On February 15, 1998, to celebrate Valentine’s Day (belated), I went to the top of the Empire State Building in Manhattan with a girl. It was the first of many firsts. It was the first time I went on a date. It was the first time I visited the Empire State Building. It was the first time I saw, with my own eyes, the unmistakable Twin Towers that stood for everything we’ve loved.
The landscape of Lower Manhattan has drastically changed since then. But I will let this photograph serve as a memento that eternalizes this brief fraction of time that has been deeply buried in the back of my memory. Now as I revisit the Empire State Building again more than a decade later, I understand, for the first time, that it is only amidst fragility, chaos, and uncertainty we can see the best in the human spirit. And now I understand, for the first time, why I love photography.