One Week Later

I still get whiffs of ozone every now and then through the window. People speak of feeling numb, but the most numbing thing is to hear people on TV speak so mournfully, then break to commercials for shampoo and contact lens cleaner.

Things are really not so different than they were 2 weeks ago. There are fewer cars on the downtown streets, and village bars that normally sell beer for $5 per glass have $1 and $2 drafts and $0.15 chicken wings because fewer people have been going out. But people don’t instinctively look up now when they hear airplanes overhead.

The incident (which doesn’t have a real name; it wasn’t a ‘bombing’, but more than just some ‘plane crashes’, and ‘attack’ doesn’t completely describe the … Read the rest

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A Perverted Carnival

I went to a perverted carnival today, walked down 6th Avenue to gawk with the rest. From 2 blocks from my street to as far south as I could see was a single column of parked Komatsu backhoes. An orange and white cat was trying to climb the front right tire of one, but it was too high for it to get a foothold.

At any moment along Canal Street now are more spectators than died during the entire ordeal: people wearing American flag hats and t-shirts, eating $3.50 hot dogs, taking snapshots, and griping about the poor view. A few middle eastern men were doing brisk business selling overpriced refreshments, and I overheard one guy comment, “You burn down our buildings and you want our … Read the rest

Day Three

I haven’t been watching the news, I’ve gotten frustrated with all the rumor-mongering and lack of facts. There also seems to be a disjoint between what the media portrays and what the streets of Manhattan are actually like.

There are all sorts of reactions to the current situation: the punks are relishing the access to empty streets where they can skateboard freely; some people just hold candles, staring at the dozens of pictures on the walls of Ray’s Pizza, which has become a shrine to the missing as well as an information center; the salvation army is full of volunteers moving crates of bottled water and masks, full of optimism; and a lot of people are just trying to get back to work and trying to … Read the rest

From the Front

Thanks to everyone who called to see if I was okay.

Nearly everyone I talk to saw most or all of the entire event, from the initial plane crash to the second tower collapsing. And everyone seems to know at least one person who worked in the World Trade Center, but doesn’t know where they are now.

The UN was evacuated yesterday, and only essential people are to report today (now I know where I stand in the hierarchy).

Yesterday the dust and debris blew east into Brooklyn, and this morning it blew west into New Jersey. But it’s blowing north now and it’s unpleasant to breathe outside, even outside my building, which is a mile north of the impact site. The smell is odd, very … Read the rest