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Report from Midtown Manhattan

  • Subject: [cg] Report from Midtown Manhattan
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2001 13:43:41 EDT

Friends,

Work is closed today & I thought I'd share a few observations with you  
before I start foraging for groceries ( no trucks are coming into Manhattan, 
only earth moving machinery, emergency workers etc.) 

I live on the west side of Manhattan in the Hell's Kitchen area ( just west 
of the Broadway Theater/Times Square area.)  This area usually has the 
heaviest traffic congestion in NYC with all the intendant pollution, etc. 
Today, because all traffic from outside Manhattan has been stopped, the 
streets were empty enough during the morning rush hour for moron 
skateboarders to travel, in the middle of the avenue, going the wrong way.

The sky, still blue and cloudless is empty except for the random F-16 jet or 
Huey helicopter. Regular city services ( trash pick up, etc.) go on 
undisturbed.  Only when I looked uptown at 6th Avenue ( Avenue of the 
Americas)  and 57th Street ( around the corner from Carnegie Hall) I saw the 
plumes of smoke, still coming up from what was the World Trade Center.  

There are cadets from the NY Police Academy at most major intersections with 
roadblocks at hospitals and sensitive sites like subway, communication and 
transportation hubs.  Remember, most of the metropolitan area's television 
and radio were broadcast from the World Trade Center - the messaging was 
switched instantly to the Empire State Building and satelites.  The subways 
and buses are running except for the bombing area.  Manhattan, below 14th 
Street is closed off to most vehicular traffic. All bridges are closed going 
out of Manhattan. 

Many of my son's schoolmates have parents who worked in the World Trade 
Center - many have not been heard from. Our school community beginning to 
come together to help - my son and I have already been involved in 15 
searches of the hospitals for missing persons. When I get on line, he'll be 
talking to his friends, trying to help. My wife is on duty at her hospital.

CNN is doing a good job, but it's not the media's choice  to show the barges 
and ferries carrying the dead to the old army morgue in New Jersey - this 
facility has not been this busy since the Vietnam era. The estimates among 
emergency people and the hospital folks that I have spoken to are grim - the 
toll may be in the tens of thousands.

Yesterday, the Clinton Community Garden was serene and beautiful - an oasis 
of calm filled with nervous folks on cell phones, frantically calling for 
news.  

Now, I'm heading down to the garden to deadhead dahlias and pick the last few 
tomatoes and peppers.  The beans are coming in well and the brussel sprouts 
are looking interesting.  Sid, our  beekeeper volunteer says that we may have 
over 100 pounds of honey from our hive this year.  Most importanly, many of 
our keyholders ( we have over 2,500 now) will be spending a few minutes in 
the garden today to collect their thoughts. Most of the regular volunteers 
will probably be there to garden, but most importantly to help give a sense 
of normalcy in an abnormal time.




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