|New York, October 2001|
As many of you know, I have just returned from a week in New York and a lot of people have asked me what I thought, what's going on, etc. I took a lot of pictures, so I thought I'd put up some of my comments along with some of my pictures.
I'd love to get your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The first thing that strikes you in New York are the flags. Many people out here in San Francisco have put up flags, but its nothing like it is in New York. I don't think that you can find a single block in New York where there is not a flag of some sort: on cars, in windows, on people, for sale, hanging from buildings, etc.
Also, a logo that many New Yorkers thought was just for tourists to bring home on mugs is starting to pop up all over--often with the words "even more than ever" and a black smudge on the heart:
The mood in New York seems to be getting back to normal, but it just a bit slower, just a bit more polite, people honk their horns ever so slightly less, on the subways there is just a tad less pushing. This is not to say New York is slow, polite and quite. In fact if you've never been there before and went for a visit you'd think its busy, impolite, pushy, noisy, dirty, etc. but it has mellowed--just every so slightly.
The tourists are starting to return (much faster than they are here in San Francisco). On Sarturday I went on a walking tour of TriBeCa which abuts the financial district--there were about 40-50 people on the tour and many were visiting from out of town.
The other thing besides flags that stand out around the city are memorials. At Grand Central, Penn Station, around the financial district, in parks, and especially by every fire station memorials have popped up. These have flowers, beads, and especially notes and cards from all over the world.
The photos below are all from one fire station (48th and 8th). You'll see letters from all over the world, memorials, fresh flowers (people are still bringing them more than a month after), people stopping to look, people stopping to thank the fire fighters. Also, look at how every inch of the Statue of Liberty model is covered.
This statue was on route to another city to honor their fallen firemen. It got caught in NY on 9/11 when all transportation was shut down. The company that manufactured it and the city that had purchased it decided to donate it to New York City
Everyone has asked if I went to Ground Zero. I went twice. I went on a weekday afternoon once when I was in the financial district for a business meeting. Then I went again on a Saturday. On Saturday the area was packed with tourists. This has turned into a major tourist attraction... but a solemn one.
When you first arrive downtown you notice that it is much quiter than the rest of the city. There are hardly any cars down there, also people don't talk as much. When you are on certain streets you can smell the smoke. The air is hazy and if you look closely you can see that most of the buildings are dirty. Also where ever you go there are the 'extension cords' that are keeping the area going.
People are trying to keep the area respectful of what it is. Even without the sign above, people are giving the respect the area deserves
This was one of the spots where you could get closest. Yesterday the city opened the block you are looking down. Again notice the fresh flowers. One of the buildings of the complex is still in the background
Every area you go where there are crowds there is both police as well as army/air force/national guard
(this is near Grand Central not Ground Zero)
Here is the one remaining piece of the WTC. As far as I can figure its where the TKTS booth was.
If you were standing where I was when I took this picture before 9/11 you would not see the the two buildings in the background or the dome in the picture on the right. In fact, you'd be so close to the WTC and it was so big you would not see any sky. You'd just see the WTC smack in front of you.
The area is also a major spot for memorials and thanks to the police/firefighters
Many stores in the immediate area have opened and more are getting ready to open. This store was just starting to clean up (one month after).
Other Random Pictures & Thoughts
New York, still surprises. Take a look at this SoHo restaurant that many people pass by every day without noticing it.
Now take a look from across the street. Its a Fedralist style house from the 1700s! It has sat in this spot for about 250 years yet it is just taken for granted
Other symbols of New York still stand proud and strong
In order to get the financial district up and running quickly, ConEd, Verizon, etc. had to run wires through the streets. Some people say New York is running on extension cords. Everywhere you go downtown there are structures like this to protect the wires and keep people from tripping over them.
Some signs on buildings (like this one near Rockefeller Center) take on new importance
An effect of the WTC events was the loss of the TV antennas. Some people without cable can still only get ABC. This building downtown was becoming the site of one of the replacement antenna.
Look closely at this picture
Its actually a painted facade. But just to confuse two of the windows are real. Cool huh?