The NY Times recently asked a few New Yorkers which era they would nominate as New York’s golden age. Like Greg, I thought Bill T. Jones’ answer was the most penetrating:
Right after 9/11.
New York had a true reappraisal of itself at a tragic and introspective moment. New York had the attention of the whole world; it was a frightening moment. But the world was ready to follow, to assist.
It lasted a few months. We were vulnerable and open to the rest of the world, and we were ready for a change. There was a chance to ask questions, and it was a time when we were forced to do so.
But it didn’t happen. There wasn’t a true conversation about what America means to the rest of the world or about why New York was chosen. It was an opportunity. And then the politicians took it.
That last sentence is a doozy, isn’t it? It saddens me to think that in times when we need to have open and honest communication to heal wounds and investigate opportunities, we instead let ourselves get caught up with the marketing of powerful men.