5/29/02 Spent a blissful day


Spent a blissful day not going into the city, which is always a treat for us. I’d spend every day screwing around Brooklyn if I could – part of my anxiety wants us only to visit Manhattan after working hours, which is basically when the only fun stuff happens anyway.

After seeing a blurb in Slate about a map of bloggers typing away in New York, I went to the site and promptly cast my lot as one of the fine bloggers at the Grand Army Plaza subway stop vicinity. The nycbloggers.com site is really cool; you can find fellow online diary exhibitionists just by perusing the subway map. It’s one of those “unconscious brotherhood” things that always gives me a cerebral hard-on. I was the first at my stop; by 5pm there were three of us. Looking at the map of Manhattan, you can see where the hipsters live: no blogs at the 96th St. stop on the Upper East Side, but 12 already at Astor Place (by the time any of you read this, I’m sure there will be tons more).

Even more incredible, the site was conceived and built yesterday. The digital age is truly amazing, and has made lighting work of urban legends and cultural memes, so much so that two underemployed coders/bloggers can meet on the street yesterday, have a good idea, write the code, be in Slate the next day (how it got there I have no idea) and then get hundreds of thousands of hits by today.

The site has an incredible feature on it: the entries of bloggers writing on 9/11, one of whom worked two floors above me at the Woolworth Building. I put our family’s diaries on there as well, because I think the writing in some of those is quite lyrical.

One’s own experience of the WTC towers is always subjective, but I thought the buildings were so unbelievably beautiful. My floor at the Woolworth Building had the stunning vantage point of being up in the air with them, giving us the true sense of their vastness. I’d eat lunch and just stare at them. I even put them in the first part of a novel I’d started there:

“I watched the sun set between the twin towers. I used to think the towers were like the headstones at Stonehenge, you know, vast, druidical markers from the mists of the past, but here I was too close: they were more bars, solid awful steel, offering only a glimpse of something so beautiful behind them.”

And with all of my relentless archivism, you’d think I had a hundred pictures of the World Trade Center, but in all my ferreting through stacks of pics, I only found one:

It’s my old roommate Josh Pate and me, on a fall break trip from Carolina in 1990, both of us probably drunk. We were on a boat going to the Statue of Liberty, about to go up into her torso – something you can’t do anymore.

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