I was going to say “a good day to save the world” but I wouldn’t want you to get the wrong idea. I don’t think that I am saving the world. But I do think that if I talk to someone, and they talk to someone and so on, well then maybe we have a chance. And besides the weather was absolutely gorgeous today, especially after the kind of freakish weather we had this past week in NYC *(see footnote).
I set off with the trike to just South of the World Trade Center site to make up for the chalking portion that I didn’t get to finish last time out. I met up with my friends and documentary people - Justin, Jose, Ed & Margo and my new friend from the Discovery Channel - Kasey. (She and I have spent a lot of time together lately, and have had some fun while she has been documenting the project - I will put a link to the pieces when they are up online). The first streets were pretty unpopulated and small (lower Manhattan), but there is a lot of construction going on down there.
Then we got to the the WTC site. The line goes pretty much right through the middle of it. And I was to draw the line right through the viewing area on Liberty Street. I have to be honest, I get really emotional whenever I pass by the WTC site and drawing the line - I was nervous about it. I didn’t want people to think that I was being disrespectful - far from it. At the same time its a pretty powerful statement to say, you see this site here, the destruction that happened here? Well look at this line, it goes right through this site, and this is destruction on a global scale. So, yeh, I was nervous. I asked Ed (my ally and staunch supporter) to come talk to me before I started. I said to him, “What do you think Ed, you think it is okay?” and he responded with the words I had told him regarding his questions to me many months ago about drawing there, “You have to Eve, you just have to.” So with tears welling in my eyes, I opened the lever on the chalker and walked across the pathway through the viewing gallery, leaving a line of blue chalk, right up to the wall of the WTC site… Then I just looked at it for a little while, and thought about it…
On the North side of the site, we got to chalk right up to the wall of 7 World Trade Center, a LEED Gold Building. Then I continued on through Tribeca and into the West Village. Ending today just past Christopher Street.
We spoke to a number of people today, (mostly because Margo is so great to have out - she sees someone looking at the line or me funny and she says “don’t you want to know what she is doing?” most of them do, they just don’t have the nerve to ask). As Margo and I walked back to our bikes though, one gentleman stopped us to ask “Hey are you the ones chalking all these streets?” Why yes we are! We got to talk to him and his two friends about the project (then he wanted a picture of the people chalking the streets), and gave him an action packet. The really cool part? As we were walking away, we hear them talking about their own experiences and knowledge around climate change! Proof that its working, we got them to stop their routine (they were visiting from Atlanta and just in the city for a day), and consider the real consequences of climate change.
Tomorrow I will go from West 10th to West 14th (it’s longer than you think - there are lots of interstitial streets). Then its back out to Brooklyn in a couple of weeks! If you haven’t been out to see the line, there is still time, but definitely mark on your calendar the following: September 28 & 29 HWL will be part of the Dumbo Arts Center Art Under the Bridge Festival, and October 7, as thats the last day of drawing and I am hoping to put together a bit of a final bash…
*I spent Wednesday trying really hard not to write a post saying “See!” As many of you already know, we had a pretty strong front move through - thunder and lightning that shook the house (and of course set off the car alarms) that also caused a tornado to spawn in Brooklyn! (Apparently first one since 1800). The storms were fast and hard and despite the fact that this storm wasn’t really that big (not compared to a hurricane, well as you also know (or heard) practically our entire subway system shut down. There were just no trains that weren’t flooded. They have pumps in the tunnels which were functioning at the time, but were apparently clogged with debris. After the storm cleared we got hit with some incredibly nasty humidity. The Second Avenue station really really did feel like a steam room. (Often people say that, but it was stunningly gross down there). Couple the heat and humidity with delayed overcrowded trains, and well the A/C on many of the cars broke down. It was all in all a pretty miserable commute.
Then on Friday we got more storms (by now the pumps were cleared so now more flooding), and it cleared away the heat and humidity - leaving us with *near* record cold temperatures! Seriously, it is the middle of August and I was freezing! (This from the girl who likes winter and thinks that SF has the most perfect weather in the world - I mean I like cool weather!) Don’t worry, I’m not so presumptious as to claim that these weather events were caused by climate change - I’ll leave that up to the scientists.