The World Trade Towers are Gone!
I know that’s sort of an obvious statement, but it’s just hitting me that the Twin Towers, where I worked for two years and in whose shadows I spent virtually all of the remainder of my working life to date, are gone.
I have a vague memory as a young child of hearing that there was a new tallest building in the world, eclipsing the Empire State Building. Later I visited the observation deck, and was amazed to be standing outside 110 stories in the air.
A few years after that, one of my great aunts had recovered from a serious illness, and the whole family had a party at Windows on the World to celebrate. I recall that being the first place I ever encountered men’s room attendants, and I remember my dad handing me a quarter to give to the guy after he handed my towel.
When I was a senior in college, I interviewed for jobs at accounting firms, including Deloitte, Haskins & Sells (now Deloitte & Touche) at the World Trade Center. The partner I interviewed with took me to lunch just a few floors up at Windows on the World.
I took the job with Deloitte in the fall of 1989, and for two years I worked on the 94th Floor of One World Trade Center (the north tower, one with the antenna). My former floor was approximately where the first plane crashed this morning.
When it was windy, the building would gently sway, and your coffee would slosh back and forth in your cup (and the water in the toilets would slosh back and forth, too). Sometimes office doors would swing open and shut, as if propelled by ghosts.
I remember being in endless boring meetings and seminars, and watching plastic bags float around in the updrafts, 94 stories above the ground. Sometimes at sunset, there would be an eerie purple light that came through the windows. When the ground was covered by low clouds, you could look out above the cloud bank and see a bright field of white all around the building, with the only thing visible above the tufts the spire of the Empire State Building to the north.
One summer, there was a fleet of small sailboats with that used to race around the harbor with pink spinnakers. I’m convinced that they did so just to torment me, trapped in a glass box 1200 feet in the sky, rather than out sailing in the sun.
One time there was a power failure downtown, and we had to evacuate the building. I walked down from the 94th floor to the 78th floor, where I caught an elevator running on emergency power the rest of the way down.
I was in law school when the '93 bombing took place. I went to a friend’s apartment and spent the day staring at the television. Fortunately, there was minimal loss of life, and everyone from my old firm got out.
After law school I worked at a law firm located on Wall Street, just a few blocks from the Trade Center. I’m now working at a firm on Maiden Lane, also a few blocks from the Trade Center. I was there last Friday, sitting in the plaza reading a book at lunch.
The Trade Center complex was recently leased from the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey to private interests. My firm represented one of the lenders in the deal, and for several weeks this summer a big chunk of my department was running around working on the World Trade Center deal. There was great relief when the deal actually closed.
Just a few days ago I was exchanging e-mails with vix, talking about possibly seeing some free dance shows that were scheduled there for the evenings this week. I guess we be going. <sigh>
Goodbye Twin Towers, my old friends.