Think of this as Volume 17, Number 52 of the newsletter I have written weekly since March, 1997. Enjoy.
I decided to visit the site of the World Trade Center, “Ground Zero,” or “The Pit,” as it's been variously called.
Construction is transforming it. The new One World Trade Center, with its huge antenna, has been topped out. A shorter building, called Four World Trade Center, is going up nearby. The buildings that survived 9-11 are being redone under the name Brookfield Place .
Right now, a visit remains like going to a grave site. There are tickets, and tours, of the site where the Towers once stood, now transformed into a memorial. But there is also scaffolding everywhere, and it obscures the view of what's actually happening, the beautiful process of rebuilding.
Next year, that scaffolding comes down. Next year, New York can begin the important process of forgetting.
We all talk about remembering the past, of memorializing it, but it's also important to forget it and move on. You can't mourn forever.
Some time next year, New York will finally start to move on, and so will the rest of us. Instead of the empty, elevated courtyard of the old site, the new site is at street level. The new World Trade Center isn't separated from the rest of the city, as the old one was, but is integrated into it.