Buffalo, New York, USA
January 01
Traveling through the universe.....just tarrying on this planet savoring life. I get the "Last Word" sometimes in "The Indian American' and relish the privilege to have a few Op-eds published in "News India Times". Niche 'n nice!


Editor’s Pick
MARCH 30, 2009 12:14AM

Hope in The World Trade Center Site

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The World Trade Center -memorial recontsruction site as seen from "The Winter Garden Atrium" last week, March 20, 2009.

 crows line-up

Lined up like crows on a wire, safe behind the windows beyond which lay the site of previous destruction, I stood watching the large open-air mausoleum frozen in time. A strange and heavy silence filled the great Atrium as everyone tried to visualize what took place 8 years ago. Under the blue skies it seemed like a giant fresco or a frozen diorama in the midst of a bustling city. The cranes did not move. There were very few people at the site. This was the last stop for the day.

Omar the bus driver and Edwin had showed us around NYC on one of those hop-on hop -off city tours advertised on He spoke of delays and politics, the problems behind the slow re- contruction. Tired after the long day, I scanned the horizon in search of a story....

  March2009 NYC visit 110

My searching lens found the steeple of St Paul's chapel, NYC's only surviving pre-revolutionary church and learned that this part of Trinity Church had been miraculously saved on that fateful day in 2001. A brave Sycamore tree in the yard took the brunt of the WTC debris that crashed into the churchyard and became a potent symbol of sacrifice.


March2009 NYC visit 109

Steven Tobin used the stump of the tree to create a memory of its bravery in bronze. My lens found it on display outside Trinity Church later. The sculpture will be returned to the churchyard at St. Paul's, the oldest public building in continuous use in Manhattan. George Washington worshiped there after his inauguration in 1789.

March2009 NYC visit 099

The Atrium, connected to the twin towers through the very windows we watched out of, had suffered severely with the towers in 2001. Edwin showed us pictures from the internet much like this one  or the next.



 fallen atrium

  My camera turned around and saw the Atrium in all its new glory from the inside.

The Winter Garden Atrium is a 10-story glass-vaulted pavilion on Vesey Street in New York City's World Financial Center . Along with the rest of World Financial Center, it was designed by architect César Pelli in 1985. Completed in 1988 at a cost of $60 million, the Atrium was originally connected to the World Trade Center via a 400-foot (122 m) pedestrian bridge that spanned the West Side Highway. It has been substantially rebuilt in 2002.

 March2009 NYC visit 113

The Atrium, as seen from the outside via kite aerial photography. The contrast made me marvel at the resilience symbolized by the recontsruction of the Atrium and I have appreciated its beauty even more.

  Atrium 3

The Sycamore stump and the Atrium symbolized the crushed small (Hu)-man who has risen up all through history, shaken the dust off, and stood up tall re-inventing the resilience of mankind. Victorious! Hopeful! Joyous!Onwards!

The symbolic  images  I had clicked a little while before from  Wall Street and the NY Stock Exchange  seemed in a space/time continuum with the disaster at the WTC site 8 yeras ago. An (man-made) economic storm of destruction waiting to be re-invented, re-made, re-built, re-written.

  March2009 NYC visit 084March2009 NYC visit 087

  March2009 NYC visit 092March2009 NYC visit 101

I went back even further to the first site clicked in the morning when a single word in a mosaic from Italy evoked images of possibilities that Lennon saw and wrote of . Lying in Strawberry fields in a tear shaped island of criss-crossing roads it shouts out its message of hope and peace. 

The trip through NYC began where it ended and ended where it began and looped endlessly into a whirlpool of destruction and creation. Shiva and Brahma playing their games in an eternal cycle. The atheist in me smiled.....

March2009 NYC visit 023

I came back home to my lake  with a sense that everything will be all right.


Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

 -John Lennon



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I dont know where you went with this Larry, but this was simple search for a story of hope and courage that I found in my visit to the Big Apple. As I walked through the city I absolutely loved the citizens and the "life" that pulsates there. Takes me back to another metro from another continent which I know many who might stop here, will recognize since we all share that "love".

