Checking out the blogosphere this morning, I see a lot of people are posting their memories of that day, five years ago, when the unbelievable became reality. I’ve been dreading this anniversary in some ways, partly because coverage still makes me cry — the way I shed tears in Union Square (NYC) reading “Missing” flyers in the days after the tragedy.
I lived and worked in New York City on September 11, 2001. My office was on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. It was far away from the downtown events, but, because of the towers’ height and the geographical lay-out of the city, we could, and did, step outside our doors to look down Fifth Avenue and see the fatally damaged towers, while they stood, and the sickening black smoke after they fell.
Some other memories:
- Despite just being a couple miles away, I found out about the WTC attack via instant messenger. We had an editor working from home that day, and he’d seen footage on CNN. He IMed those of us in the office and kept us updated regularly. We didn’t have a TV in the office, and the Internet (being totally clogged with traffic) was next-to-useless.
- After doing what we could at the office, I walked home, straight down Fifth Avenue. Along the way, people were actually snatching up postcards of the WTC from tourist-oriented shops.
- Restaurants started running out of food in the days after the attacks, as Manhattan is an island, after all, and shipments of fresh food and produce weren’t exempt from security restrictions that kept everyone out.
- My brother reached me by phone after the first plane hit, but before the second one did, so he was able to relay news to my family that I was nowhere near the buildings. My then-boyfriend, now husband, still living in the UK, didn’t find out I was OK until he got to a place where he could IM me.
May add more as I get more time today.