I had afternoon meetings at the World Trade Center, so I got a one day fun pass at the Broadway and 86th subway station. Started on a 1/9, switched to a B/D and got off at Rockefeller Center. Grabbed a cup of decaf and a toasted bagel with egg and bacon, then cruised up to the office.
I was slogging through the morning e-mail when my brother called from Colorado to tell me that a plane crashed into the WTC. I somehow assumed that it was a small private plane and went to my email. It wasn’t until my brother called back about the second plane that I realized that it was jet airliners.
I tried to get some work done. But it basically amounted to moving paper from pile A to pile B and back to pile A while waiting for CNN to load. My co-workers from New Jersey and Brooklyn were figuring out how to get home. But I didn’t have broadband or TV at my apartment, so I planned to stay plugged in at the office. Looking out the windows to the south, I could see the smoke over downtown.
I decided to head home around 3. Madison Avenue, usually so full of people and traffic, was deserted. I caught a north-bound bus up to 86th. No cross town buses, so I started walking across Central Park. Once I was across, there was no point in going to my apartment. So I went into a local bar, got a beer, and settled in to watch the news.
At some point, I tired of watching the news. It was only raising questions for which there were no answers. A recent transplant from Northern CA, I had already become accustomed to the energy and vibrancy of NYC. But today, the city was deflated.
In the following days, I learned that everyone I knew was safe. Not many New Yorkers could say that. But I hadn’t been there long enough to know many people outside of work.