WATCH NOW – ‘9/11/88’

September 11, 1988

On 9/11/88, Sádia, Carolina and André visited the World Trade Center.

They filmed their trip in the city that day, 34 years ago.

A Film by Jason
Music: “Willy Fog” by Crowander


September 11, 2022

City Like A Garden • An Original Song by Jason Zucker
Guitar and Vocals: Jason Zucker
Strings: Julian Cassia


September 11, 2022

The story of how this film happened goes back to 2004, when I was a young aspiring film student at NYU. I was crashing at my brother’s apartment on the Upper East Side for a semester, and I was looking for a way to pick up some extra cash. So I started converting VHS tapes to DVDs for some of our rich Park Avenue neighbors. It ended up being a successful business, but I stopped doing it after college.

But when I moved to the suburbs last year, I decided to give my old side hustle another shot. I made a few posts online, and before I knew it, I was back in business. And now that I’m a professional video editor who’s mostly working from home, I can be editing comfortably in my office while digitizing tapes in the background.

To be honest, I usually don’t watch my customer’s footage any longer than I have to. I will say that every once in a while, I do find myself watching for a minute or two just because, as a documentary editor, I find old footage interesting. But most of what I see is what you’d expect: birthdays, babies, holidays, recitals, weddings, etc.

But there was one customer, Sádia, whose footage caught my eye a few weeks back. One day as I was working at my desk, I glanced over and saw New York City in what was clearly the 1980s. There really wasn’t much going on—just someone filming the city going by from their moving car. But the camera work seemed nice, and I was enjoying the vintage VHS look that it had. It struck me as artistic and had me feeling nostalgic for simpler times.

As I watch from my desk chair, the driving shots end and we are now on a city street. A woman and a young girl wait at an intersection. They cross the street and the camera comes with them. Then we pan up a tall building and cut to the signage on the front. 5 World Trade Center.

Now my eyes are glued to the screen as a family of three walks me through the underground concourse of the World Trade Center. They go up an escalator and enter 2 World Trade Center. A little girl dances on the large red carpeted floor of a building that is no longer standing, brought down by evil for all to see. It is quite eerie watching this family’s experience, knowing the fate of those buildings.

But the biggest surprise of all comes when the footage cuts to our family taking an elevator ride up to the top. The date, which hadn’t been shown previously, pops up on the bottom left of the screen: SEP. 11 1988. My jaw literally dropped. I knew at that moment, that no matter what, I would have to create something out of this immaculate footage that had shown up at my doorstep.

And that brings us to now. Please enjoy the film!

P.S. I’m also releasing an original song that I wrote, called City Like A Garden. It is a love letter to New York City.


June 4, 1986

Drinking water was shut off last night on 16 floors of state offices high in one of the twin towers of the World Trade Center after unacceptable levels of lead were found in samples.

The tests found unacceptable lead traces in three of six fountains tested, and authorities turned off the pipes supplying the 16-floor section of the No. 2 World Trade Center.

As the results became known, officials of the state Health Department and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the owner of the towers, said they were working out plans for random sampling elsewhere in the center and possible blood tests of workers. The officials said they had no idea how the lead could have entered the water supply.

Parachutist Jumps Off World Trade Center Tower

September 14, 1980

While tourists and sightseers gawked and gasped, a young man with a parachute leaped from the observation deck atop the South Tower of the 110-story World Trade Center yesterday and floated down to a rendezvous with a car that sped him away.

In the tradition of Phillipe Petit, who walked a tightrope between the trade center’s twin towers in 1974, and George H. Willig, who scaled the South Tower in 1977, the unidentified aerialist thrilled and frightened hundreds of spectators on the streets of Lower Manhattan and on the tower roof enjoying panoramic views on a clear, sunny afternoon.

Most witnesses on the observation deck did not see the parachute, which was hidden in a backpack, and thought the man was committing suicide when he climbed over an electrified fence and dived off the southwest parapet of the 1,360-foot tower.

But after a graceful descent onto the adjacent Battery Park City landfill site on the Hudson, he gathered up his chute, hopped into a waiting car and vanished.

106th-Floor Fire Routs 200 at Trade Center Lunch

April 20, 1980

Two hundred luncheon patrons were forced to leave the Windows on the World restaurant on the 107th floor of the north tower of the World Trade Center yesterday because of a small but smoky electrical fire on the floor below.

Within minutes of the alarm, the maitres d’hôtel, waiters, bartenders and even the cooks and busboys were ushering guests to the stairs. There were no injuries.

The most excited group seemed to be some young boys from a bar mitzvah celebration who were flipping coins to see whether “they would live or die,” an observer said.

World Trade Center: A City by Itself With Its Own Neighborhood Air

September 28, 1976

At the entrance to the Sky Dive, a bustling, moderately priced cafeteria on the 44th floor of one of the 110‐story twin towers of the World Trade Center is a bulletin board carrying handwritten or typed offers to sell everything from puppies and kittens to automobiles or furniture.

Also on the board are offers to snare or rent apartments and to gather participants in taxi or car pools from Brooklyn.

The bulletin board though not much different from thousands at shopping centers around the nation, is significant. It symbolizes the communal warmth seeping into the intimidating towers, creating a city within a city and putting a sort of regional seal on the 16 acres of companies from all over the world and offices of Federal and state agencies.

Prayers by a Rabbi Help Thwart Jump From Trade Center

September 2, 1975

A distraught Newark man, threatening for four and a half hours to jump from the 110‐story south tower of the World Trade Center, was dissuaded last night by a Manhattan rabbi who prayed with the man in Hebrew and English.

“I’ve never done anything like that before, and I never want to again,” said, Rabbi Israel Gombo of his successful 90‐minute appeal to 33‐year‐old James Speller. “The tension was extreme; it was cold, with the wind howling and all the helicopters flying above us.”

“It was really an act of God,” Rabbi Gombo said.

Governors Dedicate Trade Center Here

April 5, 1973

The $700‐million World Trade Center, its two 1,350‐foot towers the largest buildings in the world, was dedicated formally yesterday by Governors Rockefeller and Cahill.

In a message read at the ceremonies in the purplecarpeted lobby of the northernmost of the twin, 110‐story towers, President Nixon hailed the center as “a major factor for the expansion of the nation’s international trade.”

The huge towers are set on bedrock 70 feet below street level and are designed to sway in a maximum arc of 11 inches in high winds. A computer fed by 6,500 sensors regulates heat and air‐conditioning, shutting them down on weekends. It will turn on diesel generators to make electricity if there is a blackout. In fact, the center uses more electricity than many small cities.