I think Pittsburgh tops NYC in terms of beauty. It’s a bit like San Francisco plopped in Appalachia. The geography and terrain are an integral part of Pittsburgh, something that’s missing for the most part in NYC. There, the terrain is manmade.
But if there is one thing I miss about NYC, it’s lower Manhattan.
I used to take the PATH to the city and passed through the eerie chasm of the World Trade Center. The Freedom Tower that is taking its place has a name that reminds me of the worst dumbing down tendencies of the Bush years. But the building itself is light and tall and majestic, a prism of reflecting planes of light. It thrusts weightlessly over the area where Occupy made its home at Zuccotti Park.
I also miss the Tribute in Light that I used to watch from the Jersey City side of the harbor. Some things are best when they are simple.
On 9/11 of this year, the New York City Ballet celebrated New Beginnings on the roof of 4 WTC at sunrise with a performance of Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain. The music is one of my favorite minimalist pieces, Spiegel im Spiegel (Mirror in Mirror) by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt.