Celebrating its tenth year in existence, the annual Battery Park City Block Party will take place this Saturday on the Esplanade. Born after the attacks on 9/11, organizers sought to bring the community together to celebrate and strengthen ties.
â€œOur party is unlike other block parties in other neighborhoods. We donâ€™t have outside vendors. We showcase local restaurants, local vendors and local talent. Itâ€™s all about our community.â€
–Rosalie Joseph, co-organizer
The event will bring back many of the features of previous years, along with some new additions:
Restaurant and vendor tents
Local artists’ booths
Apple pie contest
Children’s rides and activities
Human parade, including local talent (new)
Asphalt Green sports area (new)
Organizers will be providing tables where friends and families can grab a seat. The fun starts at 11:30am this Saturday.
10th Annual Battery Park City Block Party
Battery Park City Esplanade
Saturday, September 17
11:30 — 5pm
For an eve that I’m sure most of us have reserved for quiet contemplation, arising with the dissonance of speedboats and now the thunderous boom of fireworks before we rest our heads. The commemoration seems a bit excessive.
It Â has been voiced today that for most of us who have lived through the attacks on the World Trade Center – the spectacle is not necessary as much as the ability to have calm reflection with ourselves and our family.
Every year since the attacks — and now 10 years later — our neighborhood transforms into a media spectacle. Satellite trucks beaming the signal into the stars – the echos of the reading of names. Each syllable tears open old wounds. Yes, a decade old but surprisingly fresh – the way we celebrate and mourn is almost like pressing a rewind button back to 2002.
In 2002, for the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the Red Cross was on hand – deploying an army of volunteers to simply hand out pocket tissues. They have not returned since, but in someway it probably wouldn’t hurt for them to come back tomorrow.
This year, will mark the launch of the 9/11 Memorial. Here is to the hope that Â with this unveiling the commemoration events will change. Our neighborhood has been slow to recover — but inevitably the renaissance is around the bend. Would it be wrong to also call for a renaissance of the way we commemorate?
We should never forget — but does that mean we have to relive?Â Â The increased terror alerts, the carrying ID in and out of the neighborhood, the shutdown of access to the area, the reading of the names, the images, the interviews, the documentaries – to be parsed out every minute on 9/11 — for the rest of our lives? What will happen when the generation born today, will be the media makers of tomorrow? Will they be able to strike the balance and present to us the images and stories in a way that won’t offend the sensitivities of the generation that has lived it? To balance the equation of sensationalism, media, commemoration, ratings and patriotism – currently has no solution.
Tonight I will fall asleep and I will dream that tomorrow we will turn a corner in the way we remember – for a 9/11 commemoration that helps to heal more than hurt.