9/11 — Refilling the skyline

World Trade Tower photo, looking from the ground up, taken by Joseph M. Conny, Beth Conny's husband.

The Twin Towers from the ground up (photo by my husband, Joe Conny)

I grew up in lower Manhattan, just a couple of miles north of the World Trade Center. The Twin Towers were part of the landscape, like the Brooklyn Bridge and Empire State Building. They were thin and beautiful and dominant; you could see them from uptown.

I was in Frederick on 9/11, in the Starbucks on Rt. 40, and I overheard a woman saying that the Towers had collapsed. “You got that wrong,” I said. “The Towers are huge. They can’t just collapse.” She insisted and starting talking about planes and terrorists. It made no sense. I hurried home, turned on the TV, and it still made no sense. Watching the Towers crumble was surreal, the stuff of movies. I still can’t believe it.

Now, at least, there is a new Tower rising from what had been a gap in the skyline. And the new building is astoundingly beautiful, a sculpture really. It glistens and seemingly twists and, perhaps best of all, you can see it from uptown.

A rendition of the new Word Trade Tower.

A rendition of the new World Trade Tower.


A toast to my Aunt Dotty on her 80th (and 90th) birthday

Beth Mende Conny shares an essay by her mom, Judy Korotkin, who wrote a birthday toast to her sister Dorothy Marks in celebration of Dotty's 80th birthday.

My mom, Judy Korotkin (left), and birthday girl Aunt Dotty Marks. Happy 90th!

My mom wrote this piece for her sister Dorothy and read it to our extended family as we toasted Aunt Dotty on her 80th birthday. Dotty recently celebrated her 90th B-Day. And while Dotty has slowed a bit in the intervening years, she still subscribes to Vogue

(Note from Beth: May we all love our sisters the way these two love each other. Truly touching.)

By Judy Korotkin

One of my earliest memories is warming my toes on cold winter nights in the double bed Dorothy (Dotty) and I shared. Ethel, being the eldest, had the single bed in the “girls’ room” we occupied growing up in the Bronx. The other rooms were shared by my mother and father, with the third small room going to my kid brother, Kenneth.

Being the younger of the three girls, and closer to Dotty in age, she was the one I went to when I was in trouble.  Dorothy was always in the middle. Ethel would complain to her about me, and I would cry to Dotty about how Ethel teased me. Even today, Dorothy is still the glue between Ethel and me. We still complain about each other to Dorothy.

Ethel and I talk, of course — as sisters, we’re close. And sometimes we talk about Dorothy and tutt, tutt about about her “problem.”

You see, Dorothy has a shopping problem. She is a born shopper, a knowledgeable shopper, a passionate shopper, a dedicated shopper.  As a matter of fact, if there was a degree conferred for looking for bargains, for knowing the name of a designer, for checking seams, for knowing how to find someone cheap to shorten skirts and slacks, for keeping track of which store is having a sale, Dorothy would have a Ph.D.  Read more