This is no happy… anniversary. 20 years ago, that infamous fateful morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, dark dignitaries stomped the hell out of American sovereignty with a pair of proverbial steel toe Docs. A series of four coordinated attacks were executed as if by some evil empire stalking us from a watchtower on a stormy bat mountain. An Islamist terrorist group called al-Qaeda took the credit & paraded around afterwards like little punks doing villainous victory laps. The Twin Tower duo was the biggest casualty.
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The indoctrinated individuals responsible, are who the word “diabolical” was invented to describe. They had been plotting this for years, passing along the “plans” like a treasure map to each other while secretly sending off sleepers to train at various domestic locations right in our backyards. If Hurricane Erin hadn’t drifted off the coast that morning, neither plane would have hit its intended target, & the damage would have been much less devastating. Today, would be the anniversary of an attempt, for, we would have had a much different historic outcome. Instead though, friends, Erin went off to sea, the hijackers were in luck, & our ass was grass.
Born one year before me, in 1973, the World Trade Center had been one of the tallest, most significant buildings in the world for almost 30 years. Beyond aesthetics, what went on within those walls, behind the scenes, in the airwaves, on floor after floor was extremely… like, enormously important in the scheme of things. Hence, why it was such a coveted target. Not to mention, it was a HIVE that buzzed with 1000s of daily regimens who had their lives tied into the place in one way or another. It was the centerpiece of NYC, a monumental melting pot for international commerce & trade. That said, most folks know exactly where they were & what they were doing the day of its dreadful demise. Where were YOU on 9/11/01?
Full disclosure? It was exactly one week before my 27th birthday. I was 100lbs soaking wet, rockin’ zebra-print 90s platform wedges & a skimpy outfit barely there… trickin‘ under the El train in North Philly on Kensington Avenue. It’s no secret why I was doing that. Kensington & Allegheny, better known as the infamous hellish K & A, was the drug mecca of Philly back then. You would be a fool to walk alone there at night, or even at 3 o’clock on a sunny afternoon, it was so undeniably precarious. That shot-out place was against anybody’s better judgement, you must have been high to hang out there. Anyway, that morning, by the time the second tower was hit, every Bodega along the avenue had a rabbit-eared TV set on outside in front of their store. If you were rolling down the street or walking the beat, you could watch the entire Ground Zero episode go down in real time block to block.
I remember feeling this creepy slow motion wave in the air. It took me a minute to figure out what was actually happening. A place full of drug dealers, Johns & hookers, where most people were shady, shifty, crooked, devious, & at odds with each other 24/7… suddenly became coagulated in this bizarre vibe of care & concern for their fellow man. It was way out of character for this beady-eyed hood with no soul. All these “good Samaritans” were popping out of woodwork tough loving us “girls” to get off the streets & go home to our families. We were all kinds of shook because we had no idea where the terrorists were gonna strike next. The Pentagon was targeted, then a plane on its way to the Capitol went down in Shanksville, PA, after all. We were like, copping our shit fast, & scrambling for cover, lol. Truth be told, all I cared about was getting my kicks before the shithouse went up in flames. Glad those days are over. For me, anyway.
Most Americans remember where they were & what they were doing that moment the first tower was hit & promptly televised thereafter. It was a surreal moment comparable in history to the assassinations of JFK, John Lennon & the questionable Princess Diana incident. They were all great big stark crazy shockers in that regard. We were just as fond of & smitten with NYC & Lady Liberty as the folks mentioned above. What the Twin Towers stood for, is what struck the cord, essentially. Freedom, life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness… OUR FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS had been violated with no warning.
Back on scene, as if the first tower shocker wasn’t enough, while just about half of America had their eyes already on it…
1-mississipi, 2-mississipi, 3-mississipi…
17 minutes later, the SECOND tower was then hit! When does that ever happen? That one, locked it all in full throttle, I gotta say. The moment the second plane hit, we knew there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell, we were getting out of this one. Not to mention… our troops were being summoned to jet set to the Middle East pronto with a vengeance. There were no promises of our soldiers ever coming back alive or well again. The layers of tragedy from the morning of 911… that spun off & inseminated thereafter, burrowed deep.
