I just have to finish this story. I have told it numerous times, but never written it down. And it deserves it, small though it is in the greater scheme of things.
The World Trade Center was a big part of my New York experience. I love living this close to NYC, even though sometimes months pass before I get a chance to go to the city again.
I would take all my European visitors to the WTC, my parents, my CT visitors, my girlfriend, when she visited with her husband, and two daughters, my godson, when he stayed with us for one year, my sister-in-law, once a girlfriend of a girlfriend with her baby and a woman from my little town in Germany - and the list goes on. Most of the time I would go up to the platform with the visitors, my daughters opted to stay down and wait for us a couple of times. I loved it. I loved it on rainy, cloudy days, when you weren't allowed up top, I loved it on sunny days, I could never get enough of walking around the top, over the tower itself, about 10 feet from the edge. We tried to pick out the 'hill' we came down on Rt. 80, pick out landmarks, point out where JFK airport is, name the bridges, admire the Brooklyn Bridge from up high, and look for familiar buildings.
Once we got treated to a brunch high above NYC, we took a limousine into town, and felt like millionaires. I had drinks in the bar high above New York. No, I never worked there, I didn't know the towers that intimately. But I used the PATH coming from NJ, I remember the loooong escalator which is still there - it seems weird to ride it up, even after all these years.
On my way to work in the morning, coming down the hill on Rt.80, right before the 'Morristown, Rt. 202' exit, you could get a glimpse of the towers. I would judge the weather by it. If you could barely see the tops of the towers, it was humid, on a clear day, one could see them plainly, and on rainy days you'd miss them all together. When walking in the city, or coming out of a subway stop, you could orient yourself on the towers in the distance, knowing they were south of you, and pick the direction you needed to go from there.
No, I didn't know anyone who worked and or perished there. I worked with a woman who lost her son. We knew a college friend my daughter, who worked near there, and on that terrible day walked from Ground Zero all the way home to 96th St. For those of you not familiar with NYC, The WTC was below 1st. St., in a part of town, where streets still have names.
(on an aside note, this is the same friend who found himself in Thailand during Christmas, when that tsunami hit. He luckily was out on the ocean on a boat/ship, and they noticed very little, but then he frantically searched for friends once he got on land, and yes, everyone in that group was fine)
There is a huge hole now where the towers stood. Yes, I know there is construction, but I'm talking about the hole in my heart. And I know I'm not the only one. The 'locals' still miss the towers. No, no one talks about it, but they do.