You could feel the weight of the occasion at the Milk Gallery in the Meatpacking District on Thursday night, the site of a portrait exhibition and screening of a documentary marking the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Not that NYC was lacking in remembrance, but these photographs of key players in the event and after by Marco Grob for Time magazine's tribute volume, Portraits of Resilience embody ennobling gravitas, the kind of historic moment captured in oils by the great masters.
Still, for many the legacy of 9/11 is inconclusive, the ironies subtle: A portrait of Dick Cheney with his signature smile in half tilt, was hung near a photograph of the bereft anti-war activist mom Cindy Sheehan wearing a t-shirt saying, Arrest Cheney First. A selection among the many personally affected by the fallen towers, the hijacked flights, those who thwarted bomb attempts, survivors and victims will deem these the defining stories, of many defining stories about what happened that day and after in wars and continued threats.
Guests, Julie Taymor, James Toback, Stephen Daldry, Sheila Nevins and many of those whose faces graced the gallery's walls rode up an elevator to preview a documentary to air on HBO and HBO GO on 9/11. Jimmy Riches' father and brothers, all firefighters talked about Jimmy and the bravery he showed that day. After their older brother's death, the younger Riches joined the New York City Fire Department.
Time Managing Editor Rick Stengel interviewed Rudy Guiliani after the screening. The former mayor rose valiantly to the occasion of the terror attack in 2001, staying connected to Ground Zero. He will most surely be remembered for his leadership that day. On Thursday he repeated several times, we are now safe. He told the story of getting a standing ovation at Shea Stadium. A Yankees fan, he is used to being booed at Shea, but almost wishes for the old days. That's how he will know things are back to normal.
On Friday, the city experienced a code alert.
A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.