Monday, September 12, 2011


The Tower's shadows reaching out to Brooklyn at Sunset 1997

I questioned myself today whether I wanted to post anything about 9/11/01 and after watching the many names read this morning, the answer was yes. 9/11 was a devastating day for all Americans, but I feel it was even more so for us New Yorkers. We could see, hear, smell and even taste it. Even if you didn't know someone missing from the Towers, as a New Yorker, you felt you had lost someone and you did, the living breathing Towers had been lost. Whether you liked the design of the Towers or not or what they stood for they were an undeniably strong symbol of this city and an anchor of the skyline. I still see them every time I cross the bridges or fly over Manhattan. I miss them terribly and I'm still shaken by the way they were taken away, the many lives lost and the loss of security we felt, even if it was felt falsely, there could be no greater loss than the loss that was felt that day.

South Tower Observation Deck

My late husband worked in building 4 World Trade Center. I didn't loose him that day, I lost him years later to Cancer, but he loved those towers. It was devastating to watch them burn that morning. He mingled down by the buildings in disbelief taking pictures just as I knew he would, so when the first tower fell as myself and the other passengers saw through the front window of a M5 bus we were riding down 5th Avenue, I thought I would never see him again. Fighter jets were now flying above us and the bus driver, with tears in his eyes, stopped the bus at 22nd street and told us he couldn't drive any further and we'd have to walk from there. There are no words to describe the fear of that walk home, from the step on to the pavement off the bus to our empty apartment and the long wait before he walked through the door pale as a ghost, glass shards in his neck with random papers that he had found blowing in the wind gripped tightly in his hands, he didn't talk for hours. And so began the obsession with 9/11/01.

My husband and his sister looking off the South Tower observation deck

Every one of us has a story of how that day unfolded and perhaps is still haunting us.

Patti Smith at the 9.11 Babelogue opening, Hunter College

"The Towers are gone and the skin of our sky is wounded", Patti Smith, Twin Death, (9.11 Babelogue)

Plane Folded Flight 11, 175  2002  Patti Smith 9.11 Babelogue

My very dear friend Michelle Yun curated this wonderful show of Patti Smith's response to 9.11, being shown for the first time in New York in it's entirety, 9.11 Babelogue will be on view at The Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Gallery at Hunter College September 7th - December 3, 2011

The kid and I attended the opening and with the catalog (which is stunning by the way) from the show in hand I noticed a few people reaching out to Smith for a signature and I thought to myself I would love for her to sign my copy to my late husband. It just felt like something I had to do for him and for a keep sake for my son. After a brief conversation I asked if she would sign the book to him and she replied with "I lost my husband too and that's something I would do." It was a wonderful connection with her in that moment as a woman, mother and widow.

To Quentin

sing to me tonight, I need a song to help me sleep...

...Every lullaby needs to find it's night, and so we send our love into the night, ya never that far, ya never that far and so my lover keep you there, I'll keep you in my heart, it's not that bad, don't sleep so sad, cause it's not that bad, so don't sleep so sad...Jonathan Keevil, Baby Fin

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