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The things left behind.

Among the remains: a scorched mother-of-pearl inlaid chair, its coiled guts exposed; a filing cabinet, crushed and rust-browned like a wad of chewed-up beef jerky; pieces of three Rodin sculptures, including a cast of The Thinker, which later went missing; election leaflets; something that resembled a meteorite; a faceless rag doll; a squeegee handle; a newly exposed slab of 450 million–year–old schist bedrock; lampposts; a small arsenal of melted handguns and rifles from the U.S. Customs office; a steel beam shaped like a cross; another, impossibly bent into the shape of a horseshoe; a 10,000-pound elevator motor; a 47,000-pound piece of the North Tower’s antenna; two 110,000-pound steel tridents; 4,000 photographs; 437 watches; 77 necklaces; 379,036 ounces of gold recovered from a Bank of Nova Scotia vault (current value: $630 million); 1,358 vehicles, including a partially melted fire truck and a busted subway car; four autographed baseballs; and one uncracked glass paperweight.

From the archives
Out of the Ashes (New York Magazine, August 14, 2006)

Robert Moor, a fellow in environmental journalism at Middlebury College, was a contributor to the anthology What Was the Hipster?: A Sociological Investigation.


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