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Ground Zero

March 8, 2010

All of these images were made within a ten minute time span. I’ve never specifically made a trip to Ground Zero. I was just passing by. The sky was for me uncommon, but I live in Southern California so cloud cover is a rarity. Walking within a block of this place and you could feel a palpable sense of unease. There were lookers and onlookers and watchers and viewers, all trying to make peace with the place, the event, etc. I also noticed there were a few eyes on me, wondering eyes, which I see far more of these days, so I made myself quiet.

There was a majesty to the cranes operating and this place holds a sense of power. Perhaps it always did, but in another way. Everyone it seemed needed to catch a peak, to see a little more, even those you would least expect to climb a fence or peak through a hole.

About a half an hour ago I wrote something that I think does justice to this place, and before I could save it, my internet connect went out and I didn’t notice. So when I went to save the post, it was gone. Completely gone. Normally I can remember exactly what I wrote, but this stuff just came pouring out and I can’t remember a single line of it. Not a single line. Maybe it was my internal purge? I sat here and tried to reboot my brain but it just didn’t work. It was as if the thoughts I had put down were not even mine.

Looking back, what I find remarkable is the invisible wall surrounding this place. Sure there are screens, and gates, and fences, and barriers and warning signs, etc, but there is also an invisible line you cross when you even get close to this place. I’m not well versed in Manhattan at all. I’ve been there many times, but always for business and I come and go to the places I need and then depart. I’ve never really explored. Rounding a street corner, making my way back uptown I just felt something. I would imagine it is a combination of ingredients. The physical structure yes, but also the feelings of other people around me. You can feel their experience and their reaction. I honestly didn’t know where I was. And then suddenly I did.

Cashio Street. Los Angeles. Where I was that day. Three hours behind in the global clock, but just happened to turn on my television. “Hey honey, you should come take a look at this.” My first response was not the attack, the buildings coming down or the death toll. I found myself looking into the future, our collective future, and having a vision of a new world. I saw a chain of events. I saw armies and desolate places. Just brief flashes and blips, incoherent pulses trying to paint a picture.
When I return to New York I’m going to return to this place once again. I don’t know if I’ll shoot more images, but I just want to feel it again.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. March 9, 2010 8:27 am

    Like these a lot and it does remind me of the trip to NY several years ago and our visit to the site.

    • March 9, 2010 6:15 pm

      Thanks. I like a couple of them. Such a strong feeling in that place.

  2. David Wissinger permalink
    March 9, 2010 6:45 pm

    I went there a lot for business prior to 9/11. Attended many conferences atop the WTC, and often find myself remembering the dramatic view. Haven’t been back since 9/11, but I imagine it would be an eerie experience to see the place so transformed. Dan, the image of the plane and the clouds is remarkable.

  3. March 9, 2010 6:48 pm


    I was never in the buildings before, not that I recall anyway. The sky this particular day was remarkable. I get so used to ZERO cloud cover that anything in the sky normally gets me to stop and look.

    • David Wissinger permalink
      March 9, 2010 8:30 pm

      This time of year in Northern CA there are a lot of cool clouds. Some days it’s a real show the way they change all day long. Come summer, nada.

  4. March 16, 2010 2:02 pm

    I was there on Sep 29th on business for Kodak. Working on a press at a print shop where they were printing posters of pictures honoring men and women from their local firehouse who had perished just a few weeks prior.

    I had been to NYC before and found it cold, uninviting, and, to tell the truth, a bit scary. But on this trip everything was different. A policeman on every corner. Everyone smiled and said “Hello” to you on the street. There was a camaraderie between strangers created by a common shared experience.

    That feeling still exists for me when I go back there. It’s now one of my favorite places to go back to. Great pics, Dan!

    • March 16, 2010 5:09 pm


      It is odd how that event did bring a togetherness. Many events like that do and the hope is to see it continue. We get distracted cause there is a lot to distract us, but when we are more together as a people….well, that’s just the best thing we can have.

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