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#760646 - 06/30/02 11:06 AM how new york city has changed
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5484
recently i was talking with an old friend who was born and raised in the city. we had not spoken since sept. 11th. he offered the observation that new york is a changed city, that people have a real sense of doom there now.

i was lucky enough to have a nice visit to the city just a few weeks before it was attacked, and enjoy some of its fleeting last hours of being its old self, and have not been back since (though i really would love to visit again soon).

a number of forum members either live in the city or visit regularly, or live nearby. i wonder how, with the benefit of some time for reflection, you think the city has or hasn't changed. do you agree with my friend's assessment? what do you think? how has it changed?

this query comes from a third generation new yorker who moved away and wants to know what life is like now back home.
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#760647 - 06/30/02 11:47 AM Re: how new york city has changed
Anonymous
Unregistered


 Quote:
Originally posted by pique:
recently i was talking with an old friend who was born and raised in the city. we had not spoken since sept. 11th. he offered the observation that new york is a changed city, that people have a real sense of doom there now.

[/b]
It is amazing how this comes out in all sorts of ways. People from NY on the Internet have a definite sense that danger lurks everywhere. One gets the preoccupation with this on the evening news and anything else that comes out of NY.

In some ways it is very sad to see -- a once vibrant city now cowering. In other ways it would be nice if they kept their preoccupation to themselves since it is simply keeping the country in a negative mindset because so many of the opinion makers are in NY.

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#760648 - 06/30/02 01:09 PM Re: how new york city has changed
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14051
Loc: Louisiana
The words New Yorker/cower would be the ultimate oxymoron, don't ya think?

Cautious? - Yes. Wary? - Yes. Cower? - I don't believe that for a minute!

A few thousand funerals would change the perspective of any city. But I don't think the country is in a negative mindset. The country is being realistic - there _are_ people out in this old world who wish us great harm, and will go to immense lengths to accomplish that purpose.

But people are still building new homes, babies are being born, and the last of the June 2002 brides will walk the aisle today. Today some child will be baptized for the first time, or a bar mitzvah will be planned, or a freckle-faced kid will catch his first fish in Grandpa's farm pond. Or maybe today is the day a young man works up his courage and actually presents that diamond ring he's been carrying in his pocket for two weeks, and hopes she says yes.

I don't see any dark clouds over America. Take a couple of anti-cynicism pills george, and call me in the morning. \:\)
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#760649 - 06/30/02 01:15 PM Re: how new york city has changed
BeeLady Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/02
Posts: 2339
Loc: Massachusetts
I have to say I find the feelings of New Yorkers perfectly justified. My sister and her husband are forever changed, not just by witnessing the events at dangerously close quarters, but also in the aftermath. They live in a town hard hit, many Cantor Fitzgerald workers lived there. How do you tell a widow with young children it is time to "get over it". I think New York is like widow/widower and this is not something you just stop feeling.

With all respect to you, George, I find we here not so far away are still rather removed from what is really like to live in and around the trenches. Lets not forget it is not even a year yet since this horror befell NY and the country. Sometimes I feel Americans forget things like this all too soon which can lead to apathy and worse, letting our guard down...
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#760650 - 06/30/02 01:27 PM Re: how new york city has changed
Anonymous
Unregistered


I apologize if I have been misunderstood. I understand why New York is reacting as it is, and I think it is justifed. I do find it sad that this once proud city is reacting as it is. It seems to have lost its bearings as well as its strength. It is sad to see.

The issue of the opinion makers impacting the rest of the US I think is a valid one. There is a sense of foreboding coming out of all sorts of media outlets which originate in NYC -- and they are our major media outlets in tis country.

Their reaction may be justified, but it is not necessarily good for this country. It is like asking the person who has just been raped to define the level of crime. Clearly they have a view, but it is not necessarily an accurate one.

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#760651 - 06/30/02 03:07 PM Re: how new york city has changed
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5484
with all due respect, george, i would appreciate it if this thread wasn't hijacked into another ideological debate. i sincerely would like to hear impressions from those who have spent time in the city in the past several months. this is a personal concern, not an ideological one.
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#760652 - 07/01/02 05:04 PM Re: how new york city has changed
bcarey Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 3378
Loc: North Carolina
Pique,

Perhaps I can give you some perspective from my point of view.

