Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Ground zero

I had another weekend of doing almost nothing, and then I decided to go out today and spend a few bucks on DVDs. I went down to J&R’s, and for some insane reason, decided that I really needed to go see ground zero. I’d previously said that I would never go down there and be one of those stupid tourists looking at a hole in the ground like it was the largest ball of twine on display in the middle of South Dakota at a roadside marker or whatever. But I did decide go to once I was down at City Hall, so I walked over there.

I don’t think the site would be that impressive to someone who hadn’t been down there before, when the towers were standing. Aside from the banners and displays and signs hanging on a fence, the place doesn’t look much different than any other construction site. And I didn’t spend a lot of time down there before, but I did have a mental image in my head of the pre-9/11 layout. So when I started walking down Vesey and got my first clear shot of the area, it was like being hit in the chest with a lead plate. It was so dramatic, seeing that big piece of the landscape plucked clean and replaced by a giant pit of nothing. I really wasn’t even thinking that much about the people who died there or the greater symbolism. I just looked at the surrounding buildings, the things that were made famous by the videos and the news stories; the giant pit of the WTC 7 foundation, the fucked-up Verizon building, and all of the surrounding structures that are now pretty much back to normal. There are still a lot of fences and opened-up manholes and torn-apart sidewalks and stuff like that, and that’s the biggest indicator of the area to people walking by. You can’t really see into the bathtub from the street, and you can’t see the same shot that every aerial photo on the news shows. It doesn’t look that impressive or huge when you are standing in front of it – the whole area is only 17 acres. But it was there. And it was pretty weird.

That was the only noteworthy part of the weekend. Other than that, I sat around, edited this journal book, watched a lot of dumb movies, and that’s about it. I have to work this week, but only Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. No holiday plans, just editing and Grand Theft Auto, which isn’t too bad. Our Xmas weather is going to be in the 40s and raining. I can deal with that.