Two vast columns of light into the sky. Two pools of moving water where you can't see the bottom, that take up a huge amount of space in an area where land is about as valuable as it's possible to be.
There is a lot to dislike about America's particular brand of patriotism but all of this is genuinely tasteful, especially the departure from hyper-capitalism by not selling off the land.
My Dad visited the World Trade Centre on September 10th 2001. He was elsewhere in the City on the day, thankfully, but due to the disruption he wasn't able to get in touch for 3 days.
I was working in McDonalds, and just as the lunch rush was coming down we ended up crowded around a small TV watching things unfold.
I was able to lean into the fact that it was extremely unlikely my Dad was hurt, and that the reason for not hearing from him was the overwhelmed network. Phones and the internet were not good 22 years ago. A quiet work day came to an end and I went to see Alien Ant Farm play in the evening; it was very clear that they didn't want to be there.
Today may well be a front runner for 'best day'.
- Wake up at Heathrow, breeze through security
- Possibly the most delicious gammon and eggs in an extremely nice lounge
- Plane, lamb for lunch, Godfather Part II included in the entertainment
- Easy train ride into Manhattan
- Caught the very end of the unveiling of Beastie Boys Square, at Ludlow and Rivington
- Hotel check-in, except it's a fully functional apartment that's larger than my first flat in Nottingham. Easily big enough to live in
- Emmet Cohen Trio at Birdland, with steak and a glass of Malbec
- Walk from Midtown, back to my hotel near Battery Park
I am quite incredibly lucky.
If a Swiss Army Knife really was designed for the Swiss Army, what sort of thing is the Swiss Army doing where it would be appropriate for the Swiss Army to be opening bottles of wine with their Swiss Army Knives?
Unless there is some other use for a corkscrew that I am unaware of, I have to assume it's to get the cork out the barrel of brandy placed around the neck of their St Bernard rescue dogs.
That mystery blue liquid full of combs at the barber. Barbicide.
If Fungicide gets rid of fungus, presumably Barbicide gets rid of barbers? Barber shops are generally full of barbers so it's safe to assume Barbicide doesn't work.
My favourite genre of meeting: We have a problem to solve, we get to a solution fairly quickly, but then we go on a little jaunt through various complex and unworkable solutions before landing on the same original solution.
I don't think that whole process is totally worthless; it gets the questions out in the open and irons out edge-cases-that-aren't-real. It also gives the contrarians their platform (there are few things I dislike more than 'devils advocate').
My position usually comes back to not really caring as long as we remain consistent, but the simplest solution without trying to crystal-ball future problems is the one to go for.
Six Feet Under is probably my favourite TV show of all time. Some things feel like they come close, but the recency bias skews that significantly. I am also, however, well aware that the nostalgia of my life around Six Feet Under boosts its status.
This scenario almost sounds too good to be true: In the flat of my artist girlfriend, opposite the entrance to Holborn station, and watching the entirely of season 4 on a newly acquired DVD.
I seem to be thinking of these things more and more often. You truly do not realise what you have until it's gone.