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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/7/2005 4:13:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/7/2005 4:18:03 PM EDT by General_Tso]
Hi, folks.

As some of you know, I live pretty close to Ground Zero. On September 11th, I was more than 450 miles away so the effects of the Attacks were different for me than it was for those of you who were in the city. With that in mind, I tend to view living near and walking by Ground Zero as a point of pride and deference--American's resilience, the heroes of 9/11, the memory of the victims. However, I have been kind of surprised that not all New Yorkers react the same way. One of my friends and I were on our way back to my apartment when she told me she doesn’t like being around Ground Zero. She had been at Pace University when the attack happened, and the smell of the dead and debris had been unbearable. The image of everyone walking the streets wearing a mask dominates her memories. In fact, she added that Fulton Street had been closed for that whole time and was still recovering in some sense. Many Pace students transferred out of school during that time. It seems like residents of Lower Manhattan left en masse whereas I would like to think I would stay and rally behind the neighborhood where it happened.

How do you explain the different reactions? Is it as simple as the fact that I was less traumatized not living in the city at the time? This is my last week in the Financial District, so I have been thinking about it a lot lately...

Tell me what you think or your thoughts about anything.
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 5:02:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/8/2005 4:57:54 PM EDT by sterling18]
Well, I don't know if I would live there. I was there the morning of and didn't get to leave the city for NJ until about 5 pm. It took like forever to find my way to the Ferry on 34th street and 11th avenue. The lines to get on any boat was like 1+ hrs. It was hot that day but no one said a thing or complained.

I started on Water and Wall street. After both towers went down did NYPD allow us to leave the building. We walked across the Manhattan Bridge to get to MetroTech where my company had two buildings. Also the HD for NYFD. So security there was extremely tight. Then I took one of few running subways to 34th and 8th Avenue and walked to the ferry which took us to Hoboken. Where by 8PM they restored train services to take me back to Rockland, NY. From 9am until 7:30ish, I was unable to call home. All they knew was that I took the NY/NJ Path from Hoboken to WTC. My Path train stopped at WTC 5 mins before the first plane hit. Luckly for me I didn't know of anyone that was lost to this. But to be walking through the area when everything was covered with that white dust. I'll pass.

Btw, I call tell you that there were some folks on this board that was one of, if not, were part of first response teams that went to WTC for SAR. They did 12 on and 12 off for weeks. What I went through was a cake walk compared to the hell they had to endure. I didn't step back onto Manhattan for two weeks. I tell you the smell of the burning that came from the site of WTC I will always remember. Remember there were fires still burning under ground zero for weeks.

But you are right, it was one of those things that you might think differently if you were there. YMMV.

I say go for it if you get the opportunity. It is truely a very nice place. If you are a single guy. Why not, the eye candy there is plenty. Not like midtown though.
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 5:47:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/7/2005 5:51:33 PM EDT by General_Tso]
Oh, just to be clear, I'm already living in Lower Manhattan. I live across from the Seaport if that gives you any idea, but my apartment is only for the summer. I'm moving into a building in NoHo in a few days. Sorry if I was unclear, because my mind is all over the place tonight.

I definitely have a hard time imagining what it would have been like for anyone living in the City especially the Financial District during the Attacks much less some of the first responders. I'm proud of any Arfcommers who were there.

My thought is this: NYU purchased the building where I live now for a song, because no one wanted to live near Ground Zero any more. Is the fact that people left a fight or flight response? Is there more to it? Or is this something I just won't understand not being here when it happened. What are your thoughts?
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 7:10:10 PM EDT
There is also the problem with the cleanup afterwards. The EPA said the air was fine and there was no danger. In reality, they were lying through their teeth. It turns out that there was very high levels of toxic particals and heavy metals in the air and in the dust. There are still some buildings that have not been properly cleaned, and many apartments still have problems with contamination. Im guessing thats a big part of it. Also, its one thing to watch something horrible like this from the sidelines, but when you are in the middle of it, its a different story. While it was a terrible thing to witness on TV, living in downtown Manhattan while it was happening and in the weeks following give you a different perspective on things. At the time of the attacks, I lived in the west village, and could see the towers very well from the corner of my block. I was less than a mile away (3/4 or so). The burning smell and smoke plume that stretched across the sky for weeks was a constant reminder. The empty streets and strange quiet felt very odd, and having to show the police and national guard your photo ID to cross barriers to get to your home made it that much more strange. The feeling of loss over the hole in the skyline, where these huge building were and being locked down, unable to leave made a lot of people not want to be around.
Link Posted: 8/8/2005 5:20:50 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/8/2005 6:46:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Fishpaw:
The burning smell and smoke plume that stretched across the sky for weeks was a constant reminder.



