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New York Daily Photo: Universal Impact
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Thursday, 11 September 2008

Universal Impact

I lived in New York City during the 9/11 disaster - in fact my apartment had unobstructed direct views of the Twin Towers. I viewed the impact of the first Tower minutes after the first plane struck a tower. I live and work in lower Manhattan in close proximity to Ground Zero and like other downtown residents, elements of the aftermath lingered for months. Smoke, fumes, restricted areas, emergency vehicles, vigils and memorials were part of every day life.
I have a series of photos taken during that period, none of which I have posted before. There has so much coverage, imaging and activity surrounding the disaster that I have limited my participation. Any contributions sometime feel virtually gratuitous.
Today I have opted to post one of my original photographs of a memorial site against a fenced-in area surrounding Washington Square Arch in the Village, taken in 2001 - see second photo here. This site was one of many spontaneous occurrences throughout the city. One remarkable thing about all of these sites was the universal regard they were shown for the long periods of time that they remained. Like the ghost bikes around town, these displays of candles, flowers and personal notes were left unprotected but remained unaltered.
There were a small number of sales of inappropriate 9/11 "memorabilia" immediately after the event, but most of this was squashed quickly and mercilessly by mayor Giuliani. There was zero sympathy for anyone trying to capitalize in such a heartless manner.
No graffiti or vandalism and little exploitation - extremely rare in this city to have an event of such monumental impact that it is paid such universal respect ...


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