September 11th 2001

When I was fourteen I took the test for Stuyvesant high school and actually passed. I took the easy way out and went to Music & Art because I knew the academic demands would be much less. These kids were most likely from “Stuy” and I can’t blame them for being happy. At that age it’s possible to be happy under almost any circumstances. As you get older I think every bad bit of bad news, whether it be political or just another senseless bombing in the middle east, has a way of getting under your skin. The advice I often get is “If you can’t change it, don’t worry about it” If everyone felt that way, nothing would get done. I don’t know how I would have reacted to 9/11 when I was fifteen. I might have been like all the “tough guys” who wanted to “Nuke ’em All”.  I’m proud that I haven’t become a conservative guy in my old age. It’s so easy to do…

All Photos © Matt Weber

September 11th 2001 10:28 AM

I sincerely apologize if this picture causes any pain to anyone, but I have decided to post the photos I took that morning and I realize that they can be very depressing. There is a need for discussion about what lead to the massacre and everything which happened as a result of the attacks that day. I am probably not capable of neutral and sensible debate, so please don’t expect me to see the Saudi point of view. I realize that we had military bases in Saudi Arabia and that there is a sacred black cube there which may contain Allah himself, but I never want 3,000 people to be incinerated, no matter who they are…

All Photos © Matt Weber

New Jersey 9/16/01

I had to shoot a wedding on the Sunday after 9/11 and needless to say the mood was somber. The couple had contemplated postponing the ceremony because of the massacre, but in the end decided not to. I guess it was the catch phrase that everyone was using…”If you don’t live your life as you want to, then they win”

All Photos © Matt Weber

“Jesus Freak” Philadelphia 2009

It’s weird looking into the eyes of the insane. What made him not only believe there’s a god, but also believe that this god loves us? Sound familiar? He also states that without a doubt, we will all perish on May 21st 2011. (Perhaps an act of god’s love for us) Unfortunately heaven is not that big, and has one of those signs you see in restaurants, stating: “Maximum Capacity 200,000,000” which he said amounts to 3% of this planets population. The remaining 97% of us will be “left behind” to face many earthquakes and forest fires which will kill us over several years, before we are sent underground to the place where the man with red skin and horns lives. I asked him several times if maybe god might have second thoughts about killing us, and each time he replied, God never lies!

May 21st 2011 is the day my dad will turn 75 and I had been hoping to celebrate…Oh well.

All Photos © Matt Weber

“Collateral Damage” September 11th 2001

A friend of mine mentioned that there was this action movie due to hit the theaters soon after 9/11 and wondered if a lot of people went out to see it. I don’t think this picture is very special to look at, but the thought process behind it is far from routine. I had just watched the tallest building in New York collapse twenty minutes earlier, and the Empire State Building had always been my favorite. In the crazy unthinkable events of that morning, I thought that another jumbo jet would be zeroing in on the ESB at any minute. Fortunately, that never transpired, but you can see how a completely frazzled mind would think that I better take one last shot of that amazing edifice…

One more thing, the movie poster reads “Veteran firefighter’s wife and child killed in bomb blast!”

All Photos © Matt Weber

September 15th 2001

I don’t know if this picture works, but I was trying to say that, even though the world had been changed in many ways, life for the homeless guy with the flag and his sleeping comrade would continue as if nothing happened. As it turned out, people in general were a lot more caring after 9/11 for awhile, and then all of sudden it was back to normal. The greedy went back to making money big time, and then the bubble burst and the greedy fuckers came with their hands outstretched looking for bailouts, which of course they received.

For a New York minute, it had seemed that things might actually get better after 9/11…Everyone felt bad for us and then, lo and behold, the worst president in history decided to use the massacre to his advantage…

All Photos © Matt Weber

West Park Church 2009

God bless the developers. They have purchased the right to develop this church. Fortunately they have installed brand new bars to prevent this horrible spectacle from ever being seen again. Maybe they will build a new community center because that’s basically what the church was before laying dormant for the past five years. The developers were of course hoping to raze the church and replace it with a “beautiful” glass tower with a separate entrance for the section 8 eyesores, who would occupy the lower floors. I’m not religious but this church did a lot more than preach the gospel. When it seemed that AIDS was spreading like the plague, this church was busy making sure that those too sick to leave their apartments were still fed. My daughter played in the Pre-K programs they offered. The church is actually the largest brownstone in Manhattan, and maybe New York. Built in 1890 it is crumbling and needs attention (money) to preserve its details. Maybe I’m being too optimistic, but I think an angel of the human variety will save it at the last moment…

All Photos © Matt Weber

World Trade Center 1988

Like most New Yorkers that I know, the world trade center did little for me as far as it’s design was concerned. The buildings were awesome to behold due to their scale and they also reflected light on occasion in a magnificent way.

A joke I heard recently went something like this: A young boy is looking at the skyline from Queens and his dad says “The Chrysler bldg. is the most beautiful and the Empire State Bldg. is the the biggest” The kid points to the left and says what about those? (The twin towers) and his dad says “Oh those are just the boxes which the other two came in”

All Photos © Matt Weber