I was flying five weeks after 9/11 when that small private plane crashed near NYC. As a precaution, they grounded all the air traffic in the air at the time. So my flight ended up being diverted to Newark instead of Philly. We had to take a charter bus from Jersey. I will never forget still seeing the smoke pouring out of the WTC sight on the horizon, over a month after it happened.
Link Posted: 8/8/2005 10:06:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/8/2005 10:07:06 AM EDT by General_Tso]
Honestly, I would have "liked" to experience Ground Zero closer to the attack, but I was alarmed and angry enough in Ohio I suppose. I'm sure Long Island is a pretty nice place to live. I'm sure I'll get fed up with the nuts and move out of the city before my doctorate is finished.



Here's a picture of me the Summer before 9/11. Back then, I wouldn't have guessed I would be living here much less everything else that has happened.
Link Posted: 8/8/2005 10:28:53 AM EDT
I was working in midtown that day, but my hours were late enough that I avoided going in that day. I grew up with the Towers in view, from Nutley NJ. I still go to IBM training a few blocks from Ground Zero, and visit the sites regularly. I flew a month or so after 9/11, on the same day of the Queens plane crash.
I didn't visit Ground Zero for a long time afterward. Seeing the smoke, and hearing what the rescue teams were going through every day, made me sick with rage about it for many months.
Link Posted: 8/8/2005 4:03:23 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/8/2005 4:33:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/8/2005 4:34:09 PM EDT by General_Tso]

Originally Posted By FrankSquid:
Sorry for the rant. Im mad at myself for not being over this shit yet but the events following 9-11 have really taken its toll on me. I think its time for a BIG change.



No worries. You shouldn't be mad at yourself. It changed people on the other side of the country, and they didn't experience the shock of that day and all those following it like some of you did. I don't think it would be human to be "over" it.

And I don't mean to valuate one neighborhood over another. When I ended up in the place I am, it was by accident. Having lived here a little bit and seeing life down here post-9/11, I want to celebrate it. I've seen a lot of shy away from this area, and I'm sure most have good reason. I was just curious to talk about it with you folks. Hope I didn't offend anyone, and I hope everything works out for you, FrankSquid.
Link Posted: 8/8/2005 5:18:06 PM EDT
We had a day office at #6, the Customshouse. It was gutted, but had to be torn down. Our only employee there that morning got out and said "6 months in 'Nam, he'd never seen anything like on 9-11. " We had 3 or 4 others that would have should have could have been in the building and weren't. I only went there every six months or so, our regular office was on Long Island. You might want to do a search on the web to find survivor's testimonies, then again, you might not. Respect those that worked there and are gone, revere those that tried to save them and gave their lives by so doing.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 3:49:36 PM EDT
Even the most resiliant people (people in the medical profession refer to them as "cabbage heads") can only tolerate just so much before they make or are forced to make radical changes in their lives.

As for where I was when it happened: I was in a Sams Club pushing a cart by the Televisions and an elderly gentleman said there had been an accident and a plain flew into the WTC, of course we were watching when the second hit...all I can remember saying was "IT'S TIME TO TURN SOMEONES COUNTRY INTO A GLASS TOPPED, SELF LIGHTING, PARKINGLOT!" Later that nite while watching the replays, I told my wife "I've got to go down there"....I didn't, but we did send an ambulance with a crew and all the supplies we could get our hands on. Thank God we didn't loose anybody we sent or have any life threatening emergencys while our #1 rig was there.

