15-Sep-2001 Uncategorized


I left the hotel with my camera and my wireless email device. I’d emailed a copy of the directions to NY in case I’d forgotten anything.
I got there quickly but it took a long time to get into the Lincoln tunnel. There were no visible inspections going on so I’m not sure what
the hold up was. I got into town and could see bright lights illuminating the smoldering remains of the World Trade Center
in the distance. I headed for George Washington Park which has a miniature Arche de Triumph at the forefront. There were hundreds of people
with candles walking around the fence which surrounded the archway. Apparently the public is not to be trusted to come close to the arch
because a giant fence surrounded it (and it appeared that the fence had been there for some time). Notes, fliers, flags, and mementos covered
the fence which was itself surrounded my thousands of lit candles. Very peaceful. I walked down Thompson street to Broadway (I believe)
and then hung a left towards Church Street… command central for Ground Zero. There were literally hundreds of policemen on every corner.
Fighter jets zoomed across the sky. Giant trucks filled with debris drove by, one after the other. I caught a glimpse of a severely mangled
tanker truck which was only a shadow of its former self being towed away on a flatbed truck. Apparently the number of people out was nothing
compared to a normal evening. Once I got to Church Street I could see cameramen being checked for credentials and then being allowed to
walk towards the hole in the sky where the towers once stood. A firetruck drove by with 15 firemen on it and the crowd cheered wildly to them.
I didn’t dwell for long. The air smelled close to something like burning metal or burning fiberglass. I overheard people tell their stories about
where they were that day. Nothing unusual. There are pictures of people missing on lamp posts all over. Trucks from the morgue drove by.
I left. I went back up Thompson street and decided I’d try some Sushi at a place that had a significant line. I was bookended by two couples
on either side. The one in front of me seemed to have been dating only a short time and the guy was in ”Show Her Everything I Know
About The World” mode. He was talking about Austin and how awesome it was. True, Austin is nice, but compared to New York, aside from
the past events, it is a New York wannabe in the middle of Texas. I’m impressed that Russell Crowe likes to hang out there as much as he does.
Maybe there is something in Austin that I haven’t figured out yet. Anyway, the couple behind me were definitely longer term daters.
The girl was talking about her father’s crazy friend who suggested that the reason why the towers were bombed were because they were
filled with so many Jewish people and that this was how the Arabs were just continuing what they’ve been doing in Israel. ”Thank you for
your twisted opinion” was the apparent response. Once inside the sushi place I sat between some big lunkhead dude and his tiny little
girlfriend and two very obviously single girls who were trashing men left and right. I smiled and ate my Miso soup. I ordered the regular
sushi dinner and was treated to these enormous portions of sushi on tiny little rice patties. With a chopstick you can’t really cut these things
up so I did my best to eat them whole. A tasty meal, but I’ll go back there with someone signficant again. One is the loneliest number that
you ever heard, okay?

I returned to the park and listened to some guitar players that were playing popular inspirational songs and getting the crowd to sing along.
Among the songs: Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Under The Bridge, So Happy Together, David Bowie’s Major Tom and the
Beatle’s Hey Jude. Around 11:30 PM I decided to bid New York farewell and headed back to the car. After some minor confusion
I eventually found my way back to the Lincoln tunnel (always drive down 37th or 35th) and began the drive back. I missed my exit on the
New Jersey Turnpike. I thought I’d be clever by using a U-Turn lane specifically labeled DO NOT USE THIS U-TURN LANE! I swear
I hadn’t turned onto the other side of the road not five seconds before Mr. New Jersey Super Cop pulled me over. I briefly considered
using the old ”My Daughter Hit Her Head” story but figured I wasn’t motivated enough to put on my acting face. He was nice enough to
give me directions back… as well as a ticket for the illegal U-Turn. Bastard. I may just pay this one after consulting with my insurance
agent. I got back to the hotel and zonked out. The next day I decided to just stay booked in the hotel and to take only 1 bag with my
vital stuff (i.e. toiletries, computer, and camera). I bought a Bruce Lee karate type suit while I was in LA for peanuts, so I’m taking that
home for proper storage.

I am on the plane flying into Atlanta and, after initial tripidation, I’m feeling normal. The lady sitting next to me was supposed to be on a
flight that left on Tuesday the 11th. So of course, she’s a little bit jumpy. There are two idiots behind me playing slapjack or something
that is defiling my ability to chill out. When I got to the airport it was fairly barren. Security checked my entire suitcase from top to bottom.
My fingernail clippers were a suspect instrument, but the guy said he’d let me keep them if I broke off the toe-jam remover part. Darn!
I need that toe jam remover… for, uh… my elephant. Yeah. So, I cut it off and then put all my stuff back in the bag. The security chick
doing the checking nearly ripped open my bottle of Armani cologne. I had to tell her it doesn’t open. I then had to demonstrate how to
spray myself with it. I smell really good right now. I need to remember to avoid open flames.