The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

absent friends

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Well, here we are again.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s actually a bit difficult to believe that the defining event of our common era happened fourteen years ago. To me, at least, it feels like yesterday that the ground shook and everything changed. I was living in Manhattan back then, on an Upper West Side that bears virtually no resemblance to the one you’d find today (except architecturally, of course), and I found out what was happening as I was putting on my socks in preparation to go to work. As was my habit, I flipped on NY1, and saw the live feed of the second plane as it hit.

I knew a few Port Authority cops, and FDNY personnel, from the bar which I used to drown my sorrows at. After that morning, I never saw them again.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The last fourteen years have been quite a ride.

At the time, we were thankful that Rudy was the Mayor (no matter what you think of him now) instead of Mark Green or Ruth what’s her name. Even George Pataki managed to impress for a bit. Unfortunately, the folks who occupied the White House were a “worst case scenario” cast of villains who managed to throw away most of what unified the country and world behind NYC after a few months, and there’s really no point in discussing the various armed conflicts and abridgements of the Constitution which followed the attacks.

Given the “junta” which ruled the roost down in the District of Columbia, we’re actually lucky that we didn’t end up having to wear arm bands signifying national and party loyalty.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

All I would say, fourteen years later, is that we are missing a lot of friends and that their loss is still dearly felt – both in the Newtown Pentacle and in the City of Greater New York. If you’ve got a couple of extra bucks, why not send a couple of anonymous pizzas over to your local precinct or fire house with a note sayin “thanks”? If you go out tonight, throw a twenty down on the bar and instruct your bar tender that it should be used to buy a pint or two for a cop, fireman, or soldier.

Everyone in NYC knew someone who ended up in a crowd in the streets of heaven that night, fourteen years ago, and for the services – the least we can do is to buy ’em a drink. They’ve got a longer list of absent friends than the rest of us do.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Upcoming Tours –

September 13th, 2015
Poison Cauldron Walking Tour
with Newtown Creek Alliance, click here for details and tickets

September 20th, 2015
Glittering Realms Walking Tour
with Brooklyn Brainery, click here for details and tickets

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Written by Mitch Waxman

September 11, 2015 at 11:00 am

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