MORE NYC TRIP
I put together several pictures to create the above panorama, which gives you an idea of what I was talking about last week when I said there's an big, bright open spot in the business district where once there stood the World Trade Centers. In this photo, I'm standing about 50 feet east of the intersection of Church & Vesey Streets looking West/Southwest. The World Trade Center occupied about 12 square blocks (4 x 3) right in the middle of this picture. The lower buildings started about 50 yards beyond that hanging traffic light on the right. The pit (which you can't see from this angle) is about 7 stories deep, ending (I think) at the PATH train track level.
The three large, white-capped buildings directly opposite are the larger structures of the World Financial Center. I used to work on the 9th floor of the one furthest to the left. The area that looks a bit like a Zeppelin hanger inbetween the two large towers on the left is the Winter Garden. It was a huge, lovely, glass-enclosed courtyard that had palm trees year-round. That was badly damaged and is now being repaired. Much of the rest of the World Financial Center is open.
On the far left of the picture, you can see a bit of the fence which surrounds an 18th century Church that remains directly across the street from the site (I believe it's the Church where George Washington went to pray after being elected America's first president). On all four sides around the church, the fence is covered with banners and flags sent from all over the world. If your local high school or fire department sent something, that's where it probably hangs today.
That larger building to the left covered by a black shroud and giant American flag is the Deutsche Bank building. Despite being badly damaged by falling debris and fire on 9/11, it remained standing. According to some newspapers, engineers want to investigate and figure out why that bland black box withstood that day's events better than some of its neighbors. After that, there's a chance it will be torn down, since fully renovating it might be cost-prohibitive.
This picture is still a bit small to give the proper impact, so I've uploaded a much larger view here (~270K). It gives a bit more perspective on just how large an area was devestated in this attack.
Tomorrow, I'll try to upload more lighthearted pictures from my trip and gigs.