Tag Archives: September 11

It will never be just another day

More thoughts on 9/11

We did pretty well today. We remembered, we carried on.

I spent most of the day in Manhattan (don’t tell my mother, ok?).

I was reminded of the loss suffered by a good friend of a good friend who I met years ago. Jenna was widowed on 9/11 while pregnant with her first son.

It’s the reminders of the individual losses that bring tears to my eyes. Not solely loss of life, but also the lost sense of security.

When a plane flies low overhead, I still feel nervous. When I see the New York skyline without the Twin Towers, my heart still aches.

9/11 will always be a hard, emotional anniversary for those of us who lived through it. But we should strive to use it as a reminder to be grateful for all the good we have in our lives.

Remembering Josh Aron

To my knowledge, “just” one person I knew perished on September 11. I’m glad it wasn’t more, but even one person was too much to lose.

Josh Aron was the boyfriend of a good friend in college. They eventually parted and I lost touch with Josh. I was so sad to learn of his death. Years later, I remember his bright blue eyes, and the devilish gleam that would appear in them when teasing us, his girlfriend’s friends. I hope his family knows that Josh will never be forgotten.


10th anniversary of 9/11

September 11, 2001 dawned clear, sunny and seemingly perfect. A new chapter in my life had started just the day before: on 9/10 I accepted a job that would require me to leave New York for Washington, DC. Truthfully, I was crushed, but I really wanted – and needed – the job so I made what I thought of as the “grown-up decision” to move.

I had just twenty days to pack up my belongings and find an apartment in DC, a city I barely knew. Little did I know how physically and emotionally challenging the move process would be.

On September 11, I lived with a roommate in a cute old tenement on Cornelia Street in Greenwich Village. I recall getting out of bed, and going into the living room as she got ready to leave for work.

“I think I heard a plane crash,” I told Kelly as I rubbed sleep from my eyes.

“Go back to bed,” Kelly said with an eyeroll.

[OK what she really said was “go back to bed crackhead.” I don’t think Kelly liked me that much and while I was going out pretty much every night that summer, cocktails and beer were my inebriants of choice, thank you very much.]

I tried to go back to sleep but failed. Some time passed and I decided to go to Grey Dog, my local coffee shop. And that’s when the world started falling apart. I had been right, in a way, about a plane, but instead of crashing to the ground, it had been flown into one of America’s most recognizable edifices, the World Trade Center. Later I learned that the first jet’s path had, in fact, been right over my apartment, down Sixth Avenue.

The sequence of my memories has blurred. I remember calling my mother who asked me to stay home and avoid the subways. I also called my former roommate Kristen who had been staffed on projects based in the WTC for Andersen Consulting previously, but was now based in Chicago, leaving a message of gratitude that she no longer worked there.

And then I got coffee. The shop was abuzz with the news. Was it an accident? How did pilots avoid the tall buildings every other day, but not today? I was immediately suspicious.

I believe the second plane hit as I walked home from Grey Dog. I went home for my camera, feeling strange about doing so I only took three photos.

Days of horror followed. Lots of CNN. Trouble making or receiving calls to tell people I was safe and OK. And packing for the move to DC, feeling even worse about leaving.

Several days immediately following 9/11, I walked up to Union Square (no buses or subways ran for a while) and saw movies, as much for the air free of concrete dust as for the distraction.  On 9/18 I took a few photos at the make-shift memorial there.

Union Square

And suddenly it’s ten years later. I’m ten years older, but as happy as a kid to be back in my beloved New York. Now I live in Brooklyn. For as great as Manhattan is, I think I needed a fresh experience and as the sad anniversary arrives, I feel even more confident of my decision to try somewhere new.

I like to think that I don’t waste time thinking or worrying about events beyond my control, but today I have a single request:

Please let September 11, 2011 pass without incident.

The hunt (entry #1 of 72 posts about finding an apartment in NYC)

I have tweeted ad nauseum about my hunt for a New York City apartment, and the difficulty of finding one while still based in Washington, DC. Enough of my twitter friends have commented on the process that I thought I’d share information about why the hunt is so challenging.

Backing up a little…

I have wanted to move back to NYC – my spiritual home if I, in fact, have anything spiritual – since the moment I left. Each time I returned to Manhattan for work or to visit friends, I tried (and failed) to remember how I managed to move away (for my career) without having some form of a breakdown. I suspect I was numbed by the fact that my move to DC happened just 20 days after September 11.


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