There is a lake in Tanzania with a pH level so toxic, it essentially turns any animal that touches it into stone. Photographer Nick Brandt captures the horrific beauty of these petrified animals in his book Across the Ravaged Land.
9/11/01, as viewed from Brooklyn. Union Square memorial shortly after. The World Trade Center site one month later.
Every year on this day I’m reminded of these photos I took in New York on and around 9/11. When I think objectively about 9/11 now, I can’t help but associate it with how much worse it’s made the world - our foreign policy, our morals, our wars. It’s become a blanket excuse for attitudes that have led to more innocent deaths than the attack itself…
But looking at these photos reminds me solely of that day - stripped of all future context - and how immensely bizarre New York City was in the weeks that followed. It was a strange, confusing, scary day for me and for many others, and the time that followed was a New York that no one will ever (hopefully) see again. It was a quiet, united, terrified but strong New York. A place haunted by “MISSING” posters, tensing up at the sound of airplanes at night, and actually wondering when it was okay to make jokes again, or to go back to work/school like everything was normal. A city well known for its unfriendliness became one giant family, if only for a short time. Strangers on the street were your brothers and sisters. We were all in it together. It was probably the most surreal experience of my life.