Wednesday, January 11, 2006


One of the books Kathy got me for Christmas is Tom Friedman's Latest, 'The World is Flat.' While I haven't had much time to dive into it, focusing instead on other tomes, I read the first 30 pages or so recently, killing some time waiting for some of Kathy's wonderful cooking.

In the parts that I read, Friedman goes on about how the fall of the Berlin Wall being a prominent episode in our nation's history, perhaps of more importance than the attacks on 9/11. He delights in the clever dancing around of the juxtaposition of 9/11 and 11/9 (the fall of the Berlin Wall, in 1989.)

Of course he is too clever by half, as anyone who has been to Europe can attest. 11/9 doesn't exist, except in America where we unusally write down our dates as month/day/year, as opposed to the rest of the world which does it day/month/year. Since Friedman's book is on Globalization, he should perhaps be more aware that the Berlin wall fell on 9/11 (at least in Berlin).

All of this is just a roundabout way of introducing some photos I recently took down at JFK airport. Hanger 17 (The old Tower Air hanger) is where they store wreckage of the World Trade Center Towers, in some semblance of archived state. I recently had a tour of the place, in preperation for some work we may be doing with the Port Authority in documenting these pieces.

Above is a photo of inside the vehicle tent, which is a seperate enclosure inside the hanger. Over a dozen vehicles remain in the tent, mostly fire and police vehicles, but also taxis and a few private cards caught up in the rain of debris. Some are some crushed that they can't be identified easily as to what sort of car they originally were.

Above is a photo from inside another specialty tent - towards the left are the remains of the aluminum cladding on the outside of the towers. Both towers were covered in 3/8" thick aluminum panels (which is why they tended to glow in the reflected light.) Above is all that remains of that - 17 panels, each of which might be around 2 feet long. All of the rest burned or melted away in the conflagration.

To the right is a piece of structural steel from one of the towers. You can see that crosses and stars of david have been torche out of it - this one done after 9/11 during the resuce and the recovery operation. The ironworkers down there would cut out the shapes from the ruined steel to give away as mementos to people or organizations. Much of the surviving steel from the Trade Center has had that done to it.

More later...