By Carrie Stern

Twin pillars of light, topped by two perfect, misty circles pierce the evening sky. They soar above lower Manhattan and out over Brooklyn as they have every fall since the Twin Towers fell. I watch them as I approach the Department of Sanitation’s salt pile — a towering mound of bluish-grayish crystals waiting for winter under the Manhattan pier of the Manhattan Bridge.

The pile adjoins a small concrete “beach” bordered by a cement wall. Improbably, suspended from
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