We had two behemoth buildings falling to their tragic end with 1000s of lives in jeopardy. Front line workers, FDNY & NYPD were about to get slammed & lose lives. We had 1000s of sacrificial lambs going to war instantly with no warning. And this was what they call a real war, that would impact the entire infrastructure of humanity, the world, American society, communities, families, trade, commerce, the economy, homeland security, personal security, our elections, government, & our collective morale. The Military Industrial Complex was locked & loaded, ready for combat with bells on.
We were all in a state of dumbfounded disbelief. Especially those who were unfortunate enough to just so happen to be either in the building somewhere, on the block or in a square mile radius. The poor unlucky souls on any floor beyond the 90s, were comparable to the folks singing “Nearer My God to Thee” when the Titanic was going down. They had no chance of survival, hence you might recall the fatal despair of jumpers caught on camera. One after the other, folks plunging to their death. What a real life horror movie this was.
After the thundering crash of both towers, it was as if two ferocious volcanoes just erupted. Instead of hot lava, it was a growing massive thick dark cloud descending onto the crowded city streets like a monster Tsunami. Thick dense suffocating smog full of soot literally smacked faces & eyeballs. A blinding ferocious snow storm of sorts, of heavy wet cementy particle dust, began covering everything. The ominous layer of gray began blanketing not just people, places & things, but the very comprehension of how dangerously real it all truly was. As mentioned above, I lived in Philadelphia at the time, & I can testify to the fact that the air quality was compromised as far as 100 miles east for weeks.
In one fell swoop the sunny blue picture perfect dreamy September day, morphed right into New York City’s worst nightmare. Not to mention, a hellish landscape of terror, quite frankly… for daaaaaaays. Everything would eventually turn to a dangerous underground cavern of sorts, with live wires, leaks, tunnels & traps. The once bustling city streets were now trenches, like a scene out of a walking dead movie. People were disoriented, losing their sense of self, direction, day, time & space. They had inhaled dangerous dust & chemicals into their nasal passages, throat & lungs. With only pockets of blue peeking through, the thick dark black cloud consumed everything.
Harrowing & humbling, folks were just swallowed by it. It was the kind of demoralization you wouldn’t wish on even the most pompous prick. In the days that would follow, we would be forced to watch it all play out from a distance, via endless looping live broadcasts. It was heart-wrenching to have to sit in the bleachers with our hands tied, on couches, in kitchens, waiting rooms, stores, bars & restaurants across America & the world. Me, you ask? I wound up “on the block” at an all-girl watch party in orange “scrubs” & shower shoes at a women’s correctional facility. I got hemmed up on my 27th birthday, to be exact. Tell ya later…
What was left of the two towers was now called “ground zero” of a war we were irreverently enrolled in. Everybody was shook. Blindsided to the max, we were hit with a Taliban sucker punch. The dinosaur of American dignity had been unceremoniously reduced to rubble in a snap. What an unbelievable injustice we would have to contend with in the coming days, months & years… 2 decades to be exact. And, in retrospect, it was not pretty. It was foul in every sense of the word. The entanglement with Afghanistan was a true succubus that was nothing short of damaging to the highest degree. We are STILL dealing with the consequences to this day & will be for a long while to come, unfortunately.
Fear, anger, sadness, stress, was in the air, literally & figuratively. If I recall correctly, the White House had an emergency broadcast system of sorts, flashing a code red for quite some time. The up-to-date alert status was posted in a running ribbon at the bottom of the TV screen on every single channel. And of course, it was repeatedly announced all over the news media for weeks, creating an all-inclusive worldwide panic. We were instructed to batten down hatches until further notice due to the extremity of it all.
It’s pretty unnerving not to be sure, exactly, who your neighbors are. Everyone was suspect. No one knew when & where sleeper cells would emerge. Isis was a lovely, famed Egyptian goddess until the moment the name turned to stone & dispersed into a bunch of insidious terrorists like roaches falling out of a ceiling. I wouldn’t be surprised if the term “suicide bomber” was officially inducted into Webster’s Dictionary. “Towel heads” were on our radar & shitlist. If you were an American A–rab… back then, all I could say is… ya better HIDE. Their stores, restaurants, families, children, places of worship… all in jeopardy. Americans were pissed. All they saw was red. There was no reasoning with them, no negotiations. An eye for an eye was gonna make everyone blind & there was nothing that would stop it.
