Rex Sorgatz
Sep 11, 2014 · 15 min read
Image for post
Image for post
The view out my apartment window, looking down over Ground Zero, in November 2006.

Thirteen years after 9/11, the World Trade Center
is undergoing a massive transformation.
What has life been like above the site?

Given the option, I would not have chosen to live above The Hole.

“That’s sad.”

It was sad. But tragedy often pairs with farce, and here it was, 35 floors in the sky: a wide-angle view of the world’s most kinetic city, but directly below, an inert plat of earth.

World Trade

“A hundred times have I thought New York
is a catastrophe, and fifty times:
It is a beautiful catastrophe.”

― Le Corbusier

Image for post
Image for post
The view out my window in August 2014.
Image for post
Image for post
A comparison of the World Trade Center grid, before and after 9/11.

Fantasy Land

“New York will be a great place, if they ever finish it.”
— O. Henry

Image for post
Image for post
The real estate across the street from me.
Image for post
Image for post
LUXURY

LUXURY.

The fonts may change, but the fantasy stays the same.

Image for post
Image for post
One World Trade, aka “The Freedom Tower,” rises 1,776 feet (408 of which is the spire), which stacks up to 104 stories.

Dream City

“Memory’s images, once they are fixed in words, are erased.”
― Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

Image for post
Image for post
More construction signage around the neighborhood. “Le District” will be like Eataly but with French groceries supplanting Italian.
Image for post
Image for post
Battery Park City was appended to lower Manhattan in the early ’70s, using the earth from the original Twin Towers site.

The Looking Glass

“To be a tourist is to escape accountability.”
Don DeLillo, The Names

Image for post
Image for post
Liber-Tees, Memorial Tees, and many other gift shops compete for tourist attention.
Image for post
Image for post
The victims’ names run along the perimeter of Reflecting Absence. The trapezoidal 9/11 Museum and WTC1 are in the background.
Image for post
Image for post
Reflecting Absence at night.
Image for post
Image for post
WTC4 reflects the
spire of WTC1.
Image for post
Image for post
The 9/11 REMEMBER tray, available in the 9/11 Museum Gift Store.

Occupied

“At home, he feels like a tourist.”
— Gang of Four

Image for post
Image for post

Towers of Freedom

“What is a city if not a space of maximum license?”
Rem Koolhaas

BASE Jumpers leap from the Freedom Tower. (The first jump happens at 2:30; a second, at 2:50.)
Image for post
Image for post
If Ferguson had an excessive display of militarized policing, lower Manhattan has an excessive display of militarized surveillance. These NYPD surveillance “SkyWatch” cranes all over.

you are being watched, right now, sir

The ultimate paradox is that this conversation happened at the base of the Freedom Tower.

Image for post
Image for post

Rear Window

“Tell me exactly what you saw, and what you think it means.”
― Grace Kelly to James Stewart, Rear Window

This scene from the 25th Hour has the same view as my apartment. (The film’s opening title sequence also has stark images of this post-9/11 scene.)
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

The Message

A Pandaemonium Revolver Collection.

Thanks to Kate Lee, Joanne McNeil, Kendra Vaculin, and Quinn Norton

Rex Sorgatz

Written by

creative technologist, author, entrepreneur, designer, consultant rexsorgatz@gmail.com

The Message

A Pandaemonium Revolver Collection. Season 2 stars @anildash @alanalevinson @ftrain @hipstercrite @itsthebrandi @jamielaurenkeiles @vijithassar @yungrama @zeynep. Season 1 available on DVD shortly.

Rex Sorgatz

Written by

creative technologist, author, entrepreneur, designer, consultant rexsorgatz@gmail.com

The Message

A Pandaemonium Revolver Collection. Season 2 stars @anildash @alanalevinson @ftrain @hipstercrite @itsthebrandi @jamielaurenkeiles @vijithassar @yungrama @zeynep. Season 1 available on DVD shortly.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store