Saturday, September 10, 2011

On Top of the World (10 years Later)

I remember August of 2001. My old friend Lou was in town and we were hanging out in the financial district.  We were all dressed up with no where to go, so he got the idea to eat at Windows on the World. I'd never been there before, (typical New Yorker) so we headed to the Twin Towers. We were both getting ready to go to law school in a few days so why not splurge a little!

We almost didn't get in. The guard at the elevators said they weren't letting anyone else up. I told Lou we should just go another time. He begged the guy and I guess the guard felt bad seeing us begging to go eat there so he let us up.

Up the elevators in a flash, excited about our fancy meal, we sat at a table overlooking Manhattan. 

The view was amazing from up there. I don't remember eating much but we sure laughed a lot. We had a blast! I remember feeling like we were gonna get kicked out any minute.  Especially when  Lou decided to take this tiny ketchup bottle that he had requested from the waiter. I pleaded with him not to, ever the rule follower that I am. He laughed at me and said "I just want a souvenir. When are we ever gonna do this again? Do you see this incredible view?" I remember looking out the window and sighing, giving in to the thievery of the ketchup bottle. I did indeed see the incredible view from the 107th floor of the North Tower.  It was breathtaking.

Well, he got to keep his souvenir and we got to keep this memory. I took the subway home that day and told my mom all about my fancy meal at Windows on the World. That was a great day.

Looking back I'm so glad we didn't wait for tomorrow to have such an incredible experience, at the top of the World Trade Center.

Had we waited, we would've known that tomorrow would never come.


This post is written in memory of the doorman who gave us the gift of our first and last meal at the top of the World Trade Center; the staff of Windows on The World, and all of those who were lost on what seemed like an arbitrary Tuesday morning; and those like me who were at school, desperately trying to contact their families. 

This post is in honor of those who were left behind; we New Yorkers who suffered from a distance as we saw the conflagration of the place we call home, and defended its' name and honor when misguided individuals could not understand how very real and painful this all was; those who like me walked through Grand Central Station looking at the "Missing" posters, with an endless flood of tears.

This small post of a time before 9/11 is in honor of the innocent lives that were lost, the fear that shook my beautiful city, the tears that linger, and the courage to rebuild 10 years later. Everyone has their story - and we will never forget.

GLMPS of 9/11 Memorial in Union Square