Growing up in Jersey City, as a kid, I watched the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center rise above lower Manhattan from the window in the hall outside our apartment. We lived on a 3rd floor walk-up on the corner of 4th and Cole.
Before the towers rose I saw the gaping hole where the towers would find purchase. I traveled to the top many times from childhood to adulthood. It was remarkable how many languages you would hear up at the top on the observation deck.
I was meeting with my wedding clients Hai Li and David at Liberty House in Jersey City. Traffic in that area can be brutal so I allowed extra time and arrived very early. Early enough to take a swing through the old neighborhood. It's amazing how fresh it all was in my memory; how familiar.
When I got to Liberty House Hai Li & David were still testing their potential wedding day entrees' and it was early so I walked down to the water to take some skyline photos. I had my new Nikon D800 in-hand and I was excited to have some time to shoot the NYC skyline as dusk approached.
On 6/2/2001 I arrived at Liberty State Park very early to take photos of a friend who was to start a charity bicycle tour. He was departing from Liberty State Park and headed to Mt. Washington. He still ride every year under the banner of his charity One Man, One Bike, One Child. Anyway, I had the date wrong --I wasn't to meat him until the next day. I was already in Liberty State Park so I seized the opportunity to shoot pix of the Twin Towers. 3 months and 9 days later they fell.
As I walked down to the Hudson this day, I was surprised to see this memorial --I knew nothing of it as I moved away from Jersey City when I was 14. The alley created by the steel walls seems to be aimed at the site of the WTC. upon walking through and exiting close to the river, a glance back reveals the view above. The walls from this angle strongly evoke the appearance of the Twin Towers. Stark, industrial, and unmistakable.
The light wasnt; very good for the skyline --the sun had slipped into cloud cover. After ~ 20 minutes I headed back to my clients and we talked about the timeline of event for their May wedding. I told them I was disappointed that the light wasn't better --the sunset setting the NYC skyline effulgent and ablaze in orange and red is something to be seen.
We talked a bit longer and Hai Li noticed the sun was out --"Look," she pointed. "I have to go," I said and headed for the Hudson. They understood --it's probably why they hired me.
--ThomasManhattan Wedding Photographers