My General Impression of Europeans
Their Slice is much smaller. Their infrastructure for that Slice is very cozy, but the members of that Slice are prepared for the worst. However, they have no illusions about their ability to hole up and survive and are thus grasshoppers wishing fervently that their winters of war never come. So far, the wishful thinking is working. I think they think that they are very civilized to the point of decadence, and having survived that before, are not peculiarly hesitant to admit that decadence. But they perhaps make some mistake in assuming that the immigrant impulse is to become civilized, a mistake anyone in the first world is likely to make - after all, our lives are so sumptuous.
Everybody speaks English. But suggesting that's extraordinary is a mistake. After all, every contemporary operating system speaks FAT.
Don't Call It Ground Zero
I wasn't really prepared to come up the PATH train at the WTC and have the emotional thing happen to me on the way to work. But there is something about the huge amount of air and light in the middle of Lower Manhattan, filled with the noise of construction that threw me a one-two punch Friday morning. I returned yesterday to take a few photos, and try to get closer, but half of that task was impossible. A stream of pilgrims will be making this journey for decades to come and there is no way to jump the lines.
What's going up is much greater than what fell down, and the bulk of the new 1 WTC, now over 80 stories tall and still under construction, has begun to dominate the skyline. What surprised me more than anything is how clearly and singularly it will stand and be seen straight down the axis of Washington Square Park so many miles away.
I see the new World Trade Center in my mind's future eye, and I don't think I can ever look at it backwards again.