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grass near the Edge, a new 30-story luxury condo building on the waterfront in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It’s part of a complex of gleaming glass high-rises sometimes referred to as New York’s nascent fifth skyline.
As they were talking, a single-engine seaplane swooped down and approached a patch of water to make a landing in front of them.
“We all looked at each other, and our faces went white,” says Ms. Sarway, an administrative assistant in her early 20s who works for a nutritionist in Brooklyn. “As it was getting lower and lower, we all just started staring at each other, and said, ‘What’s going on here?’ ”
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It was a surreal moment for the group, a collection of four New York-reared college seniors and job-seeking grads, most of whom were in fourth or fifth grade at the time of the attacks.
“Afterwards we were talking about how it’s so weird that we live in a world where that can be such a scary thing,” Sarway continues. “That just to see an airplane – clearly landing in the water, it wasn’t going to hit any building – but the fact that any of us even for a second felt scared was very unusual, a very weird feeling.”
These four individuals, just now beginning their adult lives in New York, the city in which they grew up, could be emblematic of a key aspect of this year’s 9/11 anniversary: Twelve years later, a number of significant new beginnings are coming about in the city.
View gallery."9/11 anniversary photos by Flickr users World Trade Center TributeI visited the WTC Tribute Center in New York - an
” says Eli Reiter.000 buildings. elected in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. It can be especially poignant for the newest generation of adults who were still preteens at the time. In May. just across the harbor. There was a hole in all of us: There was like an innocence that was missing.” While a compressed job market. Yet as this transformed landscape rises. there were buildings missing. because every time there’s a very nice day. from the political to the spiritual. the attacks can still have an impact on the everyday rhythms of city life. workers finally capped One World Trade with a 408-foot. I feel. this is just like the weather on 9/11 was. For the first time. And New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.incredibly moving place. just beginning to form their understanding of the world. after the smoke cleared. like another set of gleaming glass high-rises at the World Trade Center.776 feet. a recent college grad now preparing to begin a graduate degree in neuroscience. “My friends and I. “And we didn’t just mean in the skyline. and stirrings of yet another war in the Middle East may be more pressing for those just beginning to feel the pressures of adulthood. the aftermath of superstorm Sandy. and as images of the twin towers and its smoldering wreckage recede into annual memorials and distant memories. the basic contours of New York’s renewed iconic skyline are a part of the ground zero memorials. This includes 170. Mr. will pass the torch to a new mayor at the end of the year. a . there was iconography missing. … Some are just now taking shape. “It's very much a part of my memories. even during a recession and mortgage crisis. and we would say to each other. the most of any city over the past decade.000 new housing units. that day made a hole. Bloomberg presided over the addition of about 40. days and years after. 758-ton spire that will bring America’s tallest building to its symbolic height of 1.” says Anoopa Singh. Over his 12-year tenure at the city’s helm. lingering memories of that day continue to shape their basic values and fears.
people are going to have their eyes on all immigrants. Queens.” the city’s controversial police tactic. Morinigo says these memories come flooding back as she thinks about “stop and frisk.. I mean.’ ” “In a way.. but it’s one that makes people unsure. “It’s the calm before the storm. and I always say. so to speak.” Today. “My parents are both immigrants [from Paraguay]. . and most of the dozen students.young paid worker for the Eliot Spitzer campaign this summer. it’s a solution. “The last couple of weeks we’ve had some very nice days. and young workers interviewed described these unexpected moments of sudden fear to be momentary rather than enduring. immigrants are going to be blamed for this. so for them it was just like . 2001 after two hijacked airplanes h … This general sense of unease is far from debilitating.” she says. I became aware of spying. “It feels like you always have eyes on you. a pre-med student finishing her degree in anthropology and biology at Hunter College this year. “For lack of a better word. in a section with a number of families from Guyana and Trinidad.” Growing up in Forest Hills. Yet some say their basic political outlook continues to be shaped by that day 12 years ago. Reiter.” says Denise Morinigo. and mad [stuff] will happen. sometimes it keeps other people on the blame."New York rising: 12 years since 9/11 Smoke spews from a tower of the World Trade Center September 11. it’s like.” View gallery. ‘This is 9/11 weather. and they instinctively filter current events and issues through their experiences. graduates. “They were saying. because it’s so nice. Ms. because one group made a bad impression – but I didn’t really understand why. however. who studies history at Hunter College in Manhattan.” continues Mr. Morinigo recalls witnessing fierce conversations as her parents and neighbors discussed their fears. “It can’t be overlooked just how sometimes when you’re taking measures for safety. it’s all the fear that this clear blue day will suddenly be ruptured.
“I know that it brought New York together. “I guess the neighborhood was praying for us. 2011. helping one another out.” she says. View gallery."One World Trade Center defines Lower Manhattan sky … (Photo © LucasAeon) Photographer LucasAeon took this photo on Sept. Singh.” she continues.” continues Ms. “It took something so tragic to see how united New York was. no one takes a moment to listen to what I have to say about these things. since you only really see this when something grim happens. “That was a defining moment for me in my neighborhood – and for me in the way I relate to the world. who was a fifth-grader at Blessed Sacrament School in the Bronx at the time of the attacks. “Like what happened recently with Sandy. “I think every time you pass the skyline and look up and you see that there’s a blank area where there used to be two buildings – it’s very eerie. something as simple as a single-engine plane can spark a shiver of fear. someone had lined up a series of 10 tall prayer candles on the steps of the Singhs’ front door in the Bronx – an act that made the family feel conspicuous and a bit afraid.you know?” One night a few days after the attacks.” Sarway says.” Morinigo says. . I feel I don’t have a choice.” But every now and then. “I don’t think it ever fades away. and I’m constantly defensive about myself. But it took something so tragic for people to really see that. the 10-year anniv … “And this happens with a lot of tragedy – which is really interesting. you saw how people were coming together. which I felt too and which is beautiful thing. “And I didn’t quite understand why they were praying for us: It felt as if they thought we are bad people.” Yet Singh and others also recall the sense of solidarity and unity that coalesced in the aftermath of the attacks. 11. It really has shaped the way I interact with the world and the way that the world sees me. “I just feel like no one gets it: No one gets that I’m not Middle Eastern.
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