Category Archives: World Trade Center

New York/Liberty Island

liberty08Liberty Island, superintendent’s house (4×5 film) — © Brian Rose

liberty02Liberty Island, superintendent’s house (4×5 film) — © Brian Rose

After finishing with photography of the Statue of Liberty a couple of weeks ago, I set up my view camera and walked around the perimeter of the island. I was looking, in particular, for views of 1 World Trade Center that might go in my upcoming book WTC. One of the peculiarities of being on Liberty Island is that you can’t get back far enough from the statue to really see it well, and getting it and the skyline of New York together isn’t possible. But I found several views toward the city quite compelling nevertheless.

Two of them were in and around the superintendent’s house on the back side of Liberty Island. Renovation work on the Statue of Liberty was actually complete last October, and the island opened for visitors. For one day. Hurricane Sandy hit New York on October 29th flooding Liberty Island, knocking out power to the statue, and damaging various infrastructure and support buildings, including the superintendent’s house. The cleanup took months, and the statue was just reopened on July 4th.

My understanding is that the house will be torn down — it is part of a small complex of buildings of little architectural or historic importance. I found the house just beyond the contractor’s trailers sitting abandoned and exposed to the elements. I did one picture in front looking toward Lower Manhattan, and another in the living room looking toward a picture window framing a view of the skyline, a ruined piano and couch in the foreground.

Reminders of the vulnerability of New York, natural or otherwise.



New York/Liberty Island

liberty05View of skyline from Liberty Island (4×5 film) — © Brian Rose

Two weeks ago, I photographed the Statue of Liberty on assignment. It was a two-day shoot focused on improvements made to visitor circulation inside the statue’s pedestal, and various other infrastructural upgrades that will be mostly invisible to the public. Liberty Island was a beehive of activity as construction workers sped to complete renovations in time for the July 4th reopening.

At the end of the second day of photography, I got out my view camera and made a number of images looking toward the city and 1 World Trade Center. By 4pm, most of the construction workers had left, and I had the island, more or less, to myself.

The sun, blazing most of the day, became partly obscured by clouds producing a more muted palette — something that suits me fine. Although I use a digital camera for architectural shoots, I still work with the big camera for my own work. Switching cameras was a relief. I slowed down, found a groove, and made several images that I think are potential keepers.



New York/Statue of Liberty

Inside the crown — © Any Warren

Temporarily took down my Statue of Liberty photos, but hope to have them up again soon. They look great, and I had a wonderful two days in and around the monument. Sorry for the interruption. Stay tuned.


New York/WTC

rapeze School, Pier 40 — © Brian Rose

Yesterday, I took my view camera to Pier 40, the former passenger ship dock at the western end of Houston Street. The pier is now being used as a sports facility, and I’ve been there many times for my son’s baseball games. On the roof of the building there is a soccer field and a trapeze school. I’ve had my eye on the roof for some time for a photograph of One World Trade Center, which is nearing completion, and rises impressively in the background. I am currently looking for shots of the tower to complete my book WTC, which I plan to publish next year.

It was a beautiful warm afternoon and I arrived around 6:30, setting up my camera just inside the gate, and doing a series of pictures over the course of 45 minutes. The staff was very friendly, and I appreciate their allowing access to the space. What I wanted was a shot looking downtown with the trapeze apparatus in the foreground, preferably with someone in the air to the left. Everything came together nicely. The photo above was made with my pocket camera placed directly on top of the view camera. So, just about the same shot. The view camera exposures were probably a bit longer (1/60th of a second at f16.5), so we’ll see later how much the figures on the trapeze are blurred.

This could make a good closing image for the book.


New York/WTC


East River and Brooklyn Navy Yard — © Brian Rose

Now that I am no longer using the 4×5 for architectural shoots — it’s hard to believe that era is over — I have switched completely to a field view camera for my personal projects. I’m using an inexpensive Toyo made largely of plastic (blech) but it’s super lightweight. Way lighter than the Arca Swiss monorail camera I was using for architecture.

