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Saturday, September 17, 2011

REBORN

So, once again I took my annual walk downtown New York City using the route I would take when I worked at 4 World Trade Center over 20 years ago...I documented my walk in 2008, if you haven't read it, here is the link September 11th Tribute 2008 . Its also in the sidebar on the right hand side with my 2009 and 2010 tributes if you feel like reading them...the 2008 one tells you a bit about me in the first few paragraphs if you've never been here before...

I took almost a thousand pictures during my walk on September 10th, and there was no way I could really capture in words how I felt or convey to you what it felt like here in NYC in one post...I tried, I usually line up all the pics and just let them tell the story as I reenact what I was feeling at that particular moment, but as I tried to sort the pics out, it was hard to leave many of them out...so I said fuck it, I'll put as many pictures of what I saw during my walk and keep my words short ( I'm aiming to keep it to under 75 pics a post ) ...I'm going to post at least 7 or 8 times to get through them all, but you'll see pictures of the tragedy, the progress, and what is beginning to feel alive again...some pics you may not want to look at, and some you will...but this is up close and personal with yours truly.

Ok, here we go ...this was my first sight when I took my walk this year of Battery Park, where they were flying 3000 flags and where The Sphere has been on display with an eternal flame since 2002. The Sphere was originally on a fountain in the center of The World Trade Center, and a frequent place I would eat my lunch, watch different entertainment shows they would have, or sit and people watch... it was an extremely popular meeting place filled with energy all the time..occasionally extra security was brought in to protect the King from being molested by all the women there, but that story is for another day ;-)

The Sphere was damaged during that tragic day, and stands today as a symbol of the indestructible spirit of New York City...of our Country...of you.



The Sphere and the Flags


Veterans paying their respects from wars gone by ...this soldier is proudly wearing his Vietnam Veteran shirt.


A motorcycle tribute...



This had all the details if you look closely, click on the pics for a better view...



The mirrors carved into the Firefighters Maltese Cross .



As you can see in the background, tourists looking at their map, a bicyclist and a jogger...on a Saturday morning there wasn't usually much activity down here...today had a different feel to it...it was busy...




Remember...




One Life One Flag




The Flags were set up... one for every victim...


 Will never forget...


Names of the murdered make up the stripes to the Flag of Honor.


I experience similar memories of my walk in 2008 coming across Firefighter Brian Cannizzaro's name, whom I went to elementary school with and whose father was my basketball coach. A great person never to be forgotten.




...and Captain Patrick Brown, whose mass card I came across on my walk in 2008...a hero to all...



An American Flag to accompany the flags of the fallen...


This young girl was eating breakfast and checking the phone...its strange to think she may have been 10 years old when that tragic day happened.



...and just like in 2008, not an American Eagle, but it sure is nice to see a New York City patriotic pigeon again paying his respects and standing guard...




They may call them flying rats, but I dig the New York City pigeons...They got character.

.


Sphere and Eternal flame.




A box of memorial magnets was placed in front of The Sphere with a sign on the box of flyers saying thanks for paying respect and please take one...These were left byTuesday’s Children which  is a non-profit family service organization that has made a long term commitment to every individual impacted by the events of September 11, 2001 and more recently those who have been impacted by terrorist incidents worldwide.



The Eternal Flame.



One Life ~ One Flag




The Flag of Honor and Flag of Heros List of how they are organized.




The Irish Flag.


Japan...There were flags representing 92 countries placed in the park alomng with all the others.




The Italian Flag.


The Flags of Honor.



I turn and glimpse over the Sphere to see the progress in the sky...



...almost...next year we'll get there.


The Flag of Heroes.



the Flag of Honor.



The Countries...


The spirit of the flags flyin...


Remembrance field of honor..



This was the first of many vendors that represent some foundation that is selling flags, plaques, or other items that state they are raising funds for the victims of 9/11...there are so many of them now that I just say I gave already and move on ....some are pretty aggressive too...what kills me is how many first responders died...and are dying,  yet still can't get any help or medical care with all these foundations who are supposedly raising money for them...I hate to talk like this, but its a fact. So much money was raised and so little reaches the people who really need it...don't get me wrong, I know some of the foundations personally and have seen the tremendous work they are doing, and have done to ease the pain and help families who are in financial need...but I've also seen shady funds...you know what I'm talkin about, makes me sick...ok nuff said..



This is usually where I would begin to see 4 World Trade Center so many years ago, and in my last few walks haven;t seen much progress since that tragic day...the red plant pots are a nice addition though.



...except today, I get my first glimpse of a giant American Flag hanging...


Freshly painted pots..


New modern benches...




As I was walking I heard screeching tires and now have found the fresh tire marks left by what I'd heard a few moments ago...a donut.



I stand in the middle of the street just like I do every year,  and seeing the flag hanging from one of the new buildings makes me stop and pause...


Finally a sign of real progress and hope...



It felt ....good.


On the right of me lining the street were a string of Dodge Vipers...that was the sound of the screeching I heard and one of them was the donut maker I showed you...one..


They each had a 9/11 Memorial Magnet on the door...These cars aren't cheap, the one below goes for about $100,000.  Yes a hundred thousand !! ...two



Three...
Four..



Five...


I didn't ask who they were with and didn't really care...I thought the donuts in the streets while some people were clearly paying respects was a little over the top...but like I said earlier, today had a different feel in the air and it wasn't somber...six




seven..

