On Sunday in SoHo, Abbey and I stumbled upon a gallery that took us by surprise and was also incredibly moving. The once empty retail space had been transformed into an art exhibit for The Scar Project. Abbey and I are both very chatty, but The Scar Project left both of us speechless. The oversize portraits featured young women, ages 18 – 35, who have survived breast cancer. Photographer David Jay was inspired to develop the project because of a personal friend who was diagnosed at 29.
“The SCAR Project is a series of large-scale portraits of young breast cancer survivors shot by fashion photographer David Jay. Primarily an awareness raising campaign, The SCAR Project puts a raw, unflinching face on early onset breast cancer while paying tribute to the courage and spirit of so many brave young women.”
This was the side of breast cancer Abbey + I had never seen, the side that so few speak about, the physical and emotional scars that remain. I encourage you to see the exhibit if and when it comes to your city, and, until that time, to explore the book and website, or even donate to this poignant tribute to survivors.
On our final morning in NYC, we headed to lower Manhattan and made our way to the 9/11 Memorial. We had reserved tickets on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks almost two months earlier. Due to the ongoing construction of the new towers, security is high. You need reserved tickets, a picture I.D., and go through screening similar to that at the airport.
The effort is more than worth what awaits. You are transformed into a space that allows for mourning, reflection, and celebration. The pools of water cascade in a manner that drowns out the noise of the busy city. Then as you run your fingers over the names of those who weren’t able to make it out, you look out and into the pools that seem to go on infinitely.
On September 11, 2012 the Museum opens on the plaza. I look forward to returning then and seeing the urban plaza + museum knit into the fabric of lower Manhattan.