I went out with the view camera yesterday morning. At 8:30am it was already getting hot, and the sky, while clear, was a bit hazy. I walked along the Brooklyn waterfront looking for distant views of One World Trade Center for my upcoming book, WTC. A few days ago, driving by, I saw some prefab housing units standing near Kent Avenue with the skyline looming behind. It didn’t seem quite so looming when I got there, but I did several photographs. For one picture I stepped a couple of feet beyond the open gate into the Brooklyn Navy Yard. A guard stationed about 200 feet away checking cars entering the yard immediately began yelling and blowing a whistle as if I had done something horribly wrong. For those of you outside of New York, this is no longer the Navy. It’s an industrial compound that hosts numerous businesses large and small. There are all kinds of innovative things going on in there.

Anyway, I ignored the guard who was stuck in his little booth, took my picture, and walked away. From there I walked by 475 Kent, a controversial loft building full of artists that has been on the legal razor’s edge for work/live spaces for some time. I don’t know anything about its current status. But a resident coming out suggested I go up to the roof. So, up I went. I did two side by side views that may be combined for a panorama later. The right hand frame can be seen above, although that’s from my digital point and shoot, not the 4×5.



New York/Staten Island

si_marketRichmond Terrace, Staten Island (4×5 film) — © Brian Rose

A few weeks ago I took my view camera down to Staten Island to rephotograph a mural that I encountered last year. It’s on the side of an old factory building that now contains Gerardi’s Farmer’s Market. The central element is a depiction of three firemen hoisting an American flag Iwo Jima style in the rubble of the destroyed Twin Towers, which is based on a widely seen news photo taken by Thomas E. Franklin.

Almost 12 years after 9/11, the painting has begun to fade and flake off, the Twin Towers have become faint and indistinct. I photographed the mural from several angles and settled on the one above taken across the street in a garden center. Although the 9/11 museum has yet to open at ground zero, and memories of that day remain fresh for many, the images of 9/11 have begun to recede into the background.


stadiumStaten Island Yankees stadium (4×5 film) — © Brian Rose

On my way back to ferry I saw that a high school baseball game was being played in the Staten Island Yankee’s stadium. Admission was free, so I walked in and took a couple of pictures. The Staten Island memorial can be seen at left with its two wing-like structures, and One World Trade Center rises at center. On top of the scoreboard is a cutout image of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.


New York/Boston

twintowerspeanutsNorfolk Street, Lower East Side — © Brian Rose

I was in Boston Thursday evening when the marathon bombers ran amok. Well… not physically. But I witnessed the events as they unfolded in a most unexpected, vividly surreal way.

I was fascinated by the attempts of the public to find the bombers amidst the crowd near the finish line of the Boston marathon. Amateur sleuths were reviewing dozens of photographs available on the internet, engaged in a real-life version of “Where’s Waldo,” except that Waldo wasn’t in red and white stripes. He, and his likely accomplice, were supposedly carrying black and silver backpacks big enough to contain pressure cooker bombs.

The crowd source detectives had managed to identify a number of suspects, all innocent as it turned out, and the New York Post had run one of the photos on their front page essentially fingering two young men in the crowd as the bombers. They were the wrong guys. Adding another black mark — if it’s even possible — on the shameful record of Rupert Murdoch’s odious tabloid. On Thursday the FBI cleared things up by releasing video and photographs of the actual bombers who were still at large.

I wanted to see how things were playing out on Reddit, the social media site with a group actively combing through the Boston crowd photos. It was after 9pm and I was reading the comments on Reddit, when suddenly, someone wrote that the bomber’s address had just been given out on the Boston police scanner. I tuned in, which is easily done on the internet, and began listening to the mostly tedious back and forth between police officers and dispatchers. Though nothing more came up about the address, for some reason I kept listening while continuing to read commentary about the photos.

At around 10:30 an anguished voice punctuated the static — “officer down!” —  and then a few minutes later I heard the strangled cries for help from the MIT campus in Cambridge. Having no idea that it was related to the marathon bombers I continued to listen as the police rushed to the scene and began searching the subway and the surrounding streets. It was obvious that something dramatic and highly unusual had occurred in this normally placid college town.

