June 21-29, 2003: A Western Trip to NM, AZ, UT and CO
April 8-11, 2003: A Business Trip to Las Vegas
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April 22, 2003
A Business Trip to New York City


 

On April 22, I flew to New York City to do a Data Junction class for a company called Multiplan; they actually work with health care providers to structure insurance and other plans. This was the first time I had been to New York since the events of September 11th, 2001, and I was wondering how things might have changed.

As far as the business environment was concerned, eighteen months had, apparently, moved the issues and discussion off the front burner, even though the Second Iraq War had supposedly reached the end of its "combat operations phase" by the time I was in the city. Still in all, it did not seem to be any more a major topic of conversation at breaks or lunch than it might have been elsewhere in the country.

The one thing that I did want to do was to go down to the site of the World Trade Center buildings and see for myself what things looked like.


At left, I have put the current aerial view from Google Maps of the area where I walked around. Obviously, the aerial view was taken after 2003, because you can see that work is well-underway on the memorial areas and on the replacement buildings. But it's the only view I have access to.

I got off the subway some distance from the site, and walked south along Church Street to get there. Just as I got to the corner of the new excavated area, I could look back up Church Street and see the Empire State Building.

When I got to the site, I found that, as expected, the entire WTC site was fenced off because of all the construction going on. Most of the onlookers were along the fence along Church Street, and that is where I took most of my pictures. By putting my camera lens through one of the little square openings in the fence, I could see most of the site. You can see the site and the two undamaged skyscrapers on the other side of it here.


At right are some thumbnails for three other pictures that I took from my vantage point here along Church Street. I am right across the street from the Marriott Millenium hotel which, like almost every one of the buildings bordering the WTC site, was pretty much undamaged during the collapse. There were windows broken from flying debris, but it continues to be incredible to me that hundred-story towers could collapse so neatly that buildings literally across the street sustained little or no damage.

Now my memory is not all that great here, but as I recall down at the corner of Church and Cortlandt Streets, you could turn to the west and walk along the front of a skyscraper just south of the WTC site. I remember that the building was shrouded in some sort of fabric, and I think it was because there was a lot of broken glass that had not been replaced. On the aerial view above, I think I can tell which building it is. Anyway, the walkway led along its north side, and from here I could look north across the WTC site. Building 7 used to be on the far side of the site. That was the building that they said they had to pull later in the day on 9/11 because of fire and damage to it. I remember seeing the video of that building collapsing neatly into its own footprint, but then that's what controlled demolition experts can do. You probably remember the video too; if not, you can watch it on YouTube here. Of course, I always wondered how a controlled demolition could be set up so quickly and in the midst of such chaos; I thought those things took weeks to set up, even in the best of circumstances. Your guess is as good as mine.

The last picture I took today was a view from this second vantage point back towards Church Street and the fence I walked along originally. You can see the Millennium Hotel (the tall black monolith) at the right in this picture.

The rest of my trip to New York City was uneventful, although I must say that my visit to the WTC site left quite an impression. The only thing I am not sure of is just what that impression was.

You can use the links below to continue to the album page for different day.


June 21-29, 2003: A Western Trip to NM, AZ, UT and CO
April 8-11, 2003: A Business Trip to Las Vegas
Return to Index for 2003