Crossing America was like knocking down the heavyweight champion of the world. We were NOT going down without a fight. We might have been bruised up & bloody, but, Rocky Balboa was no joke. America had heart. And her heart had been stomped on. Lady Liberty was a woman scorned. We were betrayed, demons were summoned, we were provoked to no return & we were not taking any prisoners. A fight to the death was a certain inevitable fate. IT WAS PERSONAL. Al-Qaeda & the Taliban had targets on their backs. It was named the “war on terror” for Pete’s sake.
The attack on Afghanistan was a hotheaded payback. 200,000+ Afghan citizens (& counting) would be dead & gone by the end in 2021. Innocent women & children were barely spared. Guilty by association was proving true on the premise that virtually no one could be trusted at that point. Hundreds of suspects were captured & detained at Guantanamo Bay for a stint that the devil himself would orchestrate. Osama bin Laden was public enemy #1, wanted dead or alive & we were not stopping until he was strung up like a rabid dog in the town square for all to see. Our government wanted him strategically executed for the WORLD to witness, so that all would be privy to what happens to those who mess with the gangster government of the U. S. of motherf-ing A.
The Twin Towers may have ironically brought out the best of us to serve, protect & heroically unite to save our brethren. Most tragedies do bring out good & draw people together by nature. But the impending doom of that war brought out the straight… fire breathing dragon heart of America. It brought out the fangs, the claws, the whoop-ass. Like a hoodoo midnight chant on a Haitian burial ground… it woke the dead & summoned the monsters in men. Our soldiers turned into sociopathic killers on a justified murder mission. They were told, “Attack now… make amends later.” There was only one thing to think, say, do, eat, drink, breathe, & sleep… & that was RETALIATION. And that’s an order! Well, that’s never a good look, honestly. But it was the way the cookie crumbled back then. No pun intended.
The Twin Tower Tragedy on 9/11/01 was a moment in time that stretched over the course of two decades now. Kids who were just born that year are now turning 20. As I’m sure you would agree, a lot has changed since then. Ya think? 20 years ago, cell phones were barely in the hands of anybody. We were a very different society PRE 4 & 5G. In the past 20 years, technology has exploded, the internet became a staple, Google a household name. We, as a culture, have skyrocketed our entire system of survival to the max. Everything is bigger, better, more advanced, outstanding & amazing than it ever was before.
It took almost 15 solid years, but a shiny spankin’ new pimped out edition of the Twins shot right up out of Ground Zero with a vengeance like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Complete with memorial gardens, walls of tributes, fountains, a whole spectrum of sweet cutting edge fireproof, plane-proof, windproof, most importantly terrorist proof, architecture. It’s now probably THE SAFEST building to ever grace the city that never sleeps, lol. The most elite architects in the world were summoned to build it because it was America’s come back kid, after all. Nothing but the best for our precious Nation. (followed by a solidarity pound on the chest twice)
Note: Complete details & websites for One World Trade are listed below
An exhausting long haul, the past two decades conjured endless conspiracy theories, that spun like wild rumors full of tawdry little lies out of a small sticks town. Fights broke out, controversy reigned supreme over the tip-toed around, touchy tender topic. Documentaries were diligently pieced together with forensic fortitude & meticulous savvy. To this day, no one even knows for sure what REALLY happened, do they? The REAL culprit remains anonymous &/or debatable, or even still at large. The TRUTH is like Seal Team 6 covert ops… CLASSIFIED. Someone must-a vowed in blood with a hood on in a basement to keep that shit under wraps. Unfortunately though, as time trailed on, if we were ever to heal & forgive… we had no choice but to accept that.
We may indeed have found ways to heal & forgive over these last 20 years, but in any case, we solemnly SWORE to never forget & we never have. How could we? It was a stark crazy tragedy that unfolded literally before our very eyes. It indeed captivated us all for a spell, united us on some level, gave us a collective purpose no one could deny. Black, white, the hodgepodge of the Big Apple encouraged the collective to come together regardless of race or nationality. In that moment… we were all just: Americans. Not to mention, the love & empathy that poured into America from around the world was immense. We were “the good guys” after all, & everybody wanted to help. Folks from all walks of life were sending assistance, service, love, prayers, food, first aid, friendship & compassion to their fellow man or woman in need regardless of diversity.
