This weather always Brings me back

Thursday, Friday and today really brought me back.  A touch warmer a little breezier and a bit cloudier today than that Tuesday 21 years ago.

I was a senior in high school on the UES.  We had mandatory volunteer work Tuesday mornings starting the following week.  I'd been lazy and procrastinated as is my MO, and picked St. Vincent's at the last second.

Homeroom started at 8:40.  We went to mass to 'celebrate' that we were giving back starting the next week at 9.  Didn't hear anything until History at 9:40.  The teacher gave us vague statements that something had happened, until we went back to homeroom at 9:40. (unscheduled) Ted had a little radio.  He said a plane hit WTC.  I glibly said it was a cessna.  We didn't get it until we could look out the 4th floor window and see the F16s circling low over Manhattan.

I had recently gotten my first prepaid cell phone.  It didn't work.  I tried and tried calling my parents on the school pay-phone to no avail. 

After a bit school asked seniors to go thru parents contact info looking for WTC exchanges in the contact numbers. (The 3 digits after the area code state where a landline is physically located, or at least used to)  I looked for a couple hours. didn't find any.

When they re-opened Penn around 4 they let the NJ and LI kids leave.  I remember Bobby had gotten in touch with his parents and they said to stay away from the Met steps they might be a target.  It was stupid, but people were saying and thinking a lot of stupid things.

We walked across the park, and took a bus down to 42nd.  it wasn't going any further.  We walked the last 8 blocks.  I think I was in a sweater and didn't break a sweat.

Evan was 18 and in his local volunteer FD upstate. He spent about a week down there. 

When I started at St Vincent's the following week I essentially needed a note to be south of 14th. There was a Gristedes on 6th.  The entire block of windows was just completely obscured by "missing" posters.  I heard that they had gotten a grand total of 14 individuals in the ER from downtown.

20+ years later and I used to work for the company that had the most employees in WTC without losing a single one.  Art said he swore at the head of trading because some of the traders wouldn't leave their desks until everything was executed.  My office still looks over those pools.

Sorry, I just needed to share.  The weather was Damn perfect, and we get so few of those days in NYC.

Comments (11)

Stonks1990, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks for sharing - I really understood what you meant when you brought up the weather aspect of it. Sometimes there are things in the air around us that just remind us of things, even if there's no way particularly to describe them. You fit it into words pretty well.

I was just about to turn eleven. It's a weird age - you're old enough to know what's happening, and it's horrible. You're not old enough to truly understand the sheer weight of the situation and could never predict what would happen in the following years. I remember the initial terror of the day - a really stressful hour for my Dad, who worked in Midtown at the time. Thankfully, he had phoned to let us know he was safe within an hour of the first plane hitting, but man... that was a stressful bit.

Throughout the day, although my initial fears of losing my Dad had quelled, but I turned to my friends. They actually didn't send us home - they kept us on lockdown for a while, fearing that it may be a multiple-target threat (which it was) that would extend up to where we were. I was in CT, so not strictly in NYC, but my blood has been NY Giants blue since I popped out of the womb. It was my home city and I visited every weekend for a decade straight when I was growing up. 

A classmate of mine lost their mother, which we found out on 9/13. She wasn't a WTC employee. She was an employee working right at the corner of Cortland & Church, easily within 500ft of GZ. She lost her life as the South Tower fell, attempting to help people run. That one hit me hard, but it really didn't resonate with me until a couple of years afterward, when I was old enough to really start to understand the gravity of the situation. 

I've never been to the memorial on 9/11 or during the week of the anniversary, but I imagine it's truly a beautiful sight. In the most silver of linings, I've watched videos of Americans in the following months and years afterward, putting aside politics and personal differences and embodying the one thing they all share: being from the United States. I wish we could go back to that somehow, and moreso wish I had been old enough to understand that bond in its own time. 

RIP to the 2,977. Every single time I look at One WTC, I can't help but feel pride.

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Whatever1984, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks for sharing


Every single time I look at One WTC, I can't help but feel pride.

Thank you.  I appreciate the words, although I will voice some disagreements.

1WTC is possibly the worst skyscraper in the world.  I think the best way to describe it is "shy"  It doesn't want to be seen and was designed by committee to be inoffensive.  It's even worse at the base, where it has the most uninviting 20 story fortress at the bottom.  Trust me,I can turn around and look at it at work.  I walk by almost every day. (ok, that's an exaggeration.  Normally I walk downstairs thru the Calatravesty.) 

Say what you will about the old buildings, and there was a lot to say about them--They were the worst of 60s/70s brutalist un-pedestrian friendly architecture, the plaza was best described as windswept (actually the current memorial isn't much better)  But even though they were jokingly described as "the boxes the Empire State & Chrysler buildings came in" they had presence.  

The snipers normally set up on a setback a few floors below me.  I'm sure it's not the only location, but it's a good distance and a good height for coverage.  Given that it's a sunday it might be nice to Sunday this year it might be nice to miss seeing them  this year.  I've also never been to the museum, and I've been to virtually every museum in NYC, from the Cloisters (underrated) to PS1. (WAY overrated) It's a block from work, but I have no desire. 

The only difference between Asset Management and Investment Research is assets. I generally see somebody I know on TV on Bloomberg/CNBC etc. once or twice a week. This sounds cool, until I remind myself that I see somebody I know on ESPN five days a week.
  • 6
Stonks1990, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I understand your point of view on this and understand we may hold different perspectives. I haven't lived in the NY Metro for more than ten years now, so don't have the constant ability to look at these things like you may. One thing that I'll say is that I agree that the grey fortress is disgusting to look at. However, we actually did a case study on this project in 2012 for my senior year of undergrad, in which I had a construction engineering approach. While it may not be the most pretty thing to look at, it does play a massive role in the structural integrity of the building and is a lot more complex than being just a slab. I won't bore you with details, but I'm sure it made sense to the developers at the time. 

When I say 'pride', I honestly just mean the symbolism that the building holds, rather than the detailing features. I much preferred the original 1WTC concept. I'll link you a fascinating video below from my favorite YouTube channel that does a great analysis on the subject. Whenever I look at it, I'm just reminded more of Americans coming together, and the 1776ft spire does hold a special place in my heart. 

As for the snipers... yeah, we're in agreement on that. While on one hand it's nice to be protected, it's sad that we have to come this far to ensure that we are. I remember there were a lot of nerves for the 2011 ceremony, as rumors had inflated online that there would be another attack on the ten-year anniversary. 

Side note - I'd love to check out some more museums while I'm up there on my next trip. Got any recommendations?


Arroz con Pollo, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I never understood just how awful 9/11 was until I did my own research in college. Sure, I knew the planes hit and the towers fell, but reading the minute by minute report of what was going on is a real life horror movie.

You can understand how we launched a war after that. The worst tragedies are when innocent people just trying to make a living are victims.

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Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I was in military boot camp on 9/11. We were out drilling on the parade deck and someone ran out and was screaming like crazy to get cover. We ran inside the building and they got out a TV and we saw the planes hitting the towers. 95% of us thought it was a training exercise and not real. Then they went to DEFCON 3 and put barricades on the gates at the base with Humvees and heavily armed guards. Then we knew it was real.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • 1
WolfofWSO, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I was talking to a guy working for RiskMetrics on the phone when the plane hit his building. We were having an "intense" conversation when the phone line went dead. I was burned - "That bastard hung up on me!". About 5 minutes later, I saw the news and 10 minutes after that I put it together that maybe that guy I talked to one the phone wasn't a bastard but was actually dead. 5 minutes after that I decided that would be a reasonable excuse for hanging up the phone on me. We were long billions and billions of dollars of EuroSwiss futures for a completely different reason and made bank. Two weeks later the guy from RiskMetrics called me on the phone and apologized for hanging up, but he was there in '93 and promised his wife that if anything like that ever happened again he would drop everything and leave the building. Smart woman.


  • 4
BoutiqueAsc, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I remember being pulled out of kindergarten randomly that day (don't remember anything else from that entire year), my father saw the planes hit and was shook up for a while.

We walked down the avenue back home and it was dead silent, all the sirens were downtown, and everyone was just in total shock you could've heard a pin drop. 

Pussy galore, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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