more on anniversaries
still, you can imagine the rude slap this sentence felt like:
When daybreak came we were zooming through New Jersey with the great cloud of Metropolitan New York rising before us in the snowy distance. Dean had a sweater wrapped around his ears to keep warm. He said we were a band of Arabs coming in to blow up New York.
of course, that wasn't the first eerily prophetic thing ever written that foreshadowed 9/11. a much more famous example: in 1948 e.b. white wrote Here is New York (a brilliant little shot that is best followed immediately with a james agee chaser: Brooklyn Is, which was written 10 years earlier). check out this passage if you haven't already:
on a much lighter note ... if (and only if) you are not easily offended, have a very bleak and twisted sense of humor, and consider yourself a fan of what the kids call "hip hop," read this. it's wickedly hilarious.
The subtlest change in New York is something that people don't speak much about but that is in everyone's mind. The city, for the first time in its history, is destructible. A single flight of planes no bigger than a wedge of geese can quickly end this island fantasy, burn the towers, crumble the bridges, turn the underground passages into lethal chambers, cremate the millions. The intimation of mortality is part of New York now: in the sound of jets overhead, in the black headlines of the latest edition.
All dwellers in cities must live with the stubborn fact of annihilation; in New York the fact is somewhat more concentrated because of the concentration of the city itself, and because, of all targets, New York has a certain clear priority. In the mind of whatever perverted dreamer who might loose the lightning, New York must hold a steady, irresistible charm.
It used to be that the Statue of Liberty was the signpost that proclaimed New York and translated it for all the world. Today Liberty shares the role with Death.