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A quiet Saturday


It’s a quiet day in New York. It’s Saturday, and the weather is less than wonderful.

I’m in a TV truck outside the Metropolitan Opera again, this time for “Wozzeck,” not a benefit or a memorial. There are still flowers and candles and other memorials at the firehouse up the block (including a large mural from the Barksdale Elementary School in Conyers, Georgia), but they take up less room, and there were no crowds.

The Red Cross headquarters across the street is quiet, too. Large signs indicate that World Trade Center-related operations have been moved to the Brooklyn office.

Some of the quiet may be due to the gigantic concrete barricades blocking 65th and 66th Streets west of here. The New York Energy Control Center is down the block. They’re the ones who supervised the last New York blackout.

It’s not quiet everywhere in the city. The Empire State Building “observatory” reopened today, and there was a line of tourists waiting to get in. One was interviewed on the radio, and he said, “We’re taking back what’s rightfully ours!” Militant tourism! Who’d have thought?

My favorite photograph of the World Trade Center was taken by Peter B. Kaplan, on a clear, bright day, looking down at the city past the rear end of a worker atop the antenna mast on the north tower. It appears on page 122 of his 1986 book, “High on New York.” You can imagine the rest of the details when you know that the picture was called “Moon over Manhattan.”

There were two World Trade Center-related items on the bulletin board in the principal artists dressing rooms area here. One was a cartoon from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. Part of the name of the artist had been cut off, but it looked like it started with “Deer.” It showed a group of men looking horrified as one was reading an ultimatum they’d received. On the paper were the following words. “To the Taliban: Give us Osama bin Laden or we’ll send your women to college.”

The other, which I’ve also seen at the other Lincoln Center theaters this week, was a quote from Leonard Bernstein. “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”

TTFN, Mark