Back to the point of people just taking so much: The local funeral director had a sucessful buisness, wonderful wife and family, what most would consider a good life, but after so many years of burying people from every age and walk of life, he came home from his mornings routine, walked into his garage, sat down and blew his brains out with a handgun.

Not that we would live in the city for love or money, we would visit it again as we did two years ago. Proabably one of the most intersesting places on earth to live...enjoy your experiences while you can!
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:31:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By General_Tso:
Tell me what you think or your thoughts about anything.



here are some details which show you how small decisions can work for or against you...

9/11, first plane strikes...

me -- on way to work in NJ, 30 miles from NYC. i work for a telecom equipment manufacturer.
my brother -- on ferry, going from jersey city (on the NJ side of hudson river) into manhattan to where he works at NYMEX (NY mercantile exchange; recall the movie "Trading Places"?), which is on the west side of manhattan island.
my brother-in-law -- getting a bagel and coffee on the 32nd floor of WTC2 before heading upstairs to his trading desk.

i heard on an NYC radio station about an "accidental plane crash into WTC1" -- which rapidly turned all NYC's music stations into talk stations. in that sense i was in good shape from a situational awareness perspective. in just a few minutes i could see the smoke coming up from the damaged building. my wife and i live 11 miles directly south of NYC, on the water in NJ. i picked up my cell phone to call her and discovered that a few hundred thousand people were attempting the same thing. i u-turned and returned home. at that point i did not know the whereabouts of my brother or my brother-in-law; the cell phone simply returned "all circuits are busy." it took me 25 minutes to get back home. my wife and i turned on the TV and tried to reach our relatives, with no luck. i was in utter awe, as we all were, looking at the images on the TV. i tried again and again to phone my brother and brother-in-law, to no avail.

my brother never got off the hudson ferry. instead, he stayed on and took the ferry right back to NJ, then drove home from jersey city. he saw no point in going into the one of the densely populated places in the world at that point. amazingly, the majority of passengers were getting off of the ferry and onto manhattan island. my brother was back at home 40 mins after he got off the ferry.

other then hearing a loud boom as he was getting his bagel, my brother-in-law didn't know what was going on. keep in mind that from within WTC2 you have no way of "looking at" WTC1 -- it was way too close to look up at anything. all you see are the floors straight across. but there were papers and office debris floating through the air. someone told him that a cessna hit WTC1. his trading partner is not a native US guy -- a veteran bond trader from israel who had been in the WTC complex when it was bombed in feb 1993... he suggested they get the hell out of the building. a friend of theirs went upstairs to get his cellphone from his desk. the two of them took the escalators down to the next level, and the elevators 30 floors down to the lobby. they came out of WTC2 and began to walk away from the buildings to get perspective on the smoke coming from WTC1. the base of the WTC complex, if you have never been there, is about the size of a dozen football fields. it's quite a bit of a walk to get clear the buildings. the second plane hit WTC1 as they were 1/2 a block away from the building. they heard the explosion and looked up. he and his partner grabbed the two women in front of them and ducked back into a parking garage across from WTC1. debris (office contents and plane parts), burning fuel, and lots of glass rained down in the street in front of them. they went east, towards the brooklyn bridge, which connects manhattan with brooklyn. before they made it to the bridge, WTC1 collapsed, unleashing a wall of dust that spread dozens of blocks. that increased their pace. they walked across the brooklyn bridge, and hitched a ride with some folks south to staten island. WTC2 collapsed, more dust from another million tons of building materials. keep in mind, they had nothing but business suits/shoes on and had now walked/hitched 5-6 miles from WTC in about 2 hours. by then, NYC was locked down, no bridge, ferry, trains, anything moved. he and his partner still had not been able to contact anyone via cell. my sister was teaching her 6th grade class when the principal walked in and asked to see her for a moment. she joked with her class, "uh oh, i'm in trouble! -- read your assignments, i'll be right back."

in the hallway, the principal (knowing where her husband/my brother-in-law worked) told her that WTC1 had been struck by a plane and had subsequently collapsed into itself. my sister was stunned, she told me later that when someone tells you something like that you go into instant denial. my sister went to the teacher lounge with the principal, and the TV confirmed what he had just said. my sister sat down and began to cry.