And then, a short time later, the initial report of a carjacking, the pursuit of the stolen car, “shots fired, shots fired,” explosions, calls for “long guns” and “gold cars.” It was pandemonium, as one police cruiser after another notified dispatch that they were headed for the scene. I listened deep into the night as the police began setting up a search perimeter and a command post. By then, it was clear that the carjackers were indeed the fugitive bombers, and I went to bed knowing that one of them was dead and the other at large in Watertown, the community adjacent to Cambridge.

None of this raw and riveting information came from TV news or the websites of major media like the New York Times. I was one of a relatively small number of people — tens of thousands certainly — but small in country of over 300 million who witnessed in real time the dramatic events of that evening, listening through the cross talk, the cryptic jargon, the Boston accents, unfolding on the police scanner.

There will be a lot of discussion about how things were handled — to my ears, the police were amazingly calm and professional under the most extreme circumstances — and whether we, the public, should be permitted to hear things from the inside in the future. For me, it was a unique, unforgettable experience, unfiltered by the bobble heads of TV news. I’m still thinking about it, but my initial feeling is that having access to the police scanner was more help than hindrance.

I was there.



New York/Buffalo

Manhatta Timeline, ArtSpace Buffalo — © Brian Rose

I am presently exhibiting work at ArtSpace Buffalo, a non-profit gallery, along with paintings and drawings by  J. Tim Raymond and Robert Harding. Tim, who is the organizer of the show, lives in Buffalo, and Bob Harding is a painter from New York City. The gallery is in an old factory buildings converted into artists lofts, and because of its immense size, I opted to show large pieces. The photographs are 40×50 inches and the mural, WTC, which I previously mounted on a sidewalk shed on East 4th Street in the East Village, is 4×28 feet.


Manhatta Timeline, ArtSpace Buffalo — © Brian Rose

The title of my part of the exhibition is Manhatta Timeline and takes its name from the short film made by Charles Sheeler and Paul Strand in 1921 featuring images of New York City. The name is derived from the original Indian name for the island, Mannahatta, and the film includes quotes from the Walt Whitman poem of the same name. Timeline refers to the sequence of four images that begin at the north end of Manhattan in Inwood Park with the Hudson River and Palisades in the background. The sequence then moves down the Hudson to the World Trade Center in the 1980s, and concludes with a multi-layered urban scene from 2012 that includes a sign with the names of those killed on 9/11. The montage of WTC closeups is itself a visual yardstick with a searing strip of blue sky in the middle.

…I see that the word of my city is that word from of old,
Because I see that word nested in nests of water-bays, superb,
Rich, hemm’d thick all around with sailships and steamships, an
island sixteen miles long, solid-founded,
Numberless crowded streets, high growths of iron, slender, strong,
light, splendidly uprising toward clear skies…

from Mannahatta by Walt Whitman


Inwood Park (4×5 film) — © Brian Rose


Hudson Heights (4×5 film) — © Brian Rose


World Trade Center (4×5 film) — © Brian Rose


Washington Street (4×5 film) — © Brian Rose




New York/Staten Island

9/11 Memorial on Staten Island — © Brian Rose

My wife and headed down to Staten Island Saturday afternoon to take part in the latest installment of stillspotting nyc, a series of art projects dealing with the urban environment sponsored by the Guggenheim Museum. This one, called Telettrofono, was an audio walking tour of the St. George neighborhood of Staten Island. It told the story of Antonio Meucci and his wife Esterre who came to Staten Island from Italy. Meucci, an inventor, who also worked in the theater, developed a precursor to the telephone, a telettrofono, some years before Alexander Graham Bell patented his ultimately successful invention.

