6 November 2004
12:35 pm to 1:35 pm
Ending point: Battery Park
Distance from home: 0.2469 miles
Literature received: none
Coin: 2003 UK 2-pound coin (double helix on flipside)
A woman, declining an eyebrow-threading flyer: “I already got eyebrows, thank you.”
I headed west to the WTC site, bounced off it, and went straight north on West Broadway. After circling around the block, I went four blocks straight north again, and then headed west, crossing the West Side Highway, pushing my body against the wind that wanted to blow me as far east as possible. Any other time with this much wind, I would have been walking away from the river, not towards it. There was so much wind, I had to snatch at the coin, lest it blow away on a gust.
Some detritus from the presidential election blew around my feet, pamphlets and flyers feeling particularly irrelevant now.
In Battery Park City, I walked through the police memorial for officers killed in the line of duty; a huge swath of names were carved into the wall after 9/11. The floral arrangements left here were dying; the fountain had run dry.
Walking over the pedestrian bridge back east to the World Trade Center almost felt like teleporting: I couldn’t flip the coin along the way, and ended up someplace entirely different. I supposed all walking was teleportation: just very slow teleportation.
I headed south, towards the ferries, and ended up just inside Battery Park, with Castle Clinton on one side and the Falun Gong crew on the other, with foreign tourists all around me.