MATTHEW JENSEN

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Life Near the Void
At 8:46AM on a Tuesday morning I started a walk at the corner of Church and Vesey Street, the former site of the World Trade Center.

Growing up in the shadow of a void is hard to imagine. How many young New Yorkers know only the sensational empty space, a stop on tour buses? How many millions must confront the void in their day-to-day lives, whether from across the street or across the river? Who has the best mental tricks to keep from going back to that day every day? How many times have I, on my way to work or my studio, had to direct someone to “the World Trade Center” as if it still stands?

While walking a route around the perimeter and neighboring streets, I searched for small pockets of life that have grown out of the cracks with a view of the void and in what was once a shadow. The surrounding streets are an intense mix of construction traffic, industrial barricades, temporary walk-ways and bridges, subway access points, security checks and a steady stream of pedestrians.

I concluded my walk at 10:28AM.

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