Windows on the World:
musings on arts, culture and events
Windows on the World was the restaurant at the top of the World Trade Centre. I was given a complimentary meal there once in the late seventies after I interviewed Joe Baum, the restauranteur, when it opened in 1976.
The World Trade Center was built in 1973, the year before I arrived in New York. A photograph of me on the deck of The France, arriving in New York in June 1974, shows me in a Breton shirt with the twin towers behind me. There can be no more powerful symbol of the New York of the last quarter of the 20th century, and it presides over all my memories of New York. I believe its destruction on 9 September 2001 was the defining moment of the 21st Century.
I am launching this website in the days following 6 January 2021, the day on which the Capitol building was stormed by pro-Trump terrorists. Just as it was clear to me on the morning of 9/11 that the world would never be the same, it is clear that the Capitol event will define global geopolitics for at least the next decade. The co-incidence of the chaotic ending of the Trump presidency, the height of the Covid pandemic both in the US and here in the UK, the signing and sealing of Brexit, signal a further paradigm shift which has, I believe, its ultimate roots in 9/11.
We view our world through windows. Each of us occupies a unique location from which we view the world. Each of us brings a unique history, a unique context to our understanding of the world. Our experience of lockdown intensifies that perspective on the world. We view it through actual windows and through our screens – television, mobile phone and computer.
Sitting behind my window is a very reflective place to be. I have arrived at an age at which most women, whatever our life story, are consigned to invisibility in society. The world is full of instant reactions, commentary, opinions, but short of deeper reflection. Here in lockdown, I reflect on the places I have lived and travelled, the work I have done, the people I have met, the many gifts I have been given, the wisdom I have acquired.
This blog aims to be a place where I can focus, make connections, flex my brain muscles, and share those musings with anyone who cares to join.