I didn’t know what to expect when we arrived on the Staten Island Ferry. The weather was threatening as a storm cell slid by to the northwest. We were given iPod Nano’s and a map and sent out along the harbor promenade to begin our walk. The audio accompaniment was created by sound artist Justin Bennett and poet Mathea Harvey and blended the factual and imaginative into a mesmerizing aural experience. It has been described by others as like being in a movie.


Along the waterfront of Staten Island — © Brian Rose

I hadn’t planned to take photographs of the walk in a comprehensive way–I figured I’d snap a few pictures here and there. But as we stepped out onto the promenade and walked by the 9/11 memorial nearby, I was struck by the strange, preternatural light and warm breeze caused by the passing storm. The atmosphere felt almost tropical and the comical potted palms near the memorial added to the effect. I began taking photographs, the soundscape and voices of Telettrofono in my ear.


Staten Island waterfront — © Brian Rose

There were others participating in the walk as well, though not so many as to be distracting. We passed through an industrial area, now used for salt storage, directly by the main shipping channel leading to the port of Elizabeth. We then headed uphill past a farmer’s market, some rundown apartment buildings and housing projects, and then into a neighborhood of large early 20th century houses, many of significant architectural character.


Richmond Terrace, Staten Island — © Brian Rose


St. Mark’s Place, Staten Island — © Brian Rose


The St. George Theatre, Staten Island — © Brian Rose

We then descended the hill toward the ferry terminal and entered the St. George Theatre, an elaborately baroque, shabby interior, and sat in the balcony as the story of the Meucci’s came to a close and the voice in our ear said “curtain.” From there we walked back to the ferry terminal, returned out iPods and headed back to Manhattan on the ferry. In the end I took over 30 photographs during the walk.


St. George ferry terminal, Staten Island — © BrianRose

Many of the photographs in this blog have been made during walks, sometimes of short duration, other times over several hours. It has become part of my modus operandi as a photographer. Sometimes I regret not having a higher resolution camera, or my view camera, with me. But the reality is that many of these short bursts of photography are only possible because I can carry a digital camera in the pocket of my cargo pants.

After looking through the photographs I took in Staten Island I decided to make the whole walk available on my website. It was inspired by what I was experiencing aurally, but it’s also a perfect example of the kind of thing I do as a photographer, a visual reconnaissance –to borrow from my Lower East Side book title–of time and space.

The full walk can be seen here.



New York/WTC

One World Trade Center — © Brian Rose

Today I was shooting an architectural interior on lower Broadway with a view from the 25th floor of One World Trade Center. They have a stunning view of the tower and the construction of the transportation center in the foreground. I shot two frames with a 24mm tilt/shift lens–one above the other–and stitched them together in Photoshop. The dark building to the left is the Millennium Hilton, the tower at right is 7 WTC. I understand that 1 WTC is now about four floors from its full height. The entire structure, however, will be much taller once its 408 foot spire is mounted on top.

New York/Lower Manhattan

Brooklyn Battery Tunnel entrance — © Brian Rose

David Dunlop in the New York Times City Room column this morning writes about being stopped by MTA security guards while photographing a bus depot in Brooklyn:

The search for lost history leads to odd spots sometimes, like Second Avenue, between 126th and 127th Streets, once the site of William Randolph Hearst’s Cosmopolitan-International movie studio. It is now home to the 126th Street Bus Depot, and that’s what I was taking a picture of last week — from the sidewalk across the avenue — when a property protection agent with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority approached me.

You can’t take pictures of transit facilities, he told me, politely but firmly.

It reminds me of the time I was in East Berlin in 1987 before the Wall came down looking for surviving examples of early 20th century architecture to photograph. At one point, looking for a housing project clearly shown on my map, I found myself standing–with my 4×5 view camera–in front of an enormous complex of buildings with video cameras mounted on the facades–not a common sight in the ’80s. Suddenly, uniformed guards began shouting and approaching. I ducked downstairs into a nearby subway station and made a clean getaway. Later, I realized that I had accidentally stumbled upon the East German Stasi headquarters, the secret police. I was lucky to have escaped.

