And even if there was a certain charm in seeing Philippe Petit perform his high wire act between the buildings in 1974, I was positively livid when Dino DeLaurentis had the gall to film a re-make of the classic "King Kong," placing the giant ape atop the World Trade Center, rather than the Empire State Building. Of all the sacrilege!
But the film must have been an inspiration to George "The Human Fly" Willig, who decided to scale the North Tower with homemade climbing equipment in May 1977, right up to the roof!
It was around this time that I made my first trip to the observation deck on the 110th floor of the South Tower. It was just the kind of tourist-y trip to help defrost my cold, cold heart. I'd make many more trips back to that observation deck—with its breathtaking views of the city skyline—and learn to like that which I had previously scorned. I even conducted tours to the WTC as Assistant Orientation Director when I worked in the NYU Office of Student Affairs. I still visited the Empire State Building, of course. But the WTC was growing on me.
By the early 1980s, my brother Carl Barry (nepotism aside: a terrific virtuoso jazz guitarist) was performing in the Hors D'Oeurverie lounge, right next to Windows on the World restaurant (on the 106th-107th floors of the North Tower). Each night, he'd play in front of the rich and famous—for the likes of Imelda Marcos, Van Cliburn, Mayor Ed Koch, and... [continues]
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