This sticker, simply put, is worthy of inclusion in the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. It dates to 2002, and survives on the door of a TriBeCa store that is a block or so away from the World Trade Center.
When this sticker was affixed a decade ago, the neighborhood was still shell-shocked — it captures a moment after 9/11 that is hard to describe. The grief and shock over the attack’s barbarity and human toll mingled with a deep desire to erase the scar on the skyline.
Stickers of this sort were visible on car bumpers all around the New York area in the months after 9/11, along with the American flags affixed to cars.
Today, the sticker sits in the shadow of the new 1 World Trade Center, surrounded by a thriving, vibrant neighborhood that only the rosiest of optimists could have imagined in 2002.
That, of course, also presents an argument to keep the sticker just where it is.
Text and photos: Rolando Pujol
Last September, I published a photo essay exploring the ephemeral endurance of the Twin Towers’ image around New York City. More than a decade later, the Twin Towers survive in logos, but there were will be one fewer soon.
This Turtle Bay video store has gone out of business, but its demise endangers this depiction of the pre-9/11 skyline. What was once a simple way to communicate “New York” is something so much more meaningful today.
Here’s how I described these relics in my amNewYork piece:
The Twin Towers, toward the end of their short life on the skyline, had arguably become the definitive symbol of New York City. The towers were destroyed in the city’s worst 102 minutes, but their iconographic legacy has proven remarkably resilient 10 years later.
Indeed, these images of the Twin Towers — a neon window silhouette here, a graphic on a delivery truck there — can be considered collectively as a quiet yet powerful citywide memorial.
Text and photo: Rolando Pujol