They call it Manhattan Schist—the exceptionally dense granite bedrock of this island. An unseen foundation solid enough for the tallest structures in the world, at the highest concentration. Monuments of ambition. I took this photo on my first night in New York almost 10 years ago, magnetized by the city for the thousands of ways it reaches for the sky. The love's only gotten wilder. Ambition is contagious. NYC today was electric with it, pulsing with the energy of a new season. Creative business. The world's most visionary artists and designers flooded uptown for Fashion Week. But every few blocks, a cop or firefighter in dress uniform, headed downtown. Dressed in tradition. Dressed in roots. Dressed in a different kind of courage. One empowers the other.
Tonight two holy, defiant towers of light rise from Lower Manhattan, higher than any building will reach. Testifying to the strength of our foundation, even in grief—in hope, peace, courage. Reminding this island at the center of an increasingly connected world of the roots—the service, the courage, the community-building—that matter. And that we can dream alongside fear. We can hope and love alongside loss. We can stoke radical ambition for art and work that inspires the broken, empowers the weakest, welcomes the stranger. Our losses can become the bedrock of hard-won love, hard-fought forgiveness that supports the building that matters.