Friday, March 20, 2009

DWJ Books

If you're looking for information on DWJ Books before signing a contract with them, email me at I signed a contract with them in May 2008 and have had many problems, which for legal reasons I won't post in a public forum. If you've been burned by them, I sympathize, but (also for legal reasons) I won't post your comments about them on this blog, either.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Construction at the World Trade Center

I don’t particularly like the winning design for the new buildings on the World Trade Center site, and I detest the winning design for the memorial. Still, I found myself delighted the other day to see the skeleton of a skyscraper rising out of the pit. The building is being raised on a relatively small part of the WTC site (which occupies roughly 12 full city blocks), but the site has been a horrendous hole in the ground for so long that I was beginning to wonder when anything would be built there.

Here’s a photo that shows more of the site, looking due east. The 4-story steel skeleton in the first photo is at the far left. Official photos by the WTC contractors are posted at

 As I was walking past the WTC site, my MP3 player kicked up a song by Nek that perfectly expresses the exasperation I’ve felt with American foreign policy since 9/11 - and quite a while before that. The singer is addressing someone who keeps making the same mistake and then making the same excuses for it.

Volverás a vivir cuando quieras salir planta cara a la realidad No digas que te faltan fuerzas Tú sabes bien que esta es tu guerra No te busques un pretexto, yo apuesto a que ganarás

Unpoetically translated: “You will start living again when you’re ready to look reality in the face. Don’t say you lack the strength – you know this is your war. Don’t look for an excuse. I’m betting on you to win.” (The song is “Volveras a vivir,” from the album La Vida Es.)

The Winter Garden at the World Financial Center is a huge indoor space with a barrel-vaulted roof in glass and steel. At the east end, a grand staircase of polished pink and white marble once led across a pedestrian bridge to the World Trade Center. Now the staircase ends at a wall of windows that is the place to go for an overview of the construction on the site. I took the photos in this post from there. As I turned to go back down the staircase, I saw the palm trees that thrive inside the Winter Garden silhouetted against the sunset and the skyscrapers of New Jersey. And suddenly I was much less tired and much less exasperated. Reminders of human ingenuity and progress always cheer me up. (I love taking photos of the best of New York City. This one will probably make it to the next Upward Glance CD.)