Month Six: February
February brings the Lunar New Year, the year of the Black Horse. Lion dancers roam Chinatown, bringing good luck and chasing away evil spirits.
|Flag scarves and fake firecrackers|
Firecrackers were banned several years ago, so children settle for white twisted snap crackers.
|No tents on the Battery|
Farther south, the National Guard have left Battery Park; debate goes on about air quality in Battery Park City, and grants for nearby residents willing to commit to two more years downtown.
|Outside the Battery Park theater (still closed)|
A friend living across from St Paul’s Chapel shows me his only view of the progress at Ground Zero: a blurred reflection in a neighbor’s window.
He talks us in to another, unoccupied apartment with a better view. Gray dust from the collapse is still matted into the window corners.
|A field of trailers|
The progress is impressive, though cranes still claw at the piles of broken beams. It’s hard to tell exactly, but it looks like they are now working three floors down.
|Heritage Trail marker|
The rubble makes its way on trucks to Pier 25, where it is offloaded onto barges bound for sorting at the Staten Island Fresh Kills Landfill.
|Building the future|
More streets have been reopened near the site, and weekend crowds fill every new opening.
I notice an NYPD officer standing and flipping through a booklet of faces between scans of the crowd.
|Feel free to feel better|
|Using airplanes to kill|
|The other twin towers|
|St. Paul’s Chapel wall|
|New world disorder|
|Got human rights?|
Each week brings a new wave of posters and stickers.
|Shut down the WEF|
|Defend your country|
|World Financial Center|
|Disaster cards, with target|
Each week also brings a new wave of conflicting messages and images of Arab men.
|Instant stereotype: just cut and apply|
|Both missing from the 90th Floor|
|Remember her on Valentine’s Day|
|A Valentine from Puff Daddy|
Mid-month, Valentine’s Day brings another flood of emotional imagery, not all of it loving.
And with it, more corporate tie-ins.
|Pier 16 Ticketbooth|
A new city policy requires tickets for the viewing platform, to cut down congestion at the WTC site, and increase foot traffic at the neglected South Street Seaport.
|Map and platform ticket|
A maze of police barriers around the ticket booth awaits the weekend lines, but during the week the maze is empty.
|If you have time|
|Reaching for space|
|Over the platform edge|
At 5:00 I turn in my ticket, and wait in line for my three minutes on the platform.
Mayor Giuliani’s signature has faded and been overwritten.
Nine years ago today, the North Tower of the World Trade Center was bombed.
|The platform at dusk|