SEPT. 12, 2001 -- ALL ACCOUNTED FOR
I am relieved to say that fourth roommate Dan is accounted for. He ended up being trapped in his building, which is four blocks from the WTC, the entire time. I am also relieved to say that all of my friends who were in the neighborhood or building were able to get out in time.
[My roommate] Patrick [had been] on his way to a doctor's appointment a few blocks from the WTC. He was on the street when the second plane hit. When the building collapsed, he was two blocks away from the WTC; he was incredibly confused, people were running everywhere, varied reports going through as people screamed, cried and sobbed. He ducked down an alley. He almost jumped into a Dumpster, thinking planes were crashing all around him when he saw the cloud of debris and smoke coming his way. He ran, he ran like he never ran before, running toward our building. But the oncoming cloud would not relent, ready to envelop him, so after traveling east, he headed north, sprinting at a full speed pace, with five other similarly athletic guys, not stopping till he made it to 23rd Street. After resting and contemplating what just happened at his old apartment at 33rd and 3rd, he realized the danger of being so close to the Empire State Building and escaped by getting on the subway to Queens and then Brooklyn. He now is still in shock and is recovering. His body is also hurting him, as the soreness of running from sheer adrenaline and will do not leave easily.
In terms of what I have observed here in the city, it is so eerie and strange. I took the subway up to the Upper East Side this morning (and am still here). The subway was quiet. The streets are empty of cars. Only taxis and buses are on the road. People are quiet and reserved. It's beyond anything I've ever seen before.
In a way we are trapped here. Many of [the] bridges have finally opened, but the roadways to get there are closed or jammed with roadblocks. Subways are running, but only above 14th Street. It's just so surreal.
SEPT., 13, 2001 -- THE SAGA CONTINUES
Day 3 here in NYC. Still reeling from Tuesday. Unreal. It's still like a movie for us. It's hard for me to go on my roof, look at the downtown skyline and see the gaping hole left by the WTCs. It's also hard to fathom that 1 Liberty Plaza, a building that has many floors occupied by Goldman Sachs employees, is teetering over. The city is so different, like a ghost town. Stores closed up. Few regular cars on the streets of Manhattan. Military and police vehicles rolling down the street. The people. No one is smiling. Somber looks.
More to the story. Monday night there was a celebration dinner in honor of me, with all of my past co-workers there (around 40 or so in all)! It was unbelievable. I received gifts (and steak!) and cards and even a letter of support from the very CEO of Goldman Sachs, Hank Paulson, who sent his regrets that he couldn't be there because of an important meeting. It was unreal. Afterwards, most of us went to Village Karaoke to sing the night away. It was absolutely wild. That's why I slept in. That's why my roommate Trac slept in on Tuesday and tried to get to work late, only to be stopped at a subway station in Brooklyn, far from Ground Zero.
Till [my biopsy], I have to occupy myself. Last night we rented movies at our apartment just to relieve ourselves of the steady stream of news. We don't have cable or a phone line directly into our apartment, so entertainment is [sparse]. I tried to go shopping to buy some clothes, since almost everything I own is in Ohio (my dad moved me out three weeks ago). Everything was closed by 5 p.m. Justifiably so. Tonight maybe more movies or a book to fill in the time and get away from the tragedy. For those trying to reach me via cell phone, good luck. The network is incredibly busy.
It's hard to imagine [God's] in control and knows what he's doing -- but seeing how humans are reacting to this, seeing the charity, the love, the brotherhood, the respect, there is no doubt God is working through the midst of this, through us.
THE AFTER EFFECTS:
Below 14th Street is closed. The financial district, roughly an area below Canal Street, is off limits. Those not authorized to go down there are being arrested. I have friends who live a few blocks away from the WTC on John Street. They have no idea when they will be able to return to their apartment. Co-workers don't know when their offices will reopen. One of our buildings is still in limbo. They say Wall St. will open on Monday; I don't believe it. The buildings are too close to each other and the recovery will take weeks.
The streets were somber and empty, especially on Wednesday. The subways were empty traveling into the city. Most of the roadways off of the island were closed. We were literally trapped on the island of New York City. No driving, no flying, very little public transportation. We were prisoners. Thank God another attack didn't take place.
Source: www.canning.com, and e-mails to The Vindicator