For years after the 9/11 attacks, nearly all activity at Ground Zero was downward- digging through the debris, excavating a vast pit to restore the ruined transit lines, preparing the foundations for the new buildings that would emerge there. Even the memorial that opened in 2011 was an exercise in the poetics of descent- two vast cubic voids, each with water cascading down all four sides, carrying grief to some underground resting place.
The memorial has turned out to be a lovely thing, but what the site still needed was something that climbed, something that spoke to the idea that emotional burdens might not only be lowered into the ground but also released into the air. Now we have it: One World Trade Center, the glass-and-steel exclamation point, all 1,776 feet of it, is nearing completion close to where the Twin Towers once stood. No doubt the new building’s official dedication will open the way to a necessary debate over its merits as architecture and urbanism, its turbulent design history and compromises made over the long years it took to get the thing built. But in one important respect, One World Trace Center has already succeeded. It has reclaimed the sky."
Here’s a pretty safe prediction: This will be the last Super Bowl they ever have in New York/New Jersey….
Everywhere you look here, a New Yorker is ignoring the Super Bowl. Downtown, among the folks who get nosebleeds every time they venture above 14th Street, you would have no idea a Super Bowl is happening at all. (And the Super Bowl will never have a home in Brooklyn until it is locally sourced and grown. A Brooklyn Super Bowl must be free range.) The Super Bowl is taking place in two places: in the Sheraton Times Square hotel and the surrounding Times Square area, and East Rutherford, NJ at MetLife Stadium. Everywhere else here, life is just going on.
It is driving everyone involved with the game crazy. This is the NFL! All that we survey is ours! There is an undeniable sense among those involved with Professional NFL- from league execs to former players, to most of all, media- that this New York Super Bowl is going terribly because, unlike every other city, New York is not bending over backwards to just hand its city over. By becoming just another thing in town- by becoming just one more thing that changes your cab route or alters your train schedule- the Super Bowl is somehow… diminished. And that is something that cannot stand…
Here, they’re just another sideshow. When I arrived at the airport, greeters were there to welcome weary travelers to the host city, as is usual when the Super Bowl is in town. And in most towns, the airport population would be almost exclusively Super Bowl attendees. But here, the greeters were just cheerful dopes dressed in yellow getting in everyone’s way. You think we’re here for you? This is New York. You ain’t the only show in town. Tell your story walkin.’"