Thats about a million dollars worth of vehicles there...maybe they'll let the King sell them so I can buy a taxi medallion, those are only $750,000...or how about we just sell them all and get our first responders the medical they need...


eight ..8 Vipers !! Can we please get medical for those who need it...ok ok nuff said on that, for now, but we'll revisit again at the right time.

For now, ...I'll tell you a true story I have about the Dodge Viper...I moved down to Florida many years ago and got a job as a Car Salesman at Ed Morse Dodge/Mazda...we had two Vipers on the lot...one in the showroom and one that was kept by itself and roped off for serious buyers...

So one day this hot shot comes in with his young daughter who he was going to buy the Dodge Viper for...He gets in the car with my coworker who's already telling me how much he's gonna make selling this car to them..I never saw the car move yet so I was into it..The father is kickin the tires asking all about the car while the girl just wanted to be sure that she could get some fire stripes on the car...My buddy is agreeing to everything "sure sure, we have the best detail shop in south Florida, we can put blah blah blah" you get the idea.

So the dealership was on a dead end street, and that's where we usually would test ride vehicles being there was no traffic...So the hot shot and my buddy buckle up and the father hits the gas and screeches the tires which I could see made my buddy nervous because the manager didn't like screeching tires on a car not sold....they go down to the end and turn around and come back...about 50 yards to the end is all...the father says "good car, feels like I'm in a cockpit" ..My buddy was beaming with delight...Then, the daughter chimes in, "My turn Daddy, let me take it for a spin"...

So, she gets in the car, her and my buddy buckle up and they take off down the block...no screech of the tires, as the father is now telling me how he used to test race cars in Daytona...As we are watching them head down the dead end, she didn't slow down at the point where she should have, to begin turning around and she went straight through the end into and over a dirt mound about 6 feet high and right into the drink, which was a swampy lake about 2 feet deep at that time...BIG cloud of dust and a parking lot full of Holy Shits as all the salespeople ran towards the scene...

The front end was in the mud with the rear resting on the 6 foot hill... they were beat up a little bit, the girl was hysterical and my friend was bleeding from his head in shock, but they settled down and were ok, but stuck in the car...in its weird position..A helicopter came with rescue people to cut them out of the car and bring them to the hospital,.and while we were waiting the father turned to my boss and says "she don't even have her license yet, will she get in trouble ?"...one more Holy Shit was heard as far as Mexico that day...when I see the Viper, thats what I always think of and laugh...True story.
Vipers...Pffft !!! lol


New corner cafe's are bringing life downtown again...George's.



Cafe Bravo...


The Pussycat Lounge..under construction , but open.


...and Charlotte's place...I'll be doing a whole post on this little oasis downtown that is open to everyone.  It is supported and operated by Trinity Church Wall Street, which is just around the block.


Where my old workplace used to be, they have almost finished one of the smaller buildings that will make up the new World Trade Center...thats not what they're calling it, but I am...for now...



...and as I approach Trinity Boxing I am reminded ...



We Got Back Up....

The open air gym had a woman training inside under The American Flag and some motivational posters...



We Got Back Up...yeah....we did.



10 years later, still fighting...remembering that day...we rose.




We swing big with everything we've got...We hit big or miss big and like to live life as big as we can....


...and though we are tired and weary, this fight is still on...and still going strong...we get back up...



We Remember...we Reflect...



and we REBUILD.


...and we'll continue until its ...ALL back up...We are ...REBORN.




 God Bless All. 


18 comments:

  1. Those flags are humbling!. As far as the pigeons, well, I think we are just a bigger form of them, don't u think? When in need, we survive the way they do... tactics may be more 'sophisticated' but basically the same.

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  2. As if I was walking with you! Excellent on to re-visit again.

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  3. Thanks for sharing your walk with us. Beautiful, just beautiful.

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  4. Wonderful photos. You really are the KING. Thanks for sharing them.

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  5. Thanks so much for this post! wonderful photos and thoughts!

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  6. Thank you for sharing this walk with us. I LOVED the viper story...and the comment on the pigeons. They DO have character!! I look forward to reading your post each year.

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  7. WOW that was quite the walk, very nice, loved all the pics.

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  8. I can hardly wait to hear more about Charlotte's.

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  9. Thanks for taking me on the stroll thru NYC! Truly the flags are most humbling, nice to see the flying rats and yes...we did rise up.
    ~AM

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  10. Thank you for the tour. I have yet to return to the area of the WTC. Lived in NYC in 2001 and get back there only rarely.

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  11. Great tour. Especially nice to take it with one who has lived there and knows. We did get back up.

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  12. Thank you for sharing this with personal impressions.
    Liebe Grüße aus Germany, Petra

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  13. Wonderful walk....I love NYC!
    The Viper story....shock...unbelievable! I'm speechless!

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  14. Beautiful, King. Peace be with you.

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  15. Hi Edward, Big sigh-- I hadn't seen the Flags of Heroes/Honors before-- They're haunting and beautiful.
    jj

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  16. wow, eddie... no words for these. we watched everything about 9/11 for 2 weeks before, and it is still just as shocking as the day it all happened. god bless every one of us, no matter our race, religion, or nationality.

    chris

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  17. Your tours and observations always make it worth the trip.

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