Down time Downtown – Tony Smith explores New York
When I visited New York to attend ISC East in November last year, I had to allow myself some time to explore the city that never sleeps. When I set off walking through Lower Manhattan, not only did I discover that the iconic street scenes with yellow cabs, enormous buildings and steam rising from the road drains are not just a movie set, I also discovered a more contemplative side to the city that was so savagely attacked.
IDL has been working with Smarter Security, our partner in the USA, since 1995 and during this time we have seen the security requirements of customers change a great deal, most notably following the devastating terror attacks which took place on 11th September, 2001.
The events of 9/11 created a vivid and lasting memory of what a security threat can manifest itself to be, and when I walked through the streets of New York, Lower Manhattan in particular, I found it incredibly moving to be surrounded by all of this memory and emotion. The lives lost in this resilient city can never be forgotten, but the people of New York still have to get up every morning and go to work, and they need to see that measures are being taken to ensure their safety without feeling like they are contained in a fortress.
Whilst no level of building design ingenuity or security can provide 100% safety, the buildings which form the new World Trade Center complex have been built using the latest engineering techniques and materials which are more resistant to attacks, giving the people that work there a degree of comfort. Our turnstiles also play a part in this daily assurance.
Providing a high level of security whilst also complementing the high-spec finish of the buildings, custom designed Fastlane turnstiles have been installed in several notable buildings which make up the World Trade Center complex, providing imposing yet elegant psychological barriers to potential intruders, as well as physically preventing someone from gaining unauthorised access. Just in the World Trade Center complex alone, as you move from building to building you’ll see a range of turnstiles in use but even those familiar with our products probably wouldn’t immediately recognise them as being Fastlane, as they differ so dramatically. I found seeing our bespoke products in situ, securing some of New York’s most prestigious buildings, quite humbling and I felt incredibly proud of our team.
I loved spending time exploring this vibrant city, but my main reason for being in New York was to attend ISC East, where we were exhibiting on Smarter Security’s booth. Speaking to the show’s visitors it became apparent that despite fears of a continuing recession, building work on new and ever more impressive buildings continues at a pace in New York. With memories of how New York’s most iconic towers were so horrendously targeted, I believe that personnel safety will continue to be paramount, with building developers and owners continuing to employ the newest and safest methods to ensure that their residents feel secure in their workplace.
Here are a few of my favourite photos of this magnificent and memorable city.
The Statue of Liberty at sunset
View from the Rock with the Empire State Building in the foreground and World Trade One, also known as the Freedom Tower in the distance
World Trade and Wall Street from the water
Central Park from the top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center)