I moved to NYC less than 2 years after September 11th, 2001, but that fateful day, like most Americans, I felt like a New Yorker. I had visited multiple times before 2001, and remember standing on the observation deck of one of the twin towers as a teenager, looking down at the city I knew I’d call home one day. A few months after the towers fell, I drove down from school in Vermont for an internship interview and remember seeing ground zero still smoking, remnants of the towers still leaning haphazardly as recovery workers sifted through the rubble for remains. I couldn’t bring myself to go back for years, even after I moved to the city. Then there were years of discussions about how to rebuild and what to do with the site. The years flashed forward and suddenly, the Freedom Tower rose gleaming above the other skyscrapers to show the world that New Yorkers cannot be defeated. I remember the overwhelming feeling of pride to see this new World Trade Center rise above the beautiful memorial pools, and I was even prouder knowing one of my friends was part of this process, as one of the elevator engineers integral to these new buildings. The construction on One World Trade Center began 11 years ago, and it was completed about 3 years ago, but only this month have I been drawn back to view my city once again from the tallest building in the western hemisphere. Looking down at the city, vying for window space among the tourists speaking so many languages around me, I couldn’t be more proud.
As you may remember, these “30 Minutes in the Life” posts that I do each month are part of a wonderful group of talented photographers from around the world. Please feel free to click on Hayley Hay’s post to see what 30 minutes in Switzerland looked like for her this month. I promise you won’t be disappointed!