It’s impossible to say who first uttered the phrase, but almost immediately it was ubiquitous: “In light of recent events…” Whether intoned by elected officials or cable news anchors or between friends in sarcastic bar chatter, “In light of recent events” became the preamble to enumerating all the ways our lives changed in the weeks Read More
Our City Since
No one remembers now, but there had been hurricane talk then too. A storm called Erin had been making its way up the Eastern Seaboard, causing fussy weather for the Mid-Atlantic states, until an incoming Canadian air mass nudged her out over the North Atlantic.
National Weather Service meteorologist Gary Conte was working at the New York-area station that day. “I remember it being a very refreshing day,” he said, “with a nice, cool air mass coming in. And it was the first day that the air mass, this cool dry air mass, was moving southeast from Canada, so it felt even better…Without looking at the maps, I remember that much.” Read More
In November of 2001, Paul Liebrandt, who had made his name as the 25-year-old wunderkind chef at Atlas on Central Park South, had just begun a new turn at Papillion, a West Village bistro where he put on, as William Grimes put it in his two-star review, “culinary events that seemed to mingle theater of the absurd with conceptual art and Parisian avant-gardism of the old school.” His tenure would last only a year. Read More
Political campaigns in New York are like a mile-long sprint. Beginning in January, when the likely candidates start raising money and meeting with neighborhood groups, they round a corner in the summer months and hit full stride as September starts and New Yorkers start paying attention to politics again.
Except for one day, every year, when those running pull up short, only to start again 24 hours later.
That day, of course, is September 11. Read More
Civil Unions: How the Ironworkers and Carpenters Teamed Up at 7 World Trade Center and Changed the Way We Build
The city’s ironworkers and carpenters have never much gotten along. Falling somewhere between rival sports teams and armies at war, the construction unions responsible for the city’s tall buildings rarely work together—office buildings are made from steel, apartments from concrete (which is poured by the carpenter’s union). “Is there ego? There is certainly pride amongst these unions, and not a little competition,” said Gary Higby director of industry development at the Steel Institute of New York, a trade group.
But 9/11 changed that, or at least the rebuilding of 7 World Trade Center did. It was not simply a matter of camaraderie but also necessity. “Obviously, what you had to do after 9/11 was address the fundamental question of how are we going to create buildings that are as safe as can be in a post-9/11 world,” said Janno Lieber, president of World Trade Center Properties at Silverstein Properties. “The concrete core was probably the single most important of hundreds of safety innovations at 7 World Trade Center that went beyond code. It was a huge step forward for safety and structural robustness.” Read More
One winter evening in 2006, host Martin Bashir’s voice intoned over the opening of Nightline: “Meet the brash, young real estate assassin, selling lavish dream apartments to clients with money to burn.”
The TV screen bled to an earnest-looking Michael Shvo. “When you see a photo of the New York skyline,” the 32-year-old informed us, “these are buildings I made happen.”
And what made Mr. Shvo happen? Read More
“I know we’re late,” Jon Stewart told his audience on Sept. 20, his first post-9/11 show. “They said to get back to work but there were no openings for a man in a fetal position under his desk.” Read More
Fiona Spruill was on the subway headed to work from her apartment on the Upper West Side when the first plane went in. Web production for The New York Times was her first job after graduating from Duke and she, then 24, had recently been promoted to digital news editor.
By the time she got to the web newsroom, then housed a few blocks from the paper’s historic home on West 43rd Street, it was evident that news was breaking. But the overnight editor and the business editor, the only others in the office, were in a state of confusion. They were seeing things on television, but the reports were unconfirmed, and they conflicted. Read More
At 10:49 a.m. on Sept. 11, 21 minutes after the North Tower of the World Trade Center began to collapse, Fox News launched a news ticker—a ribbon of all-caps text along the bottom of the screen made up of headlines from scenes occurring off camera, in rural Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon, which indicated that the imagery shown was not a horrible accident. At 11:01, CNN had followed suit, and MSNBC got a crawl going by 2 p.m. that day.
The feature was known to viewers. Read More