A Balcony, Only 23 Floors Up, Not 106

By: pbcmedia

Sep 11 2009

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Category: 2001, September 11


Focal Length:50mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon EOS 5D

Recently, I visited New York City and stayed in a corner apartment on the 23rd floor overlooking 2nd avenue.

This is the view looking south from a small balcony (and, I do mean small, perhaps only 8 feet deep and 12 feet long.  Think big enough for a potted plant and a cafe table and two chairs not four) that was off the living room.

One of the nights I was there the setting sun was so spectacular that I took my camera and went out on the balcony. Or, at least, tried to go out on to the balcony.  The door opened alright, and the screen door; it was just me who had the problem propelling myself out.

Immediately, I got dizzy.  In the end, I tiptoed only two feet out in order to take shots of the southern and western exposures before I came back in.

I was shaken as if I’d been, well…if I’d been dangling out a window not standing on concrete with a railing around me.

I thought I’d thought everything.  I thought I’d said everything that I could say about September 11, 2001 before this visit to a small balcony 23 floors above 2nd avenue.  Last year, I posted the headlines of the world’s newspapers.

This year?  Simply this.

Bless those leaping, falling souls.  Bless every single molecule of their beings.

Atoms of humanity, now rising, rising eternally, into the fading light and heart of this great city.

©Pat Coakley 2009


9 comments on “A Balcony, Only 23 Floors Up, Not 106”

  1. the rosy sky, the hints of color in the darkness, the string of lights along the avenue…this is beautiful, there is a feeling about it, it feels quiet and still, reverent. tiny balconies way up high and vulnerability. masterful, pat.

  2. Beautiful picture and sentiments

  3. Whoever said a city couldn’t be beautiful? That bit of vertigo on a high balcony i familiar… connecting that to those who jumped makes my head spin.

    • Don, what makes your head spin is exactly what made my case of vertigo much more intense than ever, and I mean ever, before.

  4. The tones of this image evoke in me a sense of fire and blood.

    I always feel uneasy about being in buildings higher than 7 floors because, beyond 7 floors those fire engine extension ladders can’t reach you in an emergency.

    Those images of those poor people leaping out of windows will be with me for the rest of my life and so will the hate I have for those who caused such terrible things to happen.

    As for New York, it’s an OK place to visit back I’d be full of despair if I had to live there.

  5. Razz, my father was a salesman with all of New England as his territory when he first started out. He had a fear of fire and only stayed in the first floor of motels, hotels. I think it had to do with a childhood experience with a fire but you know I’m not exactly sure. One of the many things I wish I could ask him.

    Funny, but this exposure does not elicit fire and blood to me, but the western exposures not shown here would absolutely be aptly described that way. The sun was the proverbial fiery red/orange ball setting. Maybe I’ll post one in the next few days.

    You seem to be close to my old neighborhood, Heidelberg, as I am following your travels!

  6. Awesome photo.

    I’ve never had a fear of much of anything….(except for one of my children needing me and me not being able to get to them) I suppose that’s why I BASE jump now, LOL.


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