Free World - September 15, 2021

“If New York is a city of reinvention,” writes Stephanie Zacharek, “it’s also a …


“If New York is a city of reinvention,” writes Stephanie Zacharek, “it’s also a place of perpetual wistfulness, of missing people and things that are gone. Every day, even in the best of times, something you love about New York disappears: Your favorite restaurant can’t hack it; the awesome little card store had to close because people stopped sending cards. With life comes attrition. The guy who used to fix your shoes just got old and, one day, he died—there was no one to take over his business. Those of us who live here now, as the city tries to shimmer back to life amid the seemingly endless COVID crisis, feel that toothache of the heart every time we pass one of our many shuttered storefronts. Yet those of us who lived here on 9/11, and continue to live here today, have an advantage: we once saw in our city a smoking hole that also served as a mass grave for lives, and flesh, that had been incinerated in a flash on a gorgeous late-summer day. Once you’ve seen what your city can do in the wake of that, you understand it as a place of awe as well as sorrow. Against all odds, it always comes back.” Read more about the city that endures, and see more pictures, at the link in bio. Photographs by @arnold_daniel



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