Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Man on Wire: Twin Towers Tightrope


Frenchman Philippe Petit walked between the World Trade Center twin towers in August 1974. He had not asked permission of course. He was arrested and handcuffed. The authorities wanted to know why he did it and sent him for a psychiatric assessment. Watch this documentary in a cinema if possible. It's the last question you'll ask yourself.

Philippe had practiced between the pylons of Sydney Harbour Bridge and the towers of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

It was one small step...

One Saturday morning in August 1980 I took these photos from the second top floor of one of the towers. I was visiting Bill Gates, a teacher mate from Up-State New York. We stayed at a Manhattan apartment of one of his friends whose husband worked on that floor. It was a long weekend so we had the place to ourselves. We were parked on the street opposite the buildings in the first picture. While we enjoyed the view, someone stole the car radio. I dragged out the old photos because the Statue of Liberty resonated so strongly with ones from the film.









I'll spare you our tourist snaps from the top of the bridge and the cathedral.

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