Saturday, September 11, 2004

Three years ago today ...

I was living in New York City on September 11, 2001. I left work early (around 1 PM) and walked to the Village to meet up at the designated meeting place (Eli's apartment). I was the last to arrive. Erica and Sam and Arwin and Emily and Eli were already there. Sam and Arwin had decided to catch a train out of town to go up to Connecticut for a couple days. Emily, who had just moved to the City a few days before, was living with Eli and would be attending school at The Neighborhood Playhouse, so therefore couldn't go anywhere. Eli ... well, it was Eli's birthday, September 11th was, so his birthday was essentially ruined. He was supposed to be performing that night, but his performance was cancelled.

I think this was the day that the idea for portroids was born.

Erica had moved from Colorado about three weeks prior, and we were still acclimating to the change. As we were walking back to the SoHo apartment we shared with Sam, we engaged in an argument (about what, I can't recall). Trivial, probably. On Hudson Street, heading downtown, I noticed a girl in a tank top walking uptown approaching us . It was Gwyneth Paltrow. Behind her the smoke and dust billowed up into the sky from Ground Zero a mere few miles away. She looked me in the eye as we neared, and I saw a glimpse of what I thought was recognition (maybe she thought I was someone else, but there appeared to be a look of familiarity). This look was instantly swept away and replaced by sadness (and lonliness?) when I turned to Erica and whispered "Gwyneth Paltrow" to her. I get in trouble if I don't point out celebrities (and vice versa (celebrities get in trouble if they don't point me out to their friends)). I was already in trouble (I'm sure) and wasn't looking for more.

So ... I'm sorry Gwyneth if I pointed you out and separated you from us by your fame, Maybe you were just looking for someone to connect with on this day, a miscellaneous stranger to seek solace in anonymously. Sorry we couldn't be those people for you.

Anyway, that image of GP at that moment with that background would've been a great portroid to have. Two years and one month and two weeks later I started carrying my Polaroid with me all the time (except when I most need it - like when we saw Ronald McDonald - curses!). I mostly pass up on opportunities to take pictures, even when I have my camera, but that's just because I don't like approaching "strangers". I do like talking about portroids I missed though. Here are some highlights from a recent trip to New York: Ray Romano, Kevin James, David Schwimmer, Hugh Jackman, others.

Goodbye for now,
Rick

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