The truth is I had been photographing for days all over East Berlin using my big camera without being accosted by the many “people’s police” who seemed to be everywhere. Such indifference is not the case in New York City in 2012. Despite recent clarifications of the law and the specific rules regarding photography in public places, I am routinely told by private security guards, police officers, and uncredentialed busy bodies that photography is not permitted. It is, in fact, allowed–even in the subways and buses.

But things are not so simple. A few days ago I took my camera to Lower Manhattan and did a number of photographs relating to my ongoing documentation of the World Trade Center, specifically the rise of 1 WTC, which is replacing the Twin Towers. It was a good day. No one stopped me. In the photograph above I was standing on a pedestrian bridge crossing over the entrance to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. I suspect that I was in an area under the jurisdiction of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a public/private authority with its own set of rules. They have stopped me in the past when I made photographs near the Holland Tunnel entrance.

Greenwich Street — © Brian Rose

In the picture above I was standing in a small public plaza adjacent to the tunnel entrance decorated with planters that were probably intended originally for security purposes. The city is littered with such barriers–mostly ugly and obviously ineffective. My guess is that the plaza is under the jurisdiction of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, which has its own rules governing photography and the use of tripods.

Vesey Street — © Brian Rose

And in the photograph above I was standing in the Irish Hunger Memorial in Battery Park City under the jurisdiction of the Battery Park City Authority which has its own rules regarding photography and tripods. Another photograph I tried to do recently was from the steps leading up to the Borough of Manhattan Community College which has jurisdiction over its open plaza–I was stopped by a friendly security guard–and another I made was from the Hudson River Park, which is under the jurisdiction of yet another public/private organization. I have no idea what their rules are. Additionally, there are dozens of public plazas that are actually privately owned, the result of crazy zoning deals that award developers with extra floor space in exchange for creating a public amenity. These spaces, like the recently occupied Zuccotti Park, exist in an ever growing twilight zone of public access under private control.

Most of the organizations that have jurisdiction over these spaces are benign in their intentions, but the result, nevertheless, is that they have ultimate control over our public commons and our city. Are we fast becoming a police state?

Update: George Will, of all people, defends photographers’ rights here in the Washington Post.

New York/WTC

1 World Trade Center — © Brian Rose

I went down to the area around the WTC yesterday–January 1, 2012. Above is the view of 1 WTC, still not topped out, from Broadway and Ann Street. St. Paul’s church is to the left of the tower. 1 WTC is now around 90 stories with 14 to go. It still appears somewhat stubby for such a tall building, but I think it will look slimmer once the triangular facets extend all the way to their apexes. A large spire will go on top of the flat roof, which will greatly exceed the height of the previous Twin Towers.

Church Street — © Brian Rose

Nearby on Church Street  I took a photograph looking toward the WTC site, 4 WTC can be seen rising in the rear. An ad for the upcoming movie about 9/11–Extremely Loud Incredibly Close–can be seen at left in the subway entrance. Both photographs were shot in 4×5 negative, but the images here were made with the digital camera I use for my blog.

Two relevant stories worth noting. The 9/11 museum and the Port Authority are feuding about money, and it appears that the opening of the museum will be substantially delayed–now more than 10 years after 9/11. Article here. A muslim police cadet, Mohammad Salman Hamdani, killed on 9/11, who was initially suspected of being involved in the attack, but later exonerated and honored as a hero for his actions, has had his name relegated to an obscure part of the 9/11 memorial reserved “for those who had only a loose connection, or none, to the World Trade Center.” Article here.

New York/WTC

Park Place — © Brian Rose

Friday evening I walked down to the World Trade Center with an invitation to the 48th floor of 7 WTC, the first completed structure in the rebuilding post 9/11. Silverstein Properties, the owner, has made the 48th floor available as an artists’ studio, though soon the occupants will have to make way for a paying tenant.

7 WTC, 48th Floor, painting by Marcus Robinson — © Brian Rose

The entire floor was unpartitioned and open with raw concrete floor, exposed fire proofed steel beams, and wrap around floor to ceiling windows with stunning views. At least four artists were on display including Marcus Robinson who is a painter and videographer. His time lapse images of the rebuilding of the World Trade Center were shown on a large video screen.

