Ten years ago during the horrible tragedy, no one was thinking what would be or could ever be built again. Today, 10 years later we are surrounded by the TV, print and online messages of reminder and reflection. Indeed, we should remember. But today, I was reminded of something more – something we all need in our ability to move on. That is forgiveness. I uplink this post at dusk, this September 11, 2011 in observance of the lights that will turn on any minute now in New York City.
The bright searchlights that beam upward from the site is (for me at least) our message to the world – that we are still here, we will come back with a vengeance. It is a message to our lost loves – we connect with you still. It is also a message, that there is hope. There is a future. There is a future ability in our hearts and souls to love and trust again. Somewhere in this journey to find hope again, there must be forgiveness. Indeed it must. For, by not forgiving, we stay in that moment. We would be stuck. By not forgiving we will live with some amount of hate, somewhere, that will cause that part of us to decay.
The lights, known as “The Tribute of Light” is the personification of all these thoughts. As much as I love light, and all things light, these beams of light contain the most meaning from any light. Among the many wonderful things I have seen in my life, they remain one of the most moving.
Below; This video created by F9 Photo in 2010 shows the lights, and also shows the magical effect created by the birds. The birds love to fly in and out of the lights. It is hypnotic and perhaps symbolic; Live and play in the message and truth of the lights. Notice the reflections and the effect of the bird’s swirling flight multiplied in the windows of nearby office towers.
Above; newly constructed World Trade Center towers at dusk, before Battery Park City. · World Trade Center · New York, New York
Above; The extreme height seems best captured by this silhouette image of an almost surreal height. Photo by Roman Staszewski
Above, with the towers and below, the towers gone.
True to our heritage, our nation moves on, and again, the most poignant, dramatic and moving thing I have witnessed in a very long time, were, and are the huge searchlights beaming straight up into the sky from ground zero. The “Tribute in Light” art installation of 88 searchlights, is produced each year on the anniversary. 2011 has been announced as possibly the last year of this memorial being presented. The creative design team consists of architects John Bennett and Gustavo Bonevardi of PROUN Space Studio, artists Julian LaVerdiere and Paul Myoda, architect Richard Nash Gould, and lighting designer Paul Marantz.
At our Episcopal church today, Father Anthony Parker shared one of the most compelling sermons I have ever heard. In reading below, if you find it better for you, his message can be less of a religious message, to those who are not as aligned with a church, a religion, God or “A God” for that matter.
It doesn’t matter. Forgiveness is as much about an interpersonal and self surviving act than anything else. As Father Parker stated; “For NOT to forgive, is to still be there, to still worship at THAT altar.” Who still wants to live there? Remember, yes. Live at that place? No.
from book of Matthew 18.21 -35.
Then Peter came to Him and asked, “Lord how often am I to forgive my brother if he goes on wronging me? As many as seven times?” Jesus replied, “I do not say seven times but seventy times times seven.” The Kingdom of Heaven, therefore, should be thought of in this way: There was once a king who decided to settle accounts with the men who served him. At the outset, there appeared before him a man who owed ten thousand talents. Since he had no means of paying, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife, his children and everything he had, to meet the debt. The man fell at his master’s feet. “Be patient with me,” he implored, “and I will pay you in full” ; and the master was so moved with pity that he let the man go and cancelled the debt. But no sooner had the man gone out than he met a fellow-servant who owed him a hundred denarii; he took hold of him, seizing him by the throat, and said, “Pay me what you owe.” The man fell at his fellow-servant’s feet, and begged him, “Be patient with me, and I will pay you” ; but he refused, and had him thrown into jail until he should pay the debt. The other servants were deeply distressed when they saw what had happened, and they went to their master and told him the whole story. The he sent for the man and said, “You scoundrel! I cancelled the whole of your debt when you appealed to me; ought you not to have showed mercy to your fellow-servant just as I showed mercy to you?” And so angry was the master that he condemned the man to be tortured until he should pay the debt in full. That is how my heavenly Father will deal with you, unless you forgive your brother from your hearts.”
“Tribute in Light” is one of the most powerful and healing works of public art ever produced. The majestic blue beams are presented annually by MAS, shining from dusk on September 11, through dawn the next day. Visible within a sixty-mile radius on a clear night, Tribute has become a world-renowned icon of remembrance, honouring those who were lost, as well as those who worked so hard to get our city and nation through that terrible trial.
Above; NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 07: Lighting Designer Frank Hollenkamp uses his iPad to shoot video of the Tribute in Lights ahead of the tenth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on September 7, 2011 in New York City.
The Tribute in Light is composed of 88 1-degree beams of 7000 watt xenon searchlights focused into the sky near the site of the World Trade Center in remembrance of the September 11 attacks. The illuminated memorial reaches 4 miles into the sky and is the strongest shaft of light ever projected from earth into the night sky. (Photo by Andreas Gebhard/Getty Images)
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Below; Watch the assembly of the tribute lights.