My daughter lives in NY, about 20 blocks from the WTC. I visited her about 2 months ago.

I learned about the towers being hit when I was on the phone with her. I didn't have a TV on and wasn't on the net at the time. Lucky for me in that I immediately knew she was okay. She was hysterical. That's the only way to describe it. In days after, she was paranoid about being trapped in NY with no way to get out if another attack occurred. The hysteria and the paranoia subsided with time, but I believe many of the rest of us may not comprehend what New Yorkers went through at that time. They lived with the smoke and smell for quite a few months. Their proud city was indeed wounded and they were hurt and angry. Now it's back to arguing over the war on terror, whether we should go into Iraq, and the latest "Bushisms". In short, typical argumentative American New Yorkers.

While there, I visited a friend of hers who lives 4 blocks from the WTC. He had a perfect view of the towers from the 39th floor of his apartment. He watched the event unfold from beginning to end. He saw the first plane hit and started taking pictures, then saw the second plane, and both towers fall from a very close vantage point. The pictures were both sad and amazing. I could see where the towers were from the apartment. It's nothing but a hole in the ground now.

I did get a ticket and went to the official viewing platform. I felt I had to pay my respects. I don't think anyone can go there and not think that the remains of some of the missing people may always be there. At least, I can't.

What I noticed most about the affect that it had on my daughter was that every time she turned some corners, she would remark that there had been a beautiful view of the towers there. Their absence is a constant sad reminder.

We went to the shop in Soho where they have donated photographs on diplay and she couldn't look.

We went by the neighborhood fire department and she remarked how she had always waved at the firemen or would see them in the grocery store. They are there no more. She misses them.

She has friends with a very successful furniture design business. I asked them how they had been affected. They said that everything was literally dead for a month. After that it was back to business as usual or even better.

New Yorkers are forever changed as are all Americans, but things are generally hopping in the city as it always has. The energy is still there, as is the determination to rebuild and get on with life. They are a tough bunch.

Through all this, never once did my daughter ever consider leaving New York.

I believe most New Yorkers feel the same.

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#760653 - 07/01/02 05:32 PM Re: how new york city has changed
Bernard Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/01
Posts: 3857
Loc: North Groton, NH
 Quote:
recently i was talking with an old friend who was born and raised in the city. we had not spoken since sept. 11th. he offered the observation that new york is a changed city, that people have a real sense of doom there now.
Pique, I have to say I do not encounter this "real sense of doom". It could be due to the circles I travel in: Greenpoint to Union Square to 23rd Street and back daily. Seldom uptown for long, rarely downtown at all. The people I work with are going on with life quite well, we were all fortunate not to have personally known anyone who died in the catastrophe.

 Quote:
i was lucky enough to have a nice visit to the city just a few weeks before it was attacked, and enjoy some of its fleeting last hours of being its old self, and have not been back since (though i really would love to visit again soon).
Be sure to let us know ahead of time!

 Quote:
a number of forum members either live in the city or visit regularly, or live nearby. i wonder how, with the benefit of some time for reflection, you think the city has or hasn't changed. do you agree with my friend's assessment? what do you think? how has it changed?
I'm not so sure proximity has as much to do with it as the scale and intent. I think this is something that affected all Americans no matter where they live. Like Pearl Harbor. You didn't need to be there to be greatly affected. To be sure, people who live in the immediate vicinity of the WTC site were physically affected much more than those of us only a few miles away. I think you may well find a difference between how that group is coping and how the rest of NYC is coping.

 Quote:
this query comes from a third generation new yorker who moved away and wants to know what life is like now back home.
There is very little outward change in the city, except for the actual site and it's vicinity. There are many smaller subtler differences that work as reminders that life is precious and fragile. For me this is actualized by walking by a shrine at the police quarter in Union Square subway station every day. There had been a big memorial which has over the months been condensed to 2 large bulletin boards, each dedicated to the memory of the 2 police from that station who died. Very prominent in each display is a photo of each victim. I always think about how each of these 2 men went to the towers that day, with dreams and ideals large and small even mundane, such as thoughts about what's for supper tonight. Little did they know that all those plans and dreams would end on that morning.

