September 11 Anniversary Part Two
And when I read Divided We Stand, a small book that recounted the constuction of the World Trade Center, and how an entire small neighborhood called Radio Row was demolished to make way for this mega project, I was unhappy about what had been done to create this bohemoth.
But still, it did grow on me --a bit-- after awhile. I got an office there, which I never had before. And after awhile, I got another office, by the south side, with a window yet. From the 103rd Floor, I had a commanding view of the Statue of Liberty ,Ellis Island, the Verrazano Bridge, and to the left, my home neighborhood of Bay Ridge.
I saw the whitecaps on the water when it was windy. I saw Continental Airlines commuter planes hook around the complex on their way to Newark Airport. I saw the cruise ships leave on a Friday night, on the way to Canada, Bermuda or the Caribbean.
From the other sides of the building, you could see over the entire city. With binoculars, I could see planes on the runway at JFK Airport. Without them, I saw Long Island Railroad trains in Nassau County, and silver NJ Transit trains heading west to the Watchung Mountains. There were large highway signs somewhere in Brooklyn that shined bright green when the sun shone just right on them. Also trucks way out in New Jersey. And Shea Stadium and the Washington Square Arch, and a million other things, large and small.
The view from the 103rd Floor depended on the play of the sunlight. The view changed every day, and every hour within every day.
Almost every day, we would see airplanes fly below us. Often we saw advertising blimps float below.
Working 103 floors above the earth, cars were very small specs , and you really could not see individual people on the sidewalk.
We would often have clouds form below us. Someone would ask what the weather was like, and you had to say you had no idea!
One of my favorite moments was when there was a heavy thunderstorm at maybe 4pm. We had a meeting in a corner conference room. from which you could not see an inch outside. But you could hear the thunder from maybe a half-city block outside. And could see the lightning when it flashed too close for comfort. God, I loved that!
On September 10, 2001, I worked a long day, as we had a meeting was changed at the last day to September 11 and I had to do a few things. I was there until maybe 7:30 at night. There was the 7:30 flight to New England the following morning. As it was a day trip, I left my laptop in the office. I took the elevator down to the 78th floor Skylobby, then took the larger elevator to the Ground Floor. Then, a short stroll through the concourse, to the R subway train for a 35-40 minute ride home to Bay Ridge.
I'll always remember the view from the 103rd Floor. No eagle had a more commanding view of New York than we once did. I miss it terribly.