photo of the day 9/11/2011. photo © Mark I Chester.
Another photograph about innocence and pleasure. Taken on my last night in New York on 9/9/2001 at a pre-birthday party held at a kosher chinese restaurant. There were these ominous signs. There was a cooking area around which customers sat. One of the cooks put some oil on the cooking area near us and it exploded in a large fireball that was luckily at least partially blocked by the cooking hood. But it literally shocked us out of our seats. Philip never did feel comfortable after that moment and he and Peter left as soon as they could after dinner. Barbara spent most of the meal in the bathroom, puking up the appetizer and rejoined us looking green. And when the waiter sang this strange birthday song over some bizarre cake, he attempted to beat out the rhythm first on himself and then on me while singing in this weird broken chinese english. I kept looking around for David Lynch. Let's just say that we were not amused. Afterwards a few of us walked through Central Park on this wonderful early September eve, laughing, telling jokes or other ribald stories from our lives. Just walking and talking and sharing with friends. Never knowing that within 48 hours, the world would turn upside down and nothing would ever be the same again.