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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Through the din of construction at the World Trade Center–where the pile driver competes with the jack hammer-the attentive ear can pick up a babel of tongues from the earth’s far corners.
These are the voices of the growing army of tenants, eventually to number 50,000. So far they total 1,800, representing 111 companies, trade agencies and governments.
They hurry along temporary enclosed walkways across the raucous, muddy construction site to the 16 floors of offices already open in the sleek, aluminum-coated 110-story north tower. In addition, 40 students from 26 “developing” countries are attending the new World Trade Institute on the 13th floor.
The 110‐story World Trade Center was “topped out” yes terday with the emplacement of a steel column 1,370 feet above the streets of Lower Manhattan.
A spokesman for the Port of New York Authority, which is directing construction of the building, said the 36‐foot long, four‐ton column was the first piece of steel to reach the highest point of the building.
The column, with an American flag attached—a tradi tion in “topping out”—was hoisted in place atop the North Tower Building at 11:30 A.M. The Trade Center became the world’s tallest building last Oct. 19 when its structure rose higher than the Empire State Building, which is 1,250 feet high, not includ ing the television mast which is 222 feet high.
At 2:51 yesterday, after noon, the Empire State Building became the second tallest skyscraper in the world.
Two and three‐quarters miles downtown a four‐ton piece of steer framework of the north tower of the World Trade Center was fitted into place, extending the frame work past the 102nd‐story level to a height 1,254 feet above street level—four feet higher than the Empire State Building. The trade center will eventually be 110 stories high.
Forty years ago, almost to the week, the Empire State edged past the Chrysler Building to become the world’s tallest.
Work has begun in Chicago on a building that will be taller than the trade center.
A gang of sweating; straining workmen guided a 34-ton hunk of steel gently and precisely onto a concrete slab in Lower Manhattan yesterday, beginning a work that will eventually take them onto narrow girders 1,350 feet in the air as they erect the world’s tallest buildings–the twin towers of the World Trade Center.
It is the ongoing. process of the men who “set. steel,” who walk the girders to push new girders into the air so that those who follow can, fill the space with the amenities that make office buildings and apartment houses.
To work in the vanguard of the hundreds of men who build a skyscraper takes strong arms, quick coordination and a good deal of nerve.
The Port of New York Authority awarded the first contracts yesterday for the super structure of the World Trade Center, whose twin, 110-story towers will be the tallest buildings in the world.
Fifty-thousand tons of steel for structural bearing walls was purchased from the Pacific Car and Foundry Company of Seattle. Three contracts for other forms of steel went to the Laclede Steel Company of St. Louis, the Granite City Steel Company of Granite City, Ill., and the Karl Koch Erecting Company of the Bronx.
Karl Koch also received the contract for erecting all the steel in the towers. The sixth contract, for aluminum exterior wall, went to the Aluminum Company of America of Pittsburgh.
The Port of New York Authority prepared yesterday to start its first demolition on land acquired for the proposed $350 million World Trade Center.
Workmen fenced off a one story building at Cortlandt and West Streets, which will be razed to make way for tests of foundation systems planned to support the 110-story twin towers and plaza buildings of
the giant complex, The towers will be the tallest buildings in the world.
The workmen will remove fixtures from the building next and then wrecking of the structure will be started.
Twin 1,350-foot towers, the world’s tallest buildings, will be erected to house the World Trade Center planned downtown. The towers and a cluster of 70-foot-high satellite buildings will form a ring around a five-acre plaza containing reflecting pools.
Plans for the $350 million complex on the Lower West Side were disclosed yesterday at a preview in the New York Hilton Hotel.
The center will gather governmental and private activities in the export-import field now widely scattered in the metropolitan area. It will haveexhibition halls, shops, restaurants and a 250-room hotel, for travelers whose business brings them to the center.
Each of the center’s twin towers will be eight stories and 100 feet-taller than the Empire State Building. Without its 222-foot television antenna mast, the Empire State is 1,250 feet high and has 102 stories.
Minoru Yamasaki, who designed the highly acclaimed United States Science Pavilion at the Seattle World’s Fair, has been named architect for the proposed World Trade Center in lower Manhattan.
Emery Roth & Sons of 850 Third Avenue will be associated architects on the project. Announcement of their selection was made yesterday by S. Sloan Colt, chairman of the Port of New York Authority.
The $270,000,000 center is being planned by the Port Authority on a 15-acre site bounded by West, Barclay, Church and Liberty Streets.
The Port Authority has said that the center would bring together in one location all the specialized activities and information needed for the conduct of export-import business in the city. No date has been set for completion of the center.
A World Trade Center in lower Manhattan costing at least $355,000,000 was recommended yesterday by the Port of New York Authority after a year-long study. The center would include a complex of buildings to be built on a sixteen-acre site bounded by Old Slip, Fulton, Pearl and Water Streets and the East River.
The recommendation was made in a report to Governor Rockefeller, Gov. Robert B. Meyner of New Jersey and Mayor Wagner. It noted that the proposed center, “adjacent to the traditional core of world trade activity in lower Manhattan,” would be serviced by subway, railroad, ferry and bus lines.
A World Trade Center that may cost $250,000,000 was proposed yesterday for thirteen and a half acres along the East River, adjoining New York’s downtown financial district.
As outlined by its originator, the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association, Inc., the plan calls for a combination office and hotel structure of fifty to seventy stories, a six-story international trade mart and exhibition hall, and a central securities exchange building in which it is hoped the New York Stock Exchange will be a tenant.
The only plan that has been worked out in detail for a World Trade Center in New York City was tabled last week by the board of directors of the corporation appointed last year by Governor Dewey to study what steps should be taken in establishing the project. It is the only plan the corportion has had under consideration and a final report on their findings must be made on or before Jan. 1.
The plan calls for twenty-one buildings covering ten blocks in the heart of New York City. The buildings, which are functionally designed to meet requirements of world buyers and sellers in terms of display space and commercial facilities, are tentatively planned for an unannounced site that would not interfere with north or south arteries. The layout includes extensive subterranean parking lots.
Buildings cover agriculture products, forestry, electronics, aviation, textiles, South America, a Symphony Hall, home appliances, Europe, industrial arts, transportation, administration, a World Trade Shrine, machinery and tools, medicine and chemistry, metallurgy, manufacturing, motion pictures, plastics, electrical goods, and automobiles.