MY_WTC #270 | Dr. Mike 1994

View from the Top – Almost Heaven

I know there are countless images of the WTC’s Twin Towers, as they were truly iconic. Not only for tourists but also New Yorkers.

Like the Net Generation growing up with computers – we „grew up“ with the WTC as a reliable part of our daily lives. As simple as getting out from the subway (underground train) and looking up to see the towers – and immediately know which way to walk. Beautiful by boat too.

A billion memories with images of the WTC and Statue of Liberty, and sunset — and then 9/11. :-(

This image is a bit different, as for this photographer and subject, the WTC was something „up close and personal“. The man in the red „WTC“ hat is Steve Jacobson, a transmitter engineer whose office was steps away from the antenna farm on the roof, including the huge center mast.

This was the rooftop where the public did not have entry. It housed all the communications equipment and wiring and antennas which went into commercial and government communications, with a dash of ham radio, public service, and emergency services. Why was I there? Steve and I share(d) a passion for photography and tech-stuff (though he was the professional engineer and I a psychologist who volunteered time with emergency communications efforts including radio). These smaller antennae are actually the VHF and UHF masts which surrounded the main mast in a circle. You can see the thick cable and very heavy-duty mounts. Very windy up there!

The shadows to the right of his are me, taking the photo. That’s all of Manhattan North as far as the eye can see, Hudson River on the left. It was Christmas Day, and Steve was working atop the tower, a brisk but beautiful photography day, he said. Come on down! And he was right. He was always right. :-)

I wish I had taken time to photograph those chrome/steel exteriors, the mammoth lobby – all the daily, real-life aspects not easily reduced to the two towers looming over Manhattan from a distance.

Other images from this vantage point are on display at the WTC Tribute Center/Museum at the site.

Yes, I think (in my psychologist/photographer hats now) : the „aura“ of the WTC is magic – symbolic, beautifully composed centerpiece to any NYC sunset or day in the park. It was .. to be cliched, „New York“, the city, and part of normal daily life for so many, tourists and local people from New York too. For us, it was always there – as a compass. An icon. Normalcy.