Welcome. Tomorrow morning I’m going to meet my friend Daniel for breakfast in the East Village, and then we’re going to walk over to the west side, roughly following the route I traveled to work on Sept. 11, 2001, when Daniel and I were colleagues at the then-brand-new cable network Oxygen. The office had a bank of about eight televisions in its lobby, each regularly tuned to a different news channel. That day, as we entered, each showed the exact same images.
If you’re trying to make sense of Sept. 11’s impact, you might start with Jason Farago’s assessment of “Why Art Struggled to Address the Horrors of 9/11.” He looks at the immediate days after the attacks, when “American culture became a culture of prohibitions: a disciplined terrain where testimony was discouraged, and interpretation actively discredited.”
Read James Poniewozik on the spate of anniversary TV specials: “For 20 years, the refrain has been: Remember, remember, remember. Memory is so ingrained in the language of Sept. 11 — ‘Never forget’ — as to imply that it is obligatory, and sufficient, for future generations merely to remember by revisiting the narrative and imagery of one terrible day, rather than to connect it to the years of history that followed.”
“The reconstruction at ground zero was a mess and remains a massive, missed opportunity,” writes Michael Kimmelman in his analysis of the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan. “But it may well be the mess, not the memorial or the office towers — half conceived to reignite the economy, half as middle fingers raised to Osama bin Laden — that has ended up being the ultimate retort to Sept. 11 and the emblem of New York’s resilience.”
After you’ve read the critics, read Tara Parker-Pope’s account of interviewing people on the ground as the north tower collapsed, and of the stranger who gave her shoes to walk home in after she kicked hers off to run from the scene.
For dinner tonight, an easy pantry meal: Eric Kim’s fried eggs with white rice. Tomorrow, an all-teenage U.S. Open final: Leylah Fernandez, 19, and Emma Raducanu, 18, play at 4:20 p.m. Eastern. The men’s final, in which Novak Djokovic could make history if he wins his semifinal tonight, is on Sunday at 4 p.m. Eastern. You can stream it all on ESPN+. If you’re considering going to the movies, Manohla Dargis recommends Paul Schrader’s “The Card Counter.” And Brandon Taylor reviewed “Beautiful World, Where Are You” and concludes that it’s Sally Rooney’s “best novel yet.” I’m going to start it this weekend.
Your list of lists.
Keep sending me your hopes and plans for the end of summer and beginning of fall: firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your full name and location and we might feature your response in a future newsletter. We’re At Home and Away. We’ll read every letter sent. There are more good ideas for passing the time this weekend below. See you next week.
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