Aftermath: A New York Journal

In a few short hours on the morning of September 11, 2001, the life of the city where I was born, returned to after college, and have lived for the past 22 years--half of my life--was changed utterly. Its physical landscape has been altered; the emotional landscape, much more so. We may stand at one of those rare junctures, a turning point in the history of our country, if not the world. It has been strange, incredible, and terrible to have witnessed the fire and its aftermath from the edge of the maelstrom (I spend most of my waking hours in Manhattan, about two miles from the WTC site); no doubt the reverberations from the tragedy of September 11 have only begun to be felt. I write this basically as a personal chronicle of life in New York in this terrible time in the history of our city and country; the accounts are based on my journal entries, e-mails, and other correspondence from the time, often combined with later recollections. The above picture appeared in a show called HereIsNewYork, for which amateur and professionals contributed photos related to September 11 and its aftermath, prints of which could be bought with the proceeds going to the relief effort. [This introduction was written in late October, 2001.]

I am also endeavouring to chronicle the recovery of our city and its citizens and the rebuilding of the WTC site and revitalization of Downtown. I remember shortly after the attack thinking that this was an open-ended thing, a wound with no healing in sight, but slowly over the month things change, the excavation is completed and the discussion about what will rise on the site hits full stride. The changes in our psyches are very gradual (when I'm in NYC, at least, the attack is still seldom far from my mind) but at least as important. [July, 2002]

My September 11: At the Edge of the Maelstrom
The Shrines at Union Square
New Yorkers
September 13: A Day in the Life of the City
Mid-September: Wanderings
My Letter to the Dalai Lama
September 25, 2001--Ground Zero
Our Altered Skyline
November 12, 2001: Flight 587, and a Letter
November 15, 2001: Altered Landscapes
November 16, 2001: A Journey Under the Tomb
December 5, 2001: A Return to Space
January 17-February 16, 2002: "A New World Trade Center"
February 10, 2002: A Comet for New York
July 16-18, 2002: Urban Planning
July 20, 2002: "Listening to the City"
September 11, 2002: What a Difference a Year Makes

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