It was something to watch. It was something to behold. It was something to be proud of. It was something to record, document, film & capture. It was patriotism incarnate. It exemplified the beating, bleeding heart of the United States of America that we all, essentially, signed up for. Lady Liberty seemed to stand taller than she ever had… peering through a hazy smog in the cut, like an abandoned body guard from afar. It was like she had been staked out on the Hudson but fell asleep on the job. The bank was royally ROBBED & the jokers dressed as presidents (pun intended) got away.
It is unfortunate that historically, TRAGEDY is what compels humans to join together & shine the brightest. But until now, human destiny has been operating from this template. Our collective karmic imprint has evoked this. We as a culture of beings, souls in suits, in a vehicle marked “Homosapian,” bred adversity, backlash, upheaval & crisis thus far. It has been the human’s M.O. since the beginning of time. The ego had a real run, that’s for sure. That was his last hoo-ra of the 20th century that spilled over to this one, the 21st. But, as my new book’s title states… bye bye ego, this is GOD’S 21St Century now. Ciao!
It’s now exactly one week before my 47th birthday, I am not that 27-year-old gypsy streetwalker jailbird junkie anymore & just like me, America prevailed. A lot can happen in 20 years. We BOTH sure as shit came a long way from that catastrophic moment in time. Happy 20th Anniversary, 911. It may not be a celebration in the traditional sense of the word “happy,” but it is an opportune occasion to properly pay a fine tribute to the resilience of the American people & the triumphant anatomy of the human spirit. MLK once said that in the face of adversity, is when character is tested & we truly see what a person is made of. We bounced back & forged ahead to build a brighter future, & thus, we salute all those who made sacrifices on that doomed day 20 years ago & the many years thereafter. God Bless America & her healing precious heart. We have OVERCOME… & then some.
This article is DEDICATED TO:
The precious strong independent badass Afghan women… enduring a violent soulless misogynistic Taliban takeover as we speak. May they rise to the occasion, may the FORCE be with them, may the GOOD F-ing PREVAIL. Love always wins… this is GOD’S 21st century. Lightning might strike twice, but the resilience of the human spirit strikes eternal. WE STAND WITH YOU, AFGHAN WOMEN & GIRLS!!
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. —MLK Jr.
- The United States has spent more than 2.3 trillion dollars on the war in Afghanistan
- Millions, if not billions were mismanaged & carelessly WASTED
- 2400+ American service members have died, & 50,000+ have been wounded
- 200,000+ Afghans have been killed, many of them civilians
The new One World Trade Center opened on November 3, 2014; the One World Observatory opened on May 29, 2015. On March 26, 2009, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) confirmed that the building would be officially known by its legal name of “One World Trade Center,” rather than its colloquial name of “Freedom Tower.”
Built by The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and The Durst Organization in an unparalleled public-private partnership, One World Trade Center sets a new standard of design, construction, and prestige. Responsible for leasing together with Newmark Knight Frank as co-exclusive leasing agents, as well as managing the tower, The Durst Organization’s participation ensures that One World Trade Center operates to the highest real estate standards.
Home to New York City’s largest TAMI (technology, advertising, media, information) tenant community, One World Trade Center’s state-of-the-art architectural, environmental, and structural design combines with unmatched convenience, ample amenities, and a vibrant neighborhood to inspire innovation, productivity, and success.
- Completed: 2014
- Architect: SOM
- Floors: 104
- Total Square Feet: 3,100,000
- Condé Nast Publications
- MDC Partners
- Part of a 16-acre campus featuring a tree-filled park and world-class architecture
- Campus-wide retail offering nearly 450,000 square feet of dining, entertainment, and shopping options
- Below grade pedestrian access to 11 subway lines and PATH trains
- Three dedicated office entrances at grade and one below grade
- Well& By Durst is a 25,000-SF amenity space exclusively for tenants of One World Trade Center and their guests
- One World Observatory with a separate, dedicated entrance for patrons
Compliments of: https://www.durst.org/properties/one-world-trade-center
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