Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ground Zero

So...I'm re arranging my thoughts and am going to stop tipping in advance of what I'm going to write about because, well. I'd rather be able to change my mind. But I'm keeping the context of New York.

For the last few days and the next week I have been and will be working across the street from Ground Zero here.

I don't come down there much. I never really did before except when I had visitors or a temp job necessitated it. I've never really liked the area very much except for by the water where, if you have a view of the harbor it is quite beautiful. But since the attack I've been there twice. It's just too hard. Make that 4 times. I was down here a couple of times during the immediate aftermath. The stench of smoking steel, wood, asbestos and, well...human was intense, humbling and there are no words more for it.

This assignment has me here for the first time since 2002. I pass the construction site every day, twice a day. There are small monuments to our victimhood here which is just more incentive for me to never be down here.

There's been a lot of talk lately about the renaming of One WTC, from Freedom Tower to the current iteration. But as far as I'm concerned, what we call the building is totally fucking meaningless. That we are building again at all is the important part. The building is not something I'm crazy about, but I'm very pleased that the actual site of the old towers will be a park and waterfall markings of the tower footprints. I think its fitting and beautiful and frankly if any area needed some green space, its the Financial District.

Here's what gets me though. I do not need to see continual pictures of what happened. I don't need to see photographs on onlookers crying, holding eachother and otherwise appearing devastated and I suspect that those who traverse the streets and overpasses here, who have done for years before I have and for years afterwards don't have to either. We/They were there. We lived it, ate it and literally breathed it for a long time. We all here lost someone either 1st or 2nd person.

September 11, 2001 lives in us every day, ever hour and every minute we walk any street in this city, especially the streets below West 4th.

We do not need continual pick up truck reminders to 'never forget'. Fuck you asshole, I lived it, don't tell me what to remember and what not to remember. And we don't need to be scraping the wound open every morning we get off the Subway or PATH train to come to work here to see our faces plastered before us, tear-filled and horrified.

Some of us wake up in the middle of the night screaming still. Some of us still roll over in bed to the spot once occupied by a lover or spouse who was working that day, (be it in an office, a police car or a fire-suit) and try to caress them in the empty spot. Some of us see the flying bodies when we close our eyes for an afternoon nap.

Now admittedly that's not precisely my experience. My September 11th story is a somewhat twisted tale of a grandmother's death and being near one of the other sites and coming home to an immediate bomb scare. That's for another blog entry.

But the aftermath for me was clear. Though I lived on the opposite end of Manhattan then, the sky was still dark and the fear and anger and grief was still palpable. And I still live with friends whose losses were far deeper and more painful than my own.

We remember. For God's sake, We Remember.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

It's like a plague

Everywhere I've been living for the past few months, permanently or temporarily, the internet goes down for extended periods of time.

So that is today's blog.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My Home Town

New York is famous for being a city of reinvention. It is the embodiment of constant change. There is something about its inner core that abhors steadiness.

It's a magical thing about this town, but it is also its curse. From New Amsterdam to now, its been a city never settled.

About 20 years ago they tried to make a TV series out of the movie "The Four Seasons". In the opening sequence, the character is leaving the city. He looks around and we hear construction everywhere. He says

"Ahh New York...I love it......Call me when it's finished"

Of course he never gets that phone call. I begin my series of lamentations on the loss of what makes New York New York, bear all that in mind.

Still, New York has more of what you find everywhere else; Kmart, Target, Disney etc., all swallowing up Sal & Carmine's, Schimmel and Sons, etc. So that's what I'm ranting on in the coming days and I invite you all to comment on the changes you see in your hometown that you don't care for.

It's Curmudgeon Time.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A day, slightly derailed

I've been asked to come into work early today which leaves me little time to prepare my bloggy blog for the day.

So a couple of quick thoughts. Why is it so cold today? Can we do something about that?

Also...a friend of mine turned me on to this very funny woman. You should read her.

Monday, March 23, 2009

New space

Sleeping on one's own mattress sure changes things. After a month of thin hard or inflatables or tight couches, it is a luxury to lay in the thick comfort of my old friend.

And now that my main pieces are in my room I've completely rethought how I will arrange it. Hint: the loft bed will now face a different direction. I've always enjoyed this aspect of living in a place. Working out furniture and space issues.

Call me crazy (and I know some of you are) but I love it.

This week I am going to start blogging about what makes New York New York in my mind and why I think the uniqueness of my hometown is fading into malldom.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I'm baaaaaack.

March approaches its end and with it comes my birthday.

I'm one of those people that thinks of birthdays as just that. A chance every year to renew. And after this last month, I'd really like that.

So here's what's happened...

After months of struggle with catching up on rent from my long stretch of unemployment I reached an agreement with the landlord on a payment plan. The most recent payment being a few days late, the landlord used this as a perfectly legal, if scumbaggy reason to send an eviction notice.

After some thinking I decided it was better to keep the money, move and be rid of the apartment that had been driving me crazy for the last several meant I had to move within 5 days before the Marshall came and cleared out my stuff. CRAZY time. But it also gave me the chance to do some purging. In some cases too much and others not enough.I know I left some things behind that were of significance to me. But I've decided to chalk it to fate.

All this was followed by two weeks of sleeping in my daughter's room by the patient kindness of my ex wife and her fiancee while I found a new place to live. Which I did.

Tonight I moved in just about fully with my real bed, desk and clothing. More remains in storage but that's to be dealt with over the next few months.

In the last two weeks I lost an old HS acquaintance to cancer which was very sad. It also made me realize that in a way I am now of that age where this sort of thing becomes more common. She was a good woman, talented and spirited and the world is a lesser place for it.

A few days after her passing, an old boss of mine, one of the few I truly liked and still think fondly of, smashed the window of his 17th floor office and jumped. It was a great shock because he never seemed that kind of person. He leaves behind his wife and two children. A good man who must have suddenly been terribly overwhelmed.

In pace requiescate, Scott.

Add to this some other situations that people close to me are experiencing and it was just impossible for me to wrap my head around writing anything that wasn't going to sound completely insane.

But renewal is coming. I'm back now dear reader(s?). I hope you missed me as much as I missed you.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Breaking through

I'm almost ready to start blogging again.

I know all 2 (if that many) of you have really missed me.