Ten years ago I was living down on Thompson Street just above Spring. The World Trade Center was about a mile directly south. That sounds far, but when you were walking south the towers loomed at the end of the street. That morning I heard the first plane go over- it was very loud. Then a few minutes later I turned on the TV and saw what was going on. I wasn't a photographer back then- I didn't really get into shooting until a few years later. But I did have a polaroid camera, and I ran up to the roof to take some pictures. They say our memories are pretty faulty when it comes to remembering things like this- but looking at this shot, it seems like I was up on the roof after the second plane hit. Later on, I remember being on the phone leaving a message for my sister or my folks, telling them not to come into work- just as the first tower collapsed live on television. That was the only time I really lost it- I think I actually started screaming.
The rest of the afternoon is sort of a blank- some time around noon, I was standing on the roof of the building again with some other people, talking about how unreal it all seemed. And at some point one of my friends came over after he got evacuated from his office nearby, and we went out to buy some food. SoHo was empty, but Gourmet Garage was open, and we bought some roast chickens. Karen tells me when she finally got home, some time that night, we had filled the bathtub and all the pots in the house with water.
Looking at it now, I think I like this polaroid because it feels like an actual piece of the event; it's not a print or a copy made later. If you've seen any other polaroids from that day, I'd love to see them.