When an office is more than an office

Back before the whole world worked in cubicles, I had an office on the 45th floor, with a nice big window and partial view of the mighty Hudson River. The rest of the view was the office tower across the street, which rose some 70 floors higher than my building: one of the twin towers of the World Trade Center. (I could never remember which.)

I wasn’t there in 2001, thank God, but I was in 1993 when terrorists tried to bomb it the first time. I felt our building shake, saw the black smoke coming out from where the parking lot vented, walked down 45 flights of stairs with my nervous colleagues.

Today, social media is full of photos of the towers. I even got an email from a clothing store assuring me: “We remember.” I deleted it, and unsubscribed for good measure (it seemed opportunistic). I don’t need photos or emails to remember that place or the thousands of people who went to the office that day – just as I had for many years – fully expecting that they’d go home.

How many forgettable workspaces are there in the world? On days like today, I wish I could forget that one.

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