Thursday, March 22, 2007

No Tourists allowed

It's odd to think of some of the places in New York as tourists destinations.

Office buildings, street corners the bizarre bakery that was once used by the girls on Sen in the City. If its been on TV then its famous ( I recognized the steps of the city's courthouse simply becasue i had seen it so many times on Law and Order).

But I still had a hard time thinking of areas of this city as a torusit destination where you take photos and get post cards to tell mable and frank back at the farm.

I refused, for example, to take photos of the areas where the World Trade Towers fell. there were pushers selling post cards of hte towers and photos of what the new city block was going to look like with the new freedom tower constructed. Tour guides - for the rare proce of 10 bucks - would guide you through a history of hte former towers and walk you around hte property.

its a construction site - for all extensive porpuses, but it still is somehting a little more. its like taking photos with all your smiling children at the Arlington natioanl Cemetery. Does it make sence, not just seems out of place.

Then again, that is new york, one big city that is constantly out of place.

Just outside the Ground Zero area is St. michael's chapel. the place is this tiny church that served as a rest point for crews and volunteers that were digging bodies out of the rubble in 2001.

the place is still filled with momentos and trinkets from the whole day, month and years following 9/11. While we were there, a college group was practicing for a choral show. Their songs and lyrics were simply amazing - i guess to sing in this auspicious church you can't be jsut anyone.

I sat for a moment in the churhc and thought ot myslef the last time i was really in church. not jsut there to appease a fmaily memeber or to make someone else happy - no, the last time I actually wanted to be in church and enjoyed it.

its been a long time. here there were images, photos and letter from people who used this historic chappel to give everything they had to someone else and now here I was a tourist.

I missed my religion - but not hte religion that i left. The religion and church that I had built up in my head. Who knows, maybe it is sstill out there. Open doors to an historic building in some far-flung corner of the country.

but even then i would still be tourist, snaping my picutres and getting in the way.

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