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on my cell
phone - my parents, my friends, my office - but there was no
service at all.
About half an hour later the cloud had
dissipated, and I was about to check out the view again when I
saw the second tower collapse on TV, so I decided to get away
before the second ash cloud hit. As I walked home, I saw
hundreds of people packed into bars, just watching the news.
I made it home and called my mother, told her I was okay.
Then I sat in front of the TV for the next 12
Since then, New York has been different. The
skyline is different, obviously - but it's hard to even
remember exactly where the towers were, because you never had
to think about it before - they dominated the skyline
so dramatically. I don't know how I'm going to navigate in
Manhattan now; I could always count on the World Trade Center
to show me South.
Fortunately, no one I know is hurt or
missing, but I know some people who've had to move away from
There's a different feeling in the air now.
New Yorkers have really come together. People talk on the
subway now, and my friends who drive report that other
commuters have actually been allowing them to merge.
Union Square the other night, there were about two thousand
people gathered to mourn -- they were lighting candles,
putting up a wall of photos of the missing, singing "God Bless
America" and "This Land is My Land, this Land is Your
Land." Every time a fire trunk went by, everyone would
cheer and applaud.
But there's also a creepy undercurrent
- I noticed last week that every vaguely Middle-Eastern
looking person I saw was either wearing or carrying an
American flag, like they have to prove they're patriotic, and
some of the people in Union Square have started jingoistic
rants about wiping out whole countries.
The crater has
mostly stopped smoking, but occasionally, when the wind blows
right, you still get that awful stink of ash.
working almost non-stop since the plane crash, getting out the
newspaper. We had a huge issue, and without our Internet
connection. It was tough.
I don't know what's going to
happen next. I don't know if they plan to rebuild, or how long
this feeling of community will last, or when it's really going
to hit me what happened. I've been so busy I haven't really
had a chance to think. I don't know what I'm going to do next.
Sometimes what I do just seems so utterly stupid - next week
I'm supposed to interview Scott Thompson, which normally would
thrill me, but now asking questions about a comedy show seems
I don't know.
I miss my friends.
Sept. 17, 2001