There was one summer in particular in my childhood years I will never forget. I spent the summer of 1986 in Morristown New Jersey with my Uncle Lenny (Lenny is actually my Dad's cousin but I always knew of him as an uncle). Uncle Lenny was planning to move from New Jersey to the northern Nevada area where my family was living, so my folks sent me back east with him to spend some time there and to help him move.
All the family stuff aside, this was the summer of New York City for me. I was 15 years old that year. It was the year that the Statue of Liberty turned 100 years old. My uncle took me to NYC about five times while I was back east. He took me to the neighborhood that he and my Dad grew up in Brooklyn. I ate at Peter Lugers. I shopped at Macy's (it was much larger than the Macy's in Reno). I couldn't believe how nice the NY Public Library was, how big, the woodwork throughout the place, that kind of stuff. Unlce Lenny thought it would be funny to ditch me in Little Italy to see if I would freak out. I didn't, I loved it there. Had a slice of pizza and was making friends when he reappeared.
But what topped it all off for me was having a late lunch at the Windows of the World restaurant atop the World Trade Center. I think the Chrysler Building is the finest looking tower, I think the Empire State Building is the most fascinating tower, but the Twin Towers gave me the feeling of power and magnificence from a location that can't be beat.
On the ground in between the towers I remember looking up at both towers and sort of spinning around, it almost made me fall.
This closely resembles the image in my memory. Just spin your monitor around a few times and see if it doesn't make you a bit dizzy.
I just loved being there in a way that I could never describe it. In the summer of 2001 my wife and I were given two tickets in a luxury booth at a Phillies game for a wedding present. While we were back east we took a day and went to NYC. On the agenda was visiting the WTC. One thing led to another and that plan was scrapped because of time. But that was okay we though because we'd make sure we make good on those plans the next time we visit NYC.
Then 9/11 happened like two months later. I just remember that morning turning on the TV as my wife said something was happening there. The TV clicked on just in time for me to see the second tower fall (remember I live on the west coast). Just like that the towers were no more. I immediately thought of those days as a youngster in the city and the other visit just a couple of months before. I held those feelings first because I had no idea what had happened with the highjacked airplanes, the terrorists, the crashes, or the suffering of the thousands who were trapped.
I took it for granted that the Twin Towers would be there forever. The loss I felt that morning for those buildings... those buildings... was like the feeling when I've lost a friend or family to death. Of course just a few moments later I began to catch up on the events of that morning that led to the destruction and obviously like the rest of America my feeling turned towards those who were killed and those who were losing their loved ones.
I won't turn this into a political post or a tribute to any of the victims. Others do that much better than I do (in fact check this out, you will like, great job Jay). This effort was just my way to remember a property with tall skyscrapers on it that filled my memory banks in a way that no other place has. The NYC skyline has always been my favorite site to see. Other buildings will be going up in the Twin Towers place but my memory will always have a clear picture of the beauty that was the World Trade Center.