It’s been over five years since the first time I stood at Ground Zero. Back then it was a pit full of cranes and heavy equipment. I stood there at the beginning of September, in the heat and the sweat and watched men work on beams so high that they looked like toys. They still wore masks as they beat metal into submission, trying to reach the sky with the bones of another building. I remember the emotional toll it took on me and how it felt to be there but not much about the area itself because the whole place was still off limits and under construction. I remember standing in front of the fire station, sobbing uncontrollably and clutching the wall. I remember looking over at the church and being angry at the idea that people viewed its unscathed structure as a miracle and proof of their god, when so much around it had been destroyed. I wondered how they could still believe in anything at all. It seemed that no one was paying attention to the space – and I was horribly offended by that idea. How could the world not stop? How did people walk next to the construction zone every day without breaking? How could things just go on?
Next week I am returning to the big apple for a very brief visit. I will be fortunate enough to see Neil Patrick Harris in Hedwig and the Angry Inch (CAN’T WAIT!) and another production that has left many friends speechless called Sleep No More. However, I have very little practical experience in the Big Apple, having been there only once. I am looking forward to checking out the Poetry House and stopping into the White Horse for a pint or 2 to round out a literary day – but am looking for other things that I simply HAVE to do.
5 years ago I trekked through Prospect and Central Park, hit Ellis Island for a little history lesson and left a flower at the WTC for a lost friend. Is there anything else anyone thinks of as the one thing you simply have to do while you’re in New York?