John Oliver on 911

John Oliver on the emergency response system in the United States: dialing 911 on a phone.

With the number of people who have cell phones these days and the fact that 911 funding has been cut drastically, there is a technology gap in the United States. We can have a pizza delivered right to our doors but if we dial 911 the ambulance might not find us as easily.

North Pool, Ground Zero

North Pool

9/11 Memorial, New York. Gary and I walked all over New York last Saturday and while we hadn’t planned to visit Ground Zero, it was something both of us wanted to see as we’d seen it under construction but never finished.

I have to say, the two reflecting pools marking the foundations of the twin towers are impressive and reminded me of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC designed by Maya Lin.

I spent time in the Twin Towers, both on business and pleasure and this was the fist time I got a real hit of how much time has passed since 9/11. What brought that home was the fact that there were thousands of people around these pools, all taking pictures (selfies and more) and many seeming to not quite remember what happened here. If I’m truthful, I don’t think it hit Gary and me all that hard while we were standing there either.

It really hit me when I got home and picked up last week’s New Yorker (which I’ve not looked at yet since Gary was here) and looked closely at its cover illustration by Adrian Tomine.

When I took these images (and I took many more) I hadn’t seen that cover illustration and in a way, I’m glad I hadn’t, but I did notice the general scene that cover depicts and now, in retrospect I find it a bit disturbing.

The Pools are exactly the right architectural memorial and some day I’d like to visit when there are fewer people to see if I can get a better fix on the event and what’s left.

North Pool

Battery Park, July 19, 2001

David at Battery Park

I was a “roady” for David Darling at an open air, free concert he did at Battery Park just prior to 9-11. The concert went quite well and in taking these pictures I wasn’t even trying to get the World Trade Center in them, just the musicians.

Paul at Battery Park

My friend Paul Briggs played keyboards as well as sitar in this concert.

Battery Park at Night

Our friend T. Fliesher (in white shirt) played lead electric guitar in the concert. T. is also a landscape architect involved with the grounds around Battery Park and he and his family live in Battery Park. They experienced 9-11 at ground 0: they were at the foot of the South Tower when the second plane hit. They got out safely and even went home to rescue their dog later that day after both buildings collapsed.