Reflections on the City Immediately Post 9/11

I wrote a piece about my experiences after September 11th in NYC. There was a period where there was a very different feeling in the air and we all felt connected. You can read it here:

NYC September 12th: In the Midst of Tragedy, A Gentle, Open Feeling in the Air

September 2001 * September 11, 2011 * Union Square Park

Union Sq Park, Sept. 2001

Union Sq Park, Sept. 2001

Remember Peace: Bring flowers & candles to Union Square on Sunday, 9/11 at 2:00PM
Meet at Union Square George Washington Statue, South side of the park

Message from Reverend Billy Talen:

The lively culture in Union Square after 9/11 – passing the talking  stick as we discuss Peace and breakdancers dance and artists at their easels painted fireman as angels… and the copyshopped faces of the missing watched us from every surface. That strange and wonderful time in Union Square after 9/11 is worth remembering now…

Security by way of NYPD’s vigilance has killed the 1st Amendment freedoms, driving much of NY expressive culture onto the Internet. Culture, from the sidewalks to Broadway, is utterly de-politicized. There is little recognition in NYC of the great fact of our time, that we fundamentally impacted our climate.

Let’s meet on Sunday at 2 PM at the George Washington statue on the south side of Union Square. Let’s pause to remember when there was still hope for Peace in the time after the towers crashed down.

Top Photo: Flatbush Gardener

This weekend at Washington Square – Sept. 10th & 11th; Community Wellness Fair and Theater for the New City Street Theater Production

Saturday, September 10th 1-5 p.m. Holley Plaza (Western end of the Park) —
“Get Your Wellness On” Suicide Awareness & Prevention

The NYC Chapter of The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is a main sponsor of this Fair, which will consist of music, yoga classes, massages, and tables with important information on mental health and suicide preventionCome visit the Arts & Dreams table and make an affirmation drawing for free!

Sunday, September 11th * 2 p.m. * Garibaldi Stage (Eastern end) —
Theater for the New City Street Theater: “BAMBOOZLED! Or THE REAL REALITY SHOW”

Theater for the New City returns to Washington Square Park for their 35th Annual Summer Street Theater Tour with “BAMBOOZLED! Or THE REAL REALITY SHOW.” It’s billed as “a rip-roaring Musical, a little Operetta for the Street. Funny and enjoyable street theater performance for the whole family.” The production has been touring throughout the five boroughs since August 6th and will continue through September 18th.

ABOUT Theater for the New City’s Street Theater:

TNC’s award-winning Street Theater always contains an elaborate assemblage of trap doors, giant puppets, smoke machines, masks, original choreography and a huge (9′ x 12′) running screen or “cranky” providing continuous movement behind the actors. The company of 27 actors, twelve crew members, two assistant directors and five live musicians shares the challenge of performing outside and holding a large, non-captive audience. The music varies in style from Bossa Nova to Gilbert & Sullivan. Complex social issues are often presented through children’s allegories, with children as the heroes, making these free productions a popular form of family entertainment.

Both events are free.

Union Square * Late September 2001

Union Sq Park, Sept. 2001

Union Sq Park, Sept. 2001

The evening of Tuesday, September 11th, 2001, as well as every evening that week, and then subsequent Fridays, Union Square’s Plaza became the place people gathered to come together, to speak out, to mourn, to call for peace.

The George Washington Statue at Union Square Park was filled with anti-war chalking and at the bottom of the statue were flowers and candles and photos of – and messages to – the people who had died on September 11th. It was solemn and gentle and yet quite beautiful.

Messages: “Stop the Cycle of Violence,” “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind,” and more…

Union Square on the southern end at 14th Street became the public space where people gathered. It was a very special place at that time right after September 11th, 2001.

Photo: Flatbush Gardener