Here is New York

2001-11-10

I've been reading, quite enjoyably, the essays of E.B. White. In Here is New York he wrote the following lines, so prescient as to spook the reader:

The subtlest change in New York is something people don't speak much about but that is in everyone's mind. The city, for the first time in its long history, is destructible. A single flight of planes no bigger than a wedge of geese can quickly end this island fantasy, burn the towers, crumble the bridges, turn the underground passages into lethal chambers, cremate the millions. The intimation of mortality is part of New York now: in the sound of jets overhead, in the black headlines of the latest edition.

All dwellers in cities must live with the stubborn fact of annihilation; in New York the fact is somewhat more concentrated because of the concentration of the city itself, and because, of all targets, New York has a certain clear priority. In the mind of whatever perverted dreamer who might loose the lightning, New York must hold a steady, irresistable charm.

Today's quote from Victor Hugo: "When events, which are variable, ask us a question, justice, which is immutable, calls on us to answer." (Ninety-Three, III.6.ii)


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