You are currently viewing the stories for October, 2001

Maybe a Girl Who Loved the Ocean

by 10/19/2001
Neighborhood: World Trade Center

It is Rosh Hashanah. Today I learned that my father was named for his grandfather, a pious Ocean Avenue Jew my father does not remember. Still, he carries the name: a mysterious, permanent burden attached to so many of the tribe. We are named only for the dead, never the living, so as not to […]

It’s In The Bones

by 10/19/2001
Neighborhood: World Trade Center

My grandfather, a Russian-Jewish émigré and New York painter named Raphael Soyer, used to say, in his wonderful old-world accent, “New York is my country.” The year 2001 finds me living in Boston in the eighteenth year of my self-imposed exile from the island of Manhattan, the village of my childhood. I am the only […]

Urban Renewal

by 10/19/2001
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights

Ten days had passed since 9/11 and I found myself heading toward the Promenade in Brooklyn Heights. This is where I watched events unfold on 9/11. It was a quiet Friday morning, a dozen or so people sat along the benches gazing out toward the strangely familiar yet suddenly unfamiliar skyline. To my surprise, numerous […]

Another Kind of Rat Race

by 10/18/2001
Neighborhood: All Over, Manhattan

Recently, I was laid off from my job as a magazine editor. I cleared out my desk, carefully stashing pens and binder clips into a box. Anticipating having to write countless cover letters, I also took a ream of paper. I felt guilty about this and confided in a co-worker. “It’s okay, honey,” she said, […]

Forever Falling

by 10/17/2001
Neighborhood: World Trade Center

I came from Chicago to do a reading on Thursday. The guy I was staying with, Bryan, couldn’t make it, so I arranged to meet him at the World Trade Center the next day–he worked for Morgan Stanley on the 70th floor of the 2nd tower. At about 5:00 I waited for him with my […]

Reflections of a Savage

by 10/17/2001
Neighborhood: All Over, Letter From Abroad

As the son of an Iranian father and a Jewish mother my sense of sorrow concerning the disaster of September 11 does not tend toward patriotism. In fact, I am repelled by it. I speak as a first-hand victim of American patriotism in 1979, the year 66 U.S. diplomats were taken hostage in Iran. The […]

The Archaeology of Disaster

by 10/17/2001
Neighborhood: World Trade Center

There is the sense that we are doing something wrong, Diana Wall and I, as we walk south from Franklin Street toward what is arguably Manhattan’s most compelling dig site, the hill of rubble that was, until recently, the World Trade Center. Wall is a New York-based archaeologist, whose book, “Unearthing Gotham: The Archaeology of […]

Strange Days at Glamour

by 10/16/2001
Neighborhood: Times Square

All the days have been strange since. Though I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to leave my friend Luke’s apartment, where I spent that Tuesday night, I woke up determined to get to work Wednesday morning. Life needs to go on, I thought. I walked out of Luke’s apartment building. The sidewalks were lonely; […]

Halfway to Heaven

by 10/16/2001
Neighborhood: World Trade Center

On the first day of October, the Windows on the World community held a memorial service for those lost in the WTC tragedy. Held at the breathtaking and enormous Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the simple and touching service managed to make everyone feel as one in love, loss and sorrow. The renowned restaurant […]

A Photo Not Taken

by 10/16/2001
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village

Since September 11, it’s been especially surreal and sad to see our skyline. Though I was never particularly enamored of the Twin Towers – I prefer the Flat Iron and Chrysler Buildings – it’s devastating to see that they’re gone. Several times this summer, I hung out by Battery Park City, where they would loom […]

Resist the Urge to Reach for Blue

by 10/16/2001
Neighborhood: Inwood

I’m not a PTA mom, and I’ve never hosted a parent potluck dinner. I’ve said no to volunteering at annual school galas and spring fairs so many times that, at this point, no one even bothers to ask me. I adore my two sons, but their time in school is precious. And since it seems […]

The Most Orange Orange

by 10/16/2001
Neighborhood: World Trade Center

In the silence, ash and smoke and dust snowing down, right before I felt and heard the second collapse, there was the teenage girl, with blond hair that should have been shining in the sun but for the pieces of the Towers in the air, and hiphuggers, and a boyfriend listening to her read from […]