Ground Zero Makes Michael Gross Laugh


wtc michael gross Ground Zero Makes Michael Gross Laugh
Sunrise, sunset. Sunrise, sunset. Swiftly fly the years. (Getty)

Things are looking up, up, up at the World Trade Center—not even Hurricane Irene could slow down preparations for 9/11—but who ever imagined it could go from tragedy to punch line? That’s what Michael Gross, who has avoided the site for years, finds in his monthly Crain’s column.

Then came Bloomberg Businessweek‘s cover story, “The Saving of Ground Zero,” earlier this month. It not only was a great read but also made me smile—a reaction I had never associated with 9/11.

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The story wasn’t “funny ha ha,” as my mother used to say. It was “funny peculiar.” Yet it delighted me no end, because when developer Larry Silverstein—who controlled the entire complex before the attacks—was asked how the 10-year logjam in rebuilding the site had been broken, he replied, “The key was Condé Nast.”


But, seriously, isn’t it kind of awesome that Condé Nast gets to be the key to ground zero’s rebirth? Si’s stable of glossies celebrates everything that the jihadists and their ilk despise. They are full of images that entice both women and men with deliciously extreme displays of freedom, and articles that shine a light on society’s chaos of truths.

Let freedom be glossy!

mchaban [at] | @MC_NYC