Thanks for reading anyway............
i have no idea what lawson's going on about traveller, he gets like this sometimes.
this is a wonderful post, and a beautiful glimpse of something positive, and of a memorial, arising out of the ashes of a terrible tragedy. rated (of course!)
Thank you Nanatehay,

I think Larry did not get my message of love, peace and hope for all things that have gone so wrong. But maybe he will return , read and understand. For those 4 days in the city...I lived. Absolutely marvelous!
This is beautiful Traveller1! Thanks for giving us a glimpse at all this, I've sort of lost track of where things stood at ground zero. How very cool!
Beautiful photos from our camera and images from your heart. Rated.
I thought it was beautiful too.... who doesn't want to live with art and beauty? Sure, it costs, but I am not willing to give it up!

The inside picture was amazing!
NYC was totally amazing. I have always loved being there. But this walk through the city was something else. Sitting on the benches beside Imagine listening to the strains of Lennon's songs on my last day there I could help round up my entire time there as "perfect". I can understand why NYC would be one of the symbols of all things wonderful about this land. R
Thanks for returning Larry.
Larry? Traveler's government is who? She is an American citizen I think. So, the US? are you hinting the US govt engineered this? Who benefitted out of this?

The other govt Traveler had was the Indian govt. That govt gained nothing at all out of this. In fact, it gained brickbats when it couldn't prevent the Mumbai blasts and the seventeen blasts in my city Ahmedabad prior to that, last year, two of them in the main city Civil hospitals Larry, barely two km from where I was.
Stellar support Rolling! Whoooooo!

I still think Larry did not get my post and no matter what his pet theories may be, he is allowed to have them. Refuse to get defensive about it. True grit and survival is my life story and I aint about to change at this age!!
These photos would have been no where near as meaningful without your passion and your gift for making hope grow out of tragic evil.
Thanks Zuma!
It always amazes me when some humans have the capacity to get up dust it off and move on and then some get stuck in a never ending cycle of the same creation and destruction and never get out. each to their own I guess...
Thanks for sharing this, Traveller. It is a beautiful tribute to hope. And I am glad that you don't let odd negative comments that we all get sometimes affect what you know is right to post about. After a while I tend to lose patience with that. You didn't. Good on you.

I have not reached that level of cynicism Larry even though I can almost guarantee I have had a much tougher life than many.

I was up awake till 3:35 am last night and joined a computer class early morning from the same government that you have this theory about. Western New York Work Development Center. I have an interview at 2 pm for an Immunologist. So no sleep for me.

First and foremost you have to understand the post. It was talking about the resilience of mankind without getting into the actual incident itself.

But if you must insist upon discussing terrorism as an -ism.... what is the point you are making?
I will get back and write a detailed on this but I need to drive out 20 miles for the interview. I'll be back!!!!!
Great post. Brother lives in Battery Park City, only a few yards from where you were. They were evacuated from their apartment (windows blown out, noxious debris everywhere) on 9/11, were able to move back in many months later. They, like you, see hope in the rebuilding process. My sister-in-law especially is quite involved in the community participation part of the project -- there was an expansive community garden which was destroyed and her hope is that it can be revived. Don't know what Larry Lawson is going on about and what it has to do with your post. Shanti.

You have enunciated a theory without any proof. Unsubstantiated, your hypothesis about 9/11 stands nullified. There are at least several hundred inane conspiracy theorists out there for every single social evil. We, who are from India originally, have seen terrorism for long and have seen how it has been used as political tool. It is certainly not for supporting causes only, otherwise every single successful mass murder would not have at least 20 different terrorist group claiming responsibility.

What exactly is wrong with Humans showing resiliency... be it over and over again? So is bravery a one-time only event? Are you perpetuating the idea as a universal truth that people of the world should mock other societies for trusting their governments and standing behind them? I might criticize my own government and try to bring about change in social thinking, but to believe that my government would be conspiring to kill 3000 people to impose gun control laws stretches the imagination a bit much. I would certainly not debate it with you.

IF we were to only debate the premise of your arguments that we should be looking at the cause instead of holding up the resilient nature of Humans….The cause of a disaster does not automatically nullify the bravery of the Human who overcomes the disaster. Thus one can get a disease caused by infection through another Human. So will you say the Human who deals with the disease in a dignified manner or manages their life in spite of the disease is not brave? The bravery of soldiers is indeed disassociated from the powers that send them to battle. The bravery of the fireman (even if he dies) stands alone in spite of the arsonist. Social workers still do a lot of good even though the society might be indeed perpetuating some of the very evils they help alleviate. I could go on and on.