This reminder on the way to work every day does affect my mood... for the better I think.

Since I need to take the subway under the East river each day there have been a few times when I had slight jitters about it, similar to the ones I get about flying. It is comforting to see the Police at the subway tunnel entrace. But one has to make up one's mind that life goes on and hope for the best.

Right now there is talk about the 4th of July and in all honesty, I would shy away from joining the crowds at the edge of the river to see the fire works. I think. No. I might go but I would be constantly looking around. However, I'm fortunate to be able to see them clearly from my roof so the question doesn't affect me much. I can understand people not wanting to take their children though.

I think the television media likes to play up the sense of doom, it sells well. I think there is a great optimism here still. There was a film festival down town this spring. Broadway is managing alright. The summer concert season is here. Ball season is here. If anything there is a slight underlying apprehension that I think most people are able to overcome and go about doing the things that bring them pleasure.

To be sure, if you came here you would not see a bunch of people moping around. It's still pretty energetic around here and all the mundane little annoyances still exist but so do all the not-so-mundane pleasures.

It's just a bit different. That's all.
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#760654 - 07/01/02 05:41 PM Re: how new york city has changed
shantinik Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/23/01
Posts: 4271
Loc: Olympia, WA
Hey, some perspective -- per capita, the number of people who died in the World Trade Center thing was much lower than those killed in Oklahoma City (and in actual number about half of those who died from food poisoning last year, and this year, and next year.)

I think it is the symbolic nature of the thing (fed by our media and our government) that gives this the cowering tinge. Which isn't to say symbols aren't important -- I grew up in NYC as the Towers were being built, so I understand that perfectly well.

But I think for the most part people are going about living their lives, revamping their retirement plans as their diversifed stock holdings of Worldcom, Enron, Sun Microsystems, ImClone, and Martha Stewart go down the tubes.

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#760655 - 07/01/02 09:57 PM Re: how new york city has changed
PianoMuse Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 902
Loc: Philly, PA
I think that New Yorkers have been strengthening themselves since the attack, but there really still is that slight twinge of dread just around every corner. Every time i hear about possible attacks, i feel sick to my stomach, because i don't know how many family members are in NYC at the time ( i have family who works there and i live right across the river). We can't attend large public events there without feeling like we are a large target, and i know a lot of people feel the same way.
New Yorkers are a busy people, always having something to do or somewhere to go. But it is those couple seconds when you are walking on the street and a loud plane goes overhead and you can see everyone's face change, because is the building you are under going to be next?
New York has changes, for sure, not for the best, and not for the worst, but it has changed, and change is inevitable. we are in a world of turmoil, and sooner or later that turmoil will ( and has) strike us. I fear for my family in NYC and for my safety as well, but we can't live every day in fear, and i don't think New Yorkers do.
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#760656 - 07/02/02 11:05 AM Re: how new york city has changed
BeeLady Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/02
Posts: 2339
Loc: Massachusetts
In my sister's case, life appears normal. However, I notice both she and her husband are even more focused on their children. They are more involved in their lives and spend more time with them. They are more protective of the kids of others as well. Their community lost many parents, almost 100 children in their school system have lost at least one parent.

The "victims" are among them. The schools have rallied and provided extra counciling for all the school kids and the community is keeping the widows and widowers in their lives as best they can.

In the immediate aftermath, my brother-in-law was morbid and pessimistic. But given he works at the NYSE and had to travel by climbing over electric cables in the street and ,he most often mentioned, smell the odor in the air, it was understandable. He is better now, but I feel he would not be surprised should something else happen.

Overall, the my most recent impressions have been that people are getting on with life, but noticing it more, both the good and the bad. Stopping to smell the roses is more common now.
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Life is like a roll of toilet paper...the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes!

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#760657 - 07/02/02 02:26 PM Re: how new york city has changed
Bill G. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/01
Posts: 171
Loc: New York
originally posted by Bernard

 Quote:
To be sure, if you came here you would not see a bunch of people moping around. It's still pretty energetic around here and all the mundane little annoyances still exist but so do all the not-so-mundane pleasures.

It's just a bit different. That's all.
I agree.

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