In 1997, I visited some friends who lived in Manhattan. One friend worked in a hotel near the World Trade Center, and when we bought tickets to see a Broadway show, it was at a kiosk inside. We arrived by the metro and we walked through the mall underneath the twin towers.
Before five years ago, this was just a footnote in an otherwise typical touristy week in New York - the Museum of Natural History, MoMA, Broadway, cool restaurants, stifling summer heat in Central Park, drag show in Chelsea (okay, maybe that last bit isn't so typical) - but now seem kind of precious. I've been there and now it's gone, along with 2,996 innocent victims who were going about their hectic daily lives when tragedy struck.
Five years later, we live in a world where passenger airplanes are potential weapons and everyone is afraid of their own shadows. Today I'll not only be thinking of those innocent victims, but also of our way of life that seems to be irrevocably changed.
More about my weekend in Paris tomorrow.