Around the world, people assume that the Tribute in Light is a permanent annual installation. But the reality is that the future of the lights is not guaranteed beyond September 11, 2011. Please support the Municipal Art Society’s efforts to keep the lights shining by making a generous donation online; http://mas.org/programs/tributeinlight/support/ or by calling (212) 935-3960.
Above; Photo by Thomas Huston c/o Flicker.com
Perhaps forgiveness will open the door to healing. My life experience shows this to happen. Perhaps forgiveness can keep that part of us from going dead. Perhaps, like the book of Matthew above, our act of forgiveness, will spur another act of forgiveness.
Forgiveness is perhaps one of the most self-less and self-protecting things we will ever do. It is perhaps one of the most powerful things we can do. For ourselves as well as for the person forgiven. Truly, whomever your divine being may be, Forgiveness might be one of the greatest acts of Love done in the name of Him or Her.
Below; The open fountains of cascading water that are located on each of the original building’s footprints. I see the massive open cavities, as this flowing and liquid moment – as a place to throw all of the hurt, pain and sorrow into. This is a perfect place to allow the release of those feelings, to allow the possibility of forgiveness to begin. It is my hope that we all have an early oppourtunity to be at these fountains soon.
Below; The lyrics begin with despair, and end with such brilliant hope and determination. The heartbreaking and uplifting song “New York” by Alicia Keys;
Meanwhile, at the Cookout –
“Oh, Christ,” thought Carol, grimly setting the picnic table for yet another disastrous barbeque, “there goes another batch of hamburgers. Sometimes I wish those two would just screw and get it over with. And get Shirlee, with her goddam surprised act. If she hasn’t figured it all out yet about her Ed, I’m going to have to draw her a picture.”
(courtesy Charles Robert, a friend in Atlanta, who owns Rocaille Antiques and Interiors)
My love of light comes most naturally from my need of sunlight, moonbeams, shadow and rainbows. Light itself actually has a sensation to me. The uplifting feeling on a very very clear day. The celestial revelation when the suns ray’s are huge shafts of light splaying from the puffs of clouds.
Even the reflection of the sun’s light splattered across a pool’s surface and throwing dancing synapses of light onto the ceiling.
The softness of light coming through a silk sheer drape.
The harsh, bright and bold light of the Kleig lights arcing into the night sky.
It is no wonder that impressionism, watercolors, stained glass, crystal chandeliers all fill me with wonder and indeed mood. The advances in what we can do with light today are mind bending. In fact, speaking of bending, I recently installed a counter of concrete in a restaurant lounge, that had acrylic embedded within to carry light from one opening to another. The effect is playful and mysterious when you move your hand across the surface, and other areas of the acrylic ends “shadow out” seemingly all on their own. The product is from Sensitile™ and it is called “Terrazzo”.
Cutting edge design with light fills me with awe and delight, and projection mapping is no exception. These two videos below show what I mean.
Projection mapping at its most basic, is a computer’s map of something (boxes, sculpture and here – building facades.) and “reading” the details, fenestration, corbels, dentil moulding, capitals, etc and through programming, commands the laser lighting system to project onto the building. But it is what and how this is projected that the designer has manifested more that what we are to expect.
Below, This version of projection mapping, set in Lyon, France and is projected onto what is known as “The Clestins” – the former lyrical theater. The project is known as “Perspective Lyrique” and after the programmed display, then provides interactive architectural projection mapping, that is, laser light programmed to respond to audience input with an algorythm – from 1024architecture.net 2010.
Below, the blacked-out dark Georgentor gate of the Residenzchloss in Dresden, Germany, sits hulk-like in the dark night, until the computer sizes it up, and begins it’s magic. The windows suddenly light up, as if from within. The turrets fall away from the facade, and the whole frame appears to fall towards you. Light bombs race along the fenestration and tracery of the structure. The building melts, it tumbles into blocks, and builds again, it shimmers into a curtain, and then pixilates into a million pieces.. then reforms. At the 11:00 mark, watch the topiaries, window boxes form… This is all done with light. The shifting panels on the building, the undulating window frames that pull away from reality, are just light projected onto the facade. It’s 20 minutes. I promise you – for almost half of it, you will forget – this is JUST LIGHT projected onto a building.
Like the Chinese Almond cookies (thanks again to Garrett McCord!), I also brag about my cheesecake. Having made this cheesecake for over 20 years now – I can only guess that perhaps two thousand to three thousand people have tasted it, all with astonishment of “the best cheesecake I have ever eaten!!”. Most good cooks will recognize this as a classic, but the quality of the ingredients and the special crust make this unique. Here it is –
Notes – A) I recommend using the brands and quality listed here. This is no place for substitutes or diets! B) Over mixing can cause weeping on the surface, so please follow the instructions exactly including timing, temperatures etc. C) Having tried many, many decorative toppings, this mixed fruit topping is not just the prettiest, it also is the best foil(s) for the richness of the cake. D) Either a large stand mixer or mix by hand is best. The smaller hand-held mixer really struggles to keep up with this. E) Springform pan of dark heavy non stick metal (most recently found at grocery store). F) All ingredients should be at room temp. unless otherwise noted.
