I'm OK & at home. My son brought a couple of his out-of-borough friends home
from school, all have made their phone calls - a few have already left via
the subways, most of which are working now by late afternoon.
Earlier, the streets of Manhattan were filled with hundreds of thousands of
office workers walking home. The crowds were orderly and dignified: it
reminded me of the transit strikes or the days when blizzards knock out the
subways. Somehow, for some reason, even the drag nasties were behaving.
Folks here are calm and beginning to get pissed off - more than once, on the
way to St. Vincent's Hospital, I heard, "Who the f*** do these people think
they're f***ing with?"
It is absolutely surreal. Looking north, the sky is perfectly blue. It is a
beautiful day. The only planes I hear are fighter jets skimming the clouds.
This gives you a sense of what the people of this city are like and what it's
like giving blood during a terrorist attack.
Five folks set out with me from Bowne to St. Vincent's Hospital in the West
Village. When we got there around noon, the lines of donors, literally
thousands of folks, calmly waiting lined the blocks in queues behind
makeshift signs with blood types on them. The wait was said to be 5 hours and
that St. Clare's Hospital on West 52nd Street needed the blood and that there
would be a bus "any minute now" heading there.
Some of us decided to walk to St. Clare's. In lieu of someone else with a big
mouth I played lance corporal and got a crew of 50-60 O+ & O -'s on the move
and away from incoming ambulances. When we got to the 14th & 9th avenue, we
comandeered a bus ( the driver called his supervisor who okayed it )and we
took the Number 11 bus directly to St. Clare's Hospital. It was funny to
find one of the Earth Celebrations people on the bus with us. Community
gardeners are everywhere.
Evidently St. Vincent's had not been in communication with St. Clare's and
despite the fact that I had called them on a mobile phone, were not able to
accomodate blood donors. We were directed to the Blood center on 67th Street
and Columbus and the bus driver, a great sport took us.
It was sheer pandemonium at the Blood Center where the wait was also 5 hours.
Some are still waiting, some signed up to do Red Cross work. others like
myself will be giving blood this evening, because this effort will be going
on around the clock.
I'll be cooking dinner this evening, the community board land use meeting
having been cancelled ( we did a voice poll - the developer with the
skyscraper application, for once didn't break our chops.)
My wife the nurse is on duty at her hospital, where they've taken in
casualties. Evidently, the death toll is supposed to be in the thousands.
To give Mayor Giuliani and his administration their due, the coordination of
the cops, firemen and crisis teams have been nothing short of superb.
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