It's hard to believe that six years ago, the craziest thing happened.
People are always curious: Were you in the city that day? What happened? What was it like?
Both Mark and I remember that it was a really beautiful morning. It was bright and cloudless, one of those rare New York fall days.
I was working on Fifth Avenue near the Flatiron building. Coworkers started running up and down the stairs, yelling out the news. I was in complete shock and, crazy enough, kept working. I was hoping that everything would just go away. Anyway, we were several blocks away from the Empire State Building and as things progressed, I started to worry that that landmark was next.
Outside, it was deathly quiet except for the radios of the parked cars, blaring the news. No one was driving, and people trudged uptown in silence. I walked 20 blocks north with a friend and then went to another friend's place in Hell's Kitchen. We sat in front of the tv for the rest of the day in a daze, watching the continuous news shows. The next day, we went to the Red Cross to give blood and it was mobbed. We lingered there for a while, not knowing what to do.
I didn't know Mark at the time. He'd been working downtown and had to walk all the way home, over a bridge, to Queens.
Everything after that is a sad blur - the 'Missing' posters at Union Square, the candles, the bits of hope and the unravelling of news.
Several weeks after the tragedy, I was still full of naivete. I asked my boss,'So you don't think things will change, will they?' ('Things', meaning 'life as we knew it').
Of course, she told me that nothing would be the same.
Photo by myself of Long Island City and the buildings along the East River, beyond, including the Chrysler Building and United Nations. Many people left New York after 9/11, but right now, there's a construction boom with no end in sight.