The Twin Towers Project: Part Three


“In Memory of September 11, 2001,” Warren Street and West Broadway, New York
Sticker Affixed to the Window of Portebello’s Pizzeria and Sicilian Kitchen on the Corner of West Broadway and Murray Street, New York

This week, The Twin Towers Project returns with its third and final installment.

When we imagine New York City today, do we envision what we wish New York to be or take pride in what the City, tragically reduced but eternally majestic, still is?

As the years have passed since the shock of 9/11, trinket shops around Manhattan have grappled with how to portray their city to the volumes of tourists from across the country and around the world. At first, the shops maintained all postcards with the Towers and sold miniature Towers beside diminutive versions of the Empire State Building and Statute of Liberty. However, as time has gone on, the Trade Center has begun to recede from these shops.

Closer to the Trade Center, store owners continue to express a belief in the immortality of the fallen Towers. At lower-right, a mural honoring those who perished on 9/11 stands as a sobering reminder of what was. And at upper-right, a sticker on the window of Portebello’s Pizzeria in Lower Manhattan, declares, “The Twin Towers are Forever Because Dreams Never Die.”

The Towers have come to hold symbolic meaning they never had during their lifetime. Indeed, while the World Trade Center had captured the imagination of famed high wire artist Philippe Petit (whose documentary Man on Wire was released earlier this year to rave reviews), the Trade Center was more often cited as an architectural eyesore.

Now, in death, its meaning has been transformed-from raw power to elegant gracefulness. They are, as they always were and will be, engineering feats of the highest magnitude. But there is something more that keeps us from pulling away-the belief that the triumph of the Twin Towers is immortal proof that not even death itself can extinguish the eternal flame of human imagination.

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