New York City - 09/11 Memorial

(September 11th 2018)

Our parents & grandparents have always had those moments remembering exactly where they were when major events occurred. The first for me personally happened on 09/11/01 when I was a sophomore at Fairfield University. I had been walking back through the student center to my dorm after a morning class and heard a few people talking about a plane crashing into a building in NYC. Getting back to my floor I saw everyone with their doors open and TV's on with the footage playing. Standing there in shock we all were lost on what was happening and then seeing the second plane hit live is something I'll never forget.

I had never been down to the city to witness the "Tribute in Light", presented every years from dusk to dawn on the night of September 11th, but this year I made a last minute ride in with several other photographers from CT. Assembled on the roof of the Battery Parking Garage south of the 09/11 Memorial, the twin beams reach up to four miles into the sky and are comprised of 88 7,000-watt xenon light bulbs positioned into two 48-foot squares, exposing the shape and orientation of the Twin Towers. Clouds were rolling in thick as we arrived and the lights would disappear at times, either partially or completely. Luckily for a few moments the clouds lifted enough for me to snap an image of the lights extending far up into the night sky. We ventured further down into Brooklyn Bridge Park to one of the more photographed spots in the area and captured the skyline from there with the lights capped off much lower because of the clouds. Was an amazing experience to capture something so powerful and see many others come out to witness & pay tribute to everyone that was lost that day.

After clouds rolled in completely we walked around the Dumbo area of Brooklyn to try and snap some more images. I had never photographed the iconic Belgian block street leading up to the Manhattan Bridge so was fun to see how I could capture it from a different perspective than it typically is. Normally you’re able to see the Empire State Building positioned perfectly in between the middle opening of the bridge but with zero visibility it was missing in action. Then we headed into Manhattan to check out a few other locations to shoot, including the iconic Flatiron Building. I don’t often shoot cityscapes and street views but I really enjoyed trying my hand at them on this fun last minute adventure into the city. And of course a late night trip into NYC wouldn’t be complete without a few big pieces of pizza before our ride home from Joe’s Pizza!