This is not to say you are not allowed to have your own ideas of what should be and must be. But to foist them upon me is surely not necessary. You cannot generalize about an entire people having had to deal with a few annoying ones, just like I cannot judge all Canadians based upon you. The last statement makes a mockery of the spirit of mankind. Was I meant to get scared into silence? Of course I am ready to bear the direst of consequences. We all have roughly +/- 70-80 years of life more than half of which have been lived with exuberance. Why should the few remaining years be spent in fear?
Too much to do and too little time..... is how I see it.
I was hoping it'll be EP! Beautiful read.
Hey hey! Smithbarney and Rolling! Long time.

Your relatives in Battery Park must have been affected severely. I saw the globe that was hit and can imagine. Yes cities like NYC and Kolkata have a life that is unique. They surge on in spite of everything. Maybe it is EXACTLY that quality that connects all metros of the world and the people in them . I just absolutely love being in NYC, humans,bustle, shops, traffic, the river,everything. Reminds me of home.......
Hm, Larry, thanks, heard you, but don't know enough to decide for myself. But - I can tell you that quite a few people in West Bengal, India, too think along similar lines. WB has a communist government (the Chief Minister - a poet in his own right).
Rama I understand your sentiments completely. Despite what the world says about Modi, I felt the same sense of awe and admiration with the way the admin had handled the situation post Ahmedabad blast, of all the cities I have been to in India, I find Modi's the safest for me as of now. Of course the people's attitude too. But I hated the school's response, they behaved like nothing has happened, nothing is amiss, life goes on as it is.

Only our school responded immediately to the need to re-design curriculum and we have been working furiously to rebuild and reorient things to better prepare children for exigencies like that, in a small, insignificant but important ways. I feel so proud to work for Kiran Sethi.

Give links. Have been out for too long.

India has been dealing with terrorists for much longer than we all care to remember and has been clamoring for the world to pay attention. I really did not want this article to be about the act or government. This was about hope and resilience amidst re-building and people. I do think that the 2 can be dissociated and yet be connected ....
Very good post rama . The post was all about the hope and resurgence after the world trade centre bombings . And Ii am sorry Larry if you think that any government in the world would engineer something of this sort for whatever reason as you elucidate whether tightening contol over its people or bombing Iraq or Afghanistan for that matter . I come from India where some sceptics just like you had pointed to the Mumbai blasts of november 08 at the taj and trident . tThese guys were also saying that the so terrorists had inside knowledge of the hotels many exits that were not known even to some of the hotel staff .tThey also had a good knowledge of the bylanes of Mumbai . But to claim that it was done by the government would be very hard to swallow
Thanks SK and vtk.

There is much that one can debate and discuss about the topic evidenced by the huge body of work already out in books, essays, blogs and discussion platforms. This post was about hope and resurgence of Human endeavor.
Traveller1 - as someone who was intimately connect with the events of that day (husband was one of the three thousand) and, for a time, the planning of the memorial, I thank you for a lovely camera's eye view of what's going on. Larry, when I served as executive director of a large 9/11 families advocacy group, we use to receive reams of manuscripts, hundreds of letters, thousands of e-mails, all with theories about 9/11. Those have their place in a free country and I do believe it's always smart to ask questions - but that's not what this particular post seems to be about...
I touched someone who was touched that awful day! I have to say notwithstanding the lump that has suddenly appeared from nowhere to the back of my throat ....I feel elated. I am finally being woven into the tapestry of this land, in real time.I have called this home for the past 20 years and led my own secluded yet eventful life. How fitting is it that I came here EXACTLY April 2 , 1989, have lived, hurt, loved, worked, slogged, survived, befriended, protested,walked out, walked in, put up 3 new departments, research-ed my ass off and today I get to be touched by all of you .
You are only 1 woman's view, yet I treasure it,Yes I do!
Traveller1, thanks for letting me know about your great post on the WTC area. It's a very nice look at the re-building that has so far occurred there.

I just read that a story that appeared earlier this week that some of the buildings possibly won't be built for a few decades due to the lack of commercial tenants to lease space for.
Yes Larry Lauerman ,

That is exactly what Edwin told us : everything was held up and slow because of the reasons you detailed. The snowballing effect of 911 and the economy was disheartening until one saw the hopeful stories underneath. It may take time but it will be okay!

The glass is half full!

Thanks for the update.....
Guys everyone needs to see this video, make of it what you will and research everything to see if it is true.
It has a lot to do with the trees especially the sycamore tree.