I have travelled a lot, I have met a lot of people, and when I mention that I am from New York City one of the first things people ask me is if I was there on 9/11. I have to sheepishly answer that yes I was, and I am usually reluctant to take the matter any further as it is still something that elicits a strong response in me. I am always surprised by the strength of the emotions that I still have surrounding that day but I suppose that I, like many who were here, will never forget how we felt that fine and sunny morning in September, though we may try.
When I woke up this morning I went out for a ride on my bike, as is my weekend custom, without really meaning to I headed south toward Ground Zero. A strange and somber air surrounded the place, it was quiet except for the ringing intonation of the names of the dead thundering out from loudspeakers and reverberating through the glass, stone,and steel canyons of downtown Manhattan. All of it put me exactly back in the frame of mind I was in ten years ago today, and I decided to try to deal with it in pictures. I don't tell these stories often, and usually only with others who were there as they are the only ones I expect to understand my reactions, but today I want to remember. I want to share my own small perspective on this tragedy and perhaps shed some of the lasting grief that still attaches itself to this day.
I had spent the previous day in the company of fellow photographers from Art School and the conversation turned, as it tends to among photographers, to equipment, then to film, and ultimately to Polaroid. This format still holds an unbelievable fascination for people, it is a magic thing that elicits childlike wonder in even the most jaded. I remembered that in going through my closet of photographic equipment earlier that week I had turned up an unopened box of polaroid 669, unrefrigerated and three years expired it was undoubtedly going to be an interesting roll of film. My very last box of Polaroid brand film, the last I was ever going to shoot. I immediately thought: "Fuck it, no time like the present!" I ripped it open and loaded it into my Polaroid 180, a fantastic fully manual model which I inherited from my father. I went downstairs and took a few frames of my friends and then set it aside.
When I returned from my bike ride around lower Manhattan today I was in a strange state of mind and I looked at the camera, thought of that significant final roll of film sitting inside with less than ten exposures left in it and thought again: "No time like the present." I took it around with me to the places where I was on this day ten years ago to photograph them, to show how much they, and I suppose by extension I, had changed.
These are the few frames I shot, and stories about those places.