3 Cups of broken pecan pieces *
2 Cups crumbled Cinnamon Graham Crackers
4-5 tbsp of melted butter
(5) 8oz. pkgs of Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese, opened and brought to room temperature.
5 Large Grade AA whole eggs and 2 egg yolks, at room temperature.
Fine Grated peel of (1) 3/4 orange, and (1) whole lemon. (Best is to use a rasp style grater, very fine)
Large whole fresh vanilla bean *
1 3/4 Cup of Granulated White sugar
4 Tbsp of All Purpose flour
1/4 Cup Heavy whipping cream
For Topping –
2 Jars “Bonne Maman” French Apricot Preserves, warmed and pressed through a mesh colander into a microwavable bowl
Fruits – Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Kiwi Fruit, Carambola (star) Fruit, blueberries, ripe pear slices, mandarin orange segments Pineapple slices or chunks, Green/Red seedless Grapes, Mango, Passion Fruit, etc. (see notes)
* Advance preparation – Order special vanilla beans if you can. (beanvanilla.com) I use Tahitian Vanilla item #31 at $1.25 per bean. Cut lengthwise bend open and cut into 3 equal lengths to rest in the sugar, occasionally shaking, and scraping seeds into the sugar. Before use, perform one last scraping and then discard the pods ( or flavour more sugar!). The pecans I like are Millican Pecans (pecancompany.com) Pecan Pieces – 1LB Bag is $8.75.
Crust – Place crumbled Graham crackers and pecan pieces into food processor, and pulse until the crackers and nuts are similar in crumb, and just start trying to come together – quickly adding the melted butter by teaspoons at this point. Process until you just have a moist crumb mix. Pour into springform pan, and begin to spread out along bottom, bringing up 1″ up onto the sides. Press firmly all around to make the crust firm and compacted.
Filling – Place in mixing bowl, cream cheese, sugar/vanilla, flour and grated peels. Mix on medium speed until partially blended. Scrape the bowl and beaters at least three times during the mixing process to have mixture very consistent, without overbeating. I tend to mix for a minute, and scrape, then mix for a 2nd minute, scrape again, mix for 30 seconds and scrape a 3rd time and mix for a final 30 seconds. Beating by hand is the best, but tiring, as the goal is to try not to incorporate air into the batter, but very well mixed. At this point, mix in one whole egg at a time for 30-45 seconds, scrape and add the 2nd egg, mix again for 30-45 seconds, scraping again. Repeat this until each egg and the final addition of the 2 yolks and the whipping cream are incorporated and scraped between each addition. The batter will become much more liquid like a very thick pancake batter.
Preheat oven to 450°. Allow oven to heat well, and pour the batter into the springform pan. Place just above center in center of oven, and Bake for 10-12 minutes. Turn down the heat to 200° and bake for 55 to 65 minutes. The top will brown, this is fine. Should your cake develop a crack don’t worry – this can be covered with the fruits. The cracking may suggest overbaking or overbeating however.
Let the cake cool 3-4 hours, to room temp in pan. Run a very thin spatula or thin (flexible) knife. Release the side lock and let sides pull away from cake. Gently lift open ring above the cake and place the cake into the refrigerator to chill overnight or 6 hours. (Can be frozen successfully at this point – I never do.)
Topping – have all fruits clean, dry, inspected, blemish free and ready to place on the top of your cheesecake. If some items are very juicy, you can try placing them on towels until you place them on the top. My advice is to use at least three fruits, better at 6-7 types of fruits and 10-12 fruits can make a real show-stopper. Place them artistically on the top, overlapping, making rings, all diagonals etc. and if necessary, cut the bottom to allow to lay flat, or rest upon the curved surface of the cheesecake top. Return to refrigerator to chill all items for 1-2 hours. Microwave the 2 jars of sieved apricot jam, and gently brush onto the dry, chilled fruits, allowing the jam to settle in between the fruits. Use enough to adhere the fruits to the cake and each other, but avoid using so much jam that it loses its clarity. Finally, drip the jam along the outer edges occasionally letting it drip down the sides. Chill well, and serve while still on the bottom of the springform pan if you like.
Serves 10 – 18
I love the use of light in design. Coming soon, I will have several posts to talk about light and new things being done with light in more detail. For now, just remember the most basic effects of light on film to make a photograph. Do you recall the books made of many pictures that when you flipped the pages, you had a “movie”??
Below is a link to a movie short using the technique called “tilt shift” photography (here it’s used over 12 hours and thousands of shots around London to creat a movie effect). Tilt shifting is cool – it makes the image appear as if real life is a model train set look. Check it out and see what I mean! I think this kind of technology keeps us moving forward in the design world.
Press the “Sign me up” button on the left to subscribe to my posts – and see the upcoming posts on how light can manipulate the facades of buildings, fiber optics in fabrics, and future post on fabrics used as holograms!
(This Short film was filmed and produced – start to finish – in 12 hours by Matt Gosden and Rob Rackstraw.)