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Yesterday afternoon, I was privileged to attend a public program at the Tribute World Trade Center with Guy Tozzoli and Philippe Petit entitled A Conversation About Bold Imagination. The program was held in a small cozy room with 75 or so attending – it had the feeling of an intimate family gathering. I had the sense that everyone there knew more about one or both of these men than would be typical people. The audience was mesmerized – I know I was. I have written before of Philippe in Artiste Extraordinaire.

Since writing this blog in the last one and a half years, I have become much more attentive to the words of others. Philippe is extraordinary – I have not seen anyone who speaks so poetically in an extemporaneous fashion. He told of his notorious walk between the Twin Towers on August 7, 1974 and how he planned this in secret over the course of 6 years. Philippe is a man of many talents – tight-rope walker, unicyclist, magician, juggler, pantomime artist, pickpocket, street juggler, writer, illustrator, and speaker. At the time of Philippe’s walk, Guy Tozzoli was the director in charge of overseeing the creation and building of the two towers. His stories and anecdotes of the process of becoming director, meeting Philippe, and dealing with his arrest were wonderful. He always comes across as a warm, positive human being. At the time prior to Philippe’s walk, the towers were really seen in as monsters without soul, but Philippe’s act made them human. Guy is President of the World Trade Centers Association, an organization of nearly 300 world trade centers in almost 100 countries.

Philippe described his walk as an artistic crime – one that did not take from anyone, but was a gift. Many thoughts and feelings came to mind as I listened to these inspiring individuals and thought of the towers, but one word really jumped out and made titling this article so easy: Titans…

5 Responses to Titans

  1. C’est vrai que Philipe Petit a beaucoup de talents. Je me souviens de lui mais nous ne le voyons pas souvent en France. Je pense qu’il est plus célèbre aux Etats-Unis à cause de son exploit entre les deux tours !

  2. Hi Brian. I’m glad you were able to attend this event and listen to an amazing story from the man himself! I was a little concerned since you haven’t blogged since last Friday. See you in the park soon! Joey

  3. Fascinating man and an equally fascinating story. Thanks!

  4. Hopefully they get to do this talk again in the future, and more people get to know about it…always great to hear inspiring speakers like this.

  5. I was there, too! Yes, Philippe is a wonderful speaker, his enthusiasm is contagious and I can’t wait to read the book he’s written.

    Gee, I guess I really need to post the photos, don’t I? Perhaps I got a shot of you …

    Blather From Brooklyn

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