Last Wednesday I went down to Wall St. It was raining. It was quittin' time. Office workers dodged each other beneath scaffolding that has become permanent in the area. As I crossed the street near St. John's chapel, I looked to my right. There it was: the new building, glistening with modernity. The bottom nineteen stories were lit up with pink lights. The stories above twinkled with white lights and rose up, up, up, until they disappeared into mist so thick it was impossible to see how many stories lay above.
People had tied hundreds of white ribbons to the fence in front of St. John's Chapel. The Remembrance Wall, a sign said. It bothered me. These prim and proper white ribbons were too clean, too crisp, too planned. Nothing like the impromptu walls of remembrance after 9/11. Those held pictures, signs asking after loved ones, mementos, candles, wilted flowers, anything to communicate and share the loss with others. Those walls had been communal, motivated by the need for mutual support. Necessary.
9/11/11 dawned crisp and clear, not unlike the 9/11 ten years ago. By evening low lying clouds had descended on lower Manhattan. At 6PM I went to dance class at DNA (Dance New Amsterdam), near City Hall and not far from Ground Zero (after 9/11 DNA relocated to lower Manhattan in support of the area's redevelopment.) The ceremonies had ended. There were only a few more pedestrians than normal for a Sunday. An extra policeman stood at the corner of Broadway.
I did not need to go to class today, but I wanted to be in Lower Manhattan. I wanted to see the day in a positive way: a reminder of the importance of taking risks, of folding dance and art back into my life, of really living. After class, I walked to the "A" on Chambers. There on my left rose the new building. From its top two parallel beams emerged and projected "11" into the mist. I thought, now that is a suitable wall of remembrance: two beams in the shape of the twin towers rising into the heavens and continuing for infinity.