Paintings by Todd Stone — © Brian Rose

Another artist, Todd Stone, had a gallery-like exhibition of his paintings on one side of the floor documenting 9/11 as seen from his Tribeca studio. I usually don’t like to see images of the horror of 9/11 itself, but these were done as a spontaneous reaction to what was happening a short distance away, the paint somehow distancing the event while at the same time heightening the attention to it in a way that photographs do not.

View of 9/11 memorial — © Brian Rose

I took a few photographs through the windows, one looking down on the memorial–glass reflections unavoidable.  Stone has been doing paintings of the rebuilding, and he was working on one of the 1 WTC while I was there. I spoke with him for several minutes, and I traded one of my WTC books for one of his exhibition catalogues.

Painting by Todd Stone

Snow scene from the 48th floor with Diebenkorn-ish colors.

1 WTC model — © Brian Rose

A model of 1 WTC stood on the south end of the 48th floor adjacent to the real thing going up outside the window. The late afternoon sun just caught the translucent plastic of the model giving it a golden glow. The actual tower will never appear so crystalline I am afraid, despite its faceted exterior. But we shall see…



New York/Van Cortlandt Park

Van Cortlandt Park — © Brian Rose

Quotes from the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation website:

The Wiechquaskeck Lenapes occupied this site when, in 1639, the Dutch East India Company brought the first Europeans to settle in the Bronx. In 1646, Dutchman Adriaen Van Der Donck (1620-1655) became the first single owner of what is now Van Cortlandt Park. His vast estate “de Jonkeerslandt” gave Yonkers its name. The land passed through several families, each gradually developing it into viable farmland and a working plantation. During the 1690s, the 16-acre lake was created when Tibbetts Brook was dammed to power a gristmill.

Van Cortlandt Park — © Brian Rose

The Van Cortlandt name was first associated with the tract of land bounded by modern Yonkers City Line between Broadway, Jerome Avenue, and Van Cortlandt Park East in 1694, when Jacobus Van Cortlandt bought the property. The Van Cortlandt Mansion was built in 1748 by his son, Frederick Van Cortlandt, whose family occupied the land until the 1880s. Frederick also established the family burial plot on Vault Hill where, at the onset of the American Revolution, City Clerk Augustus Van Cortlandt hid the city records from the British Army.

Pizza place at the Van Cortland Park subway stop — © Brian Rose

My New York park photographs: New York Primeval


New York/WTC

Greenwich Street near the World Trade Center  (4×5 negative) — © Brian Rose

I’ve been catching up on scanning recent 4×5 negatives from the Bowery and the World Trade Center, my two current projects. The image above was made a few months ago and was taken a couple of blocks from ground zero. A fence displays the list of names of those killed on 9/11–The Heroes of September 11, 2001 it reads–and the steel containers behind hold contractor offices or equipment storage related to the nearby construction site. The names are now found at the completed 9/11 memorial, etched in stone.

Closeup from image above — © Brian Rose

It is an image that I find particularly satisfying–the multiplicity of layers, materials, colors–a telling detail, the 9/11 list, that gives larger context and raison d’etre. The emptiness of the streets seems almost unreal in such a densely built place. It’s not a photograph I’d likely take with a small camera–or at least thinking through the medium of a small camera. It is an image made with the assumption that details will read even when printed large, or especially when printed large. The computer screen gives only an impression of what would be there in a higher resolution print.

Please click through to larger images.



New York/WTC

Broadway and Cedar Street — © Brian Rose

I went downtown yesterday to add more photographs to my ongoing WTC series. I took the 4×5 view camera, which now requires carrying individual holders for the film instead of the pre-packaged paper envelopes that I used for about 15 years. Both Fujifilm and Kodak have dropped those from the lineup, now that digital is pre-eminent, and Fuji has stopped making 4×5 film across the board.

