This photograph was taken on Wednesday, August 7, 1974 as French daredevil Philippe Petit crossed the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center just because he could. Petit spent forty-five minutes walking back and forth, kneeling, hanging by his feet and playing other games while thousands of people stopped in their tracks and a traffic jam developed below. Construction workers cheered. Office workers cheered. Even the police cheered. Petit himself said he was laughing with joy, up there in the breeze. “I was dying of happiness,” he said. Then he turned himself over to police.
Flash forward to the year 2008 and we have this, “Man on Wire” – a documentary about the event. The only film I’ve ever seen to score 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.com. Crazy, I know? I would love to see this movie. I’ll be keeping my eyes open for it.
If you’re looking for more info on this event, wikipedia has the hard and fast facts-filled version here.
Please read through this article by Pierre Tristam – it compares with beautiful social commentary the then-and-now concepts of “freedom” and “security”. The comparisons may surprise you. They certainly got me thinking. Rest in peace, World Trade Center.
“If I see three oranges, I have to juggle. And if I see two towers, I have to walk.”
– Philippe Petit