Memories of WTC

Memories of WTC

Last spring, while I was buying an Italian ice on the corner of Chambers and Greenwich, a woman walked up to me and asked, “Where is the World Trade Center?” Instead of answering, I turned my head and slowly looked up. And up.

“Oh.” She’d followed my gaze.

During the winter an eight-year-old friend and I bought ice cream at the new Ben & Jerry’s in the mall under WTC. We wandered, looking in the stores. Our cones done, we wanted to throw away our trash–but there were no trash containers. The kid finally took our rubbish into a fast-food place and gave it to a worker there, who told him that there were no trash cans for fear of bombs that could be placed in them.

That same eight-year-old and I liked to sit and watch the fountain in the outdoor courtyard at WTC. It was great: low, with spreading water falling gently over a circular, dark, probably marble, two-foot edge.

The last time I went to the observation deck was with the kid, too. We saw the replica of Captain Cooke’s ship Endeavor anchored just a short walk away. Down we went, and over to the ship, where we looked up, back to where we had been.

The first time I went up in the building was thirty years ago, when people were first being allowed to visit. The interiors of the floors I visited were still empty, just floors, windows, and ceilings, and electrical boxes sitting here and there where interior walls would be installed. The view was tremendous, but I did not care for the building.

Now I miss it.

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