I took the subway to Wall Street and walked a block or two up to Zuccotti Park, the primary location of Occupy Wall Street, the protest movement that has spawned similar actions in other cities across the country. I went with the intention of including the demonstration in some of my photographs, but not to attempt to document it per se. After all, the place is crawling with photojournalists and the media in general.  My approach, as usual, is more of a meta-documentation of events as they intersect with my main task, photographing around ground zero and the rising towers, particularly 1 WTC. More than once, other photographers looked at my equipment and referred to me as “a real photographer.”

From across Broadway I could readily see the police presence on the periphery of Zuccotti Park–various barriers and cones directed traffic on the street–which continued to flow unimpeded. Every few moments a double decker red tour bus would pass by the park and tourists’ heads would swivel in the direction of the demonstration. I set up my camera on Broadway and did a photograph looking toward the park with a brilliantly red Mark DiSuvero sculpture towering over it. The new glass buildings in the background reflected sky and each other creating a confusing constructivist composition. Red construction hoists slid up and down 4 WTC as if intended to complement the color scheme.

Trinity Place and Liberty Street — © Brian Rose

I only did three or four photographs in and around the park, but I was there about two hours, setting up the camera, and then waiting for things to happen. I talked to a number of people, some active participants, some tourists, others just passing through, but curious to see what was going on. As expected there are plenty of “professional activists,” the people who come to any and every march or protest aimed at established power. So, the casual observer might assume that the crowd is dominated by Marxist anti-U.S. fringe groups.

If this were actually the case, however, this demonstration would have been long over. It’s hard to get a handle on the composition of the crowd, but clearly, it is more diverse than usual for these kinds of things. At one point while I was there a contingent of union hard hats from the WTC construction site paraded through the park carrying an American flag. Another group of perhaps 20 marchers–young people, white and black–circled the park chanting “Stop, stop and frisk!” while almost the same number of NYPD blue shirts strolled along behind pied piper style. This was obviously an adjunct protest to the main Wall Street occupation demonstration. I talked briefly with a construction worker, a British tourist who was concerned about the economic future of Europe, and a person who had come specifically to see for himself what was going on. It’s the interest from outside the core group of demonstrators that seems to give  this rolling event momentum and importance.

I set my camera in the northwest quadrant of the park facing Liberty and Trinity Place with demonstrators and the curious in the foreground, and the sky filled with glass skyscrapers in the background. It was particularly satisfying to put my tripod down right at this spot where I had been accosted by security guards a few years ago who informed me that Zucotti Park–while open to the public 24 hours a day– was, in fact, a private park, and tripods were not allowed. The park–really a paved public square–is the product of  one of these zoning deals New York City is so fond of. Developers get more height or floor area in exchange for creating a public amenity, often of dubious merit. In this case, the park is definitely a welcome amenity among the forest of skyscrapers of lower Manhattan, and the city sees it as a win-win, since they do not have to take care of it–Brookfield, the owner, maintains the space. So, we have a public square which must be open to everyone round the clock, in which tripods are not usually allowed, now occupied by 500 demonstrators and their NYPD chaperones. The irony of it all is delicious.

Cedar Street — © Brian Rose

Speaking of ironies. The crowd in Zuccotti Park is comprised largely of local New Yorkers, many of whom are undoubtedly Jewish as evidenced by a portable Sukkah to honor the current holiday set up among various other tents and tarps. The right wing talking point that Occupy Wall Street is anti-semitic is laughable. The reason they link a Wall Street protest to Jews is because they are under the mistaken notion that the nation’s banks are run by Jews, which is demonstrably untrue–Goldman Sachs not withstanding.

Cedar Street — Brian Rose

From Zucotti Park I walked a short distance down Cedar Street and came to Greenwich with its sweeping view of the construction of the WTC. Dozens of visitors were lined up to enter the 9/11 memorial–which requires obtaining a ticket. I had a long chat with a police officer, a young Asian cop assigned to the WTC who was interested in my project. I did a few photos here before finishing for the day. One World Trade Center is now at least 2/3 of the way up.