7 Years Ago and 7 Years From Now

Self Portrait, NYC, September 2001 © Emily Shur

I would feel weird if I didn’t at least acknowledge the fact that today is September 11th.  I know, I know – it’s soo 7 years ago, but still.  I haven’t seen too many other posts about it on the photo blog circuit, and it’s kind of a buzzkill, but I think it’s important for me to remember what went down and how I felt that day.  So much has changed for me in the past seven years.  I left New York.  I got married.  We bought a house.  I have a car.  We are the proud parents of The Baroness.  I’ve gone through I think three different agents in that time.  Life has gone on for sure. 

In 2001, I lived in the East Village, on 5th St. between 2nd and 3rd, and the neighborhood got real creepy immediately following September 11th.  I took the above picture on Lafayette in the days following the 11th.  For those of you who lived in the city then, you’ll remember how everything below 14th St. was closed off to the public, except for people who lived there.  There were no cars on the street except for the random ambulance, fire truck, or military vehicle that might drive by.  A couple times I saw MTA buses, only to realize they were packed full of military and police, not civilians.  It was surreal and very unsettling.  I remember opening my mail with a face mask and rubber gloves.  I had nightmares.  I didn’t ride the subway for at least 6 months because I was convinced it was a death trap.  It really sucked.  Another thing that sucked was my uncertainty about the future.

Now here we are in 2008.  An election year.  We have a real chance to turn things around this year.  I am starting to get worried that the American public doesn’t have enough interest in changing things.  The fact that Sarah Palin’s horrific publicity hasn’t damaged McCain’s campaign yet really worries me.  Is this where our country is headed?  To a place where a vice presidential candidate is on the cover of US Weekly embroiled in a teenage pregnancy scandal and the Republicans are spinning her family life and situation as being “relatable” to the American public?  And it’s working?!?!  To a place where Obama gets shit for being too smart?  Is that really a problem we need to be worried about – our president being too smart?  Let’s get it together people and not fuck this one up.

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