it was around 2:30pm when my sister finally rec'd word that her husband had not been in the tower when it collapsed. he had been able to call on a regular phone from an auto repair shop on staten island to his father, who had in turn relayed the message to my sister -- who was of course overjoyed with the news. he did not return home until about 3am, as there was no public transportation. but for all the "abuse" NYC residents put up with, i will say this: many of those same "New Yawkers" went *way* out of their way to help complete strangers. my brother-in-law finally picked up a connecting hitch ride that took him back into NJ. more than anything he was grateful to the folks who gave him water and candy bars along a trip home that took him more than 18 hours.

a month and a half later, my brother-in-law attended the funeral of the guy in his firm who went back upstairs to get his cellphone. no portion of his remains were ever recovered. he left behind a son and a pregnant wife.

---

eplilogue:
i have several sets of pics for you.
(1) as i mentioned above i work for a telecom equipment company, a tier 1 outfit in the big scheme of things. my company assigned more than 1500 people to the task of assisting verizon with restoring their network. we loaned them everything and the kitchen sink: COWs (cellular on wheels -- a mobile cell site in a tractor trailer), test gear, hundreds of technicians and so on. many of our folks worked 24/7 alongside verizon techs to patch things up. i don't enjoy looking at the following pics, taken inside and looking out from the verizon central office directly across the street from WTC (@ 140 west steet). when the WTC collapsed it tore the front off of the CO which was servicing...
-- more than 4.5 million data and voice circuits
-- approximately 6 million phone calls a day
-- 10 cell sites
-- lower manhattan E-911 service
-- upwards of 25,000 local, metro, regional, and long haul fiber terminations
losdos.dyndns.org:8080/public/verizon-CO-NYC-13sep2001

(2) my wife and i took some pics from the ferry last september, with the lights up in the sky...
losdos.dyndns.org:8080/public/wtc-11sep2004/


god bless america.
ar-jedi



Link Posted: 8/9/2005 5:40:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2005 5:46:37 PM EDT by Andreuha]

Originally Posted By General_Tso:
Honestly, I would have "liked" to experience Ground Zero closer to the attack, but I was alarmed and angry enough in Ohio I suppose. I'm sure Long Island is a pretty nice place to live. I'm sure I'll get fed up with the nuts and move out of the city before my doctorate is finished.

homepage.mac.com/egsimmers/images/twin-towers.jpg

Here's a picture of me the Summer before 9/11. Back then, I wouldn't have guessed I would be living here much less everything else that has happened.



If moving to LI, be ready to pay too much for a house and even more for property tax
BTW, what are you working towards a doctorate in?

I was a bit young then (15), and probably wouldn't do well around ground zero (I mean, who wants a dumbass kid around durring an emergency?)

Nowadays, if (god forbid they weren't stopped by the pussies crowding the streets, and) anything happened, I'd drop everything and be there ASAP. A JOAT like me could come in handy durring a rescue operation
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 6:48:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ar-jedi:
here are some details...left behind a son and a pregnant wife...god bless america.



Thanks for sharing your story and those pictures. I always feel privileged when I hear another personal account of 9/11. I do really appreciate it.


Originally Posted By Andreuha:
If moving to LI, be ready to pay too much for a house and even more for property tax
BTW, what are you working towards a doctorate in?

I was a bit young then (15), and probably wouldn't do well around ground zero (I mean, who wants a dumbass kid around durring an emergency?)

Nowadays, if (god forbid they weren't stopped by the pussies crowding the streets, and) anything happened, I'd drop everything and be there ASAP. A JOAT like me could come in handy durring a rescue operation



No plans to move to LI, but I have some friends out that way, so I'm hoping to visit at least. I'm in Ohio on a little vacation, but when I return I think I'm going to try to make it out there. I'm currently working towards a PhD in English Literature.

Since I last posted, I moved out! Definitely going to miss the view. Here's one last pic of my place:



I'll put up some pictures once I move into the village. I'm planning on having a party the weekend after I've moved in. You're all welcome.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 7:45:33 PM EDT
Where in the Village are ya moving? East or West?
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 7:35:29 AM EDT
South of Washington Square a few blocks.
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