff.

  7. Dude....I appreciate the story and the pictures.

    I could only imagine something that tragic happening where I live...

    You people are some tough people in NY and I'm thankful to call you all "brothers and sisters".

  8. @ suburbantaxigirl--thanks for the words, that squirrel cracked me up.

    @ gnightgirl-- Couldn't ask for a better compliment. Thank you.

    # adrian--thanks for the special words, and thanks for recommending people to it on your blog.

    @ farmgirl_dk-- yes it took awhile to do, an all nighter , and I payed for it at work the next day, but it was quite worth the time.Thanks for the hug ,it was perfect timing for one...and its a pleasure to meet you Danni.Thanks.

    @ g.s. -- thanks brother, truly we won't ever forget.

    @ diana-- you are living in New York so don't slight yourself thinking like that, you are a New Yorker now , if anyone says different , tell them The King of New York Hacks knighted you personally. ;-)

    @ slick--thank you brother, and thanks for writing your blog which always lifts our spirits up.

  9. awesome job ...i knew a person and am in florida right now so to be able to click on the truck and print it out was good for me and it couldn't have happened if you didn't post this gem.Thanks KinG, when I'm in New York I take a lot of cabs and I hope I get you one day to shake your hand.

  10. I spent like an hour reading, opening the pictures and identifying with the painful walk it must have been. I used to work downtown but I moved away to Jersey,I felt like I was walking with you for I too knew someone who passed on that terrible day. Thank you for sharing this moving and inspiring walk with us ,,,you said you weren't a King today but I disagree, you did a lot of work to create an outstanding and human post like that ,God Bless You King Of New York Hacks.

  11. Great tribute...this is the 3rd time I 've read it and its kinda been haunting me. I found myself thinking of some of the photos like that squirrel and then the women grieving.Highs and lows with the strength to move on. Keep your chin up man,and walk tall cause that is inspiring writing that made me feel glad to be American

  12. im at a loss for words except for that dog drinking from the fountain...that pic made me smile through the painful post.Thanks man.

  13. Wow. So much to say, such a little comment box. Thank you for this moving tribute through pictures. I haven't been to NYC in 20-something years, so to get this tour of post 911 site and nearby areas is incredible. Sad, yes of course. But there's so much hope here. That's the most important thing. So again, thanks for taking the time.

    The Honor Flag? I hadn't heard of this. An honor to even see a picture of the names. Amazing.

    The badges? I'm in awe. Again, no idea.

    The future water fountain? I had only seen a drawn diagram, nothing as realistic looking as this. Now I get it. I didn't before.

    The picture of the weeping visitor? That just breaks my heart.

    Well done, KoNYH! You rock.

    And on a more serious note, I'm really sorry about all of your friends lost on that tragic day. You're helping us "never forget" and I know they're smiling down with gratitude.

  14. Oh and on another note. I don't know anyone who died on 9/11 but I have worked with people in other similar tragedies (OK City Bombing and Katrina, for example). The pain of survivors lasts a long, long time, a lifetime, and effects so many aspects of their lives. You know this, already, but I suppose I know this on a clinical level, and I am just humbled whenever I think of so many New Yorkers and New Jerseyans and surrounds carrying around so much grief.

  15. Eddie, you're the best, you help to keep the memory alive. Wonderful tribute to the many who lost that day 8 years ago. I speak to people about it, tell them what it was like to see the towers, in all their glory and now 8 years later, the skyline looks empty. Tomorrow there is a motorcade of bikers escorting a Cross made from the beams of the WTC, it's driving through my area, with a refueling stop, you can see them at this link http://ironandsteel nyctofortbenning .org/
    Thanks for all you do and keep that tradition alive!

  16. You Are the King! I have a New York State of Mind today...Never forgotten. Mississippi <3 NYC
    Thank you for your personal journey!