Friday, September 11, 2009


Its raining in NY today. I think its appropriate. Tears from heaven on this day of remembrance.

Confusion, fear, sadness. I was in NY for fashion week and was in a state of shock that morning. I can still hear the mass screams of people in the tents @ Bryant Park as news spread amongst the crowd and people fled. The feeling of Armageddon as that horrible cloud rose above the city, ATMs quickly ran out of money, cell phones were on the fritz, banks closed within a couple of hours of the hits, and all transportation to and from the city was shut down. It was like being a rat in a cage. A permeating sadness of all the lives lost and all those lost souls.

Around 3 or 4PM I wandered down towards Times Square to find the Western Union where Mike had wired money to me. I felt the smartest thing to do was to have cash on hand in case I needed to pay a stranger to drive me down to Virginia or anywhere off that island in the next days. At that point, I didn't know how long they would keep transportation shut down.

For about 6 blocks I only encountered 2 other people on the street. 1 was an old man closing the gate down to his market. He looked at me with a kind smile and said, "get home safe." The other was a solitary man on a bicycle riding down the middle of the street. It was a truly bizarre feeling--this city usually full of so much noise and movement. Carrying no bag as a safety precaution, I stuffed the cash inside my bra and went back to the hotel. I'll never forget that walk. The way the sky looked. The quiet. I stayed up all night trying to get through to Amtrak and finally got the very last ticket on the train going south to Virginia on 9/12, though at that point we weren't even sure if the trains would be running again.

I'll never forget the tone in my dear family and friends' voices during that time. I'll always remember vividly the people I talked with on the train. A guy who had an interview scheduled that morning in the World Trade Center, but his alarm hadn't gone off. A young girl who was there on vacation with her family and had just toured the WTC the day before. There was a calm and caring energy for one another on that train ride, though we all felt a bit nervous during our layover in DC.

Seeing my family never felt so good. Going back to California a week later, I felt really safe.

And on this day, I think of all of the love we are lucky to have in this world. I'm sorry for any times I have taken it for granted.

No comments: