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I Rememeber 9/11


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Sunday, September 10, 2006

I Rememeber 9/11

I remember 9/11 like it was yesterday.

I remember I was working on the the seating chart for James Coviello's fashion show which was the next day.

I remember a model telling one of the designers about the planes just as my phone rang and James told me about the planes and I looked down at my computer and the photos were on

I remember a few moments later walking up 7th Avenue towards James office. The streets were jammed packed with people walking up from downtown. It wasn't until that moment that I began to really realized how big this could get. The towers still hadn't fallen but you could just tell how bad this could end. After about one more block I turned and headed straight home.

I remember that even before I made it home I was quickly going into emergency mode. I needed to get cash, I need to get water, I needed to get canned goods. I have never been in a war or natural disaster but it is odd how clear the basics become when you are in that position.

I remember going into the nearby grocery store. It was packed with people and absolutely silent. no one was talking and no cell phones ringing because all phones were down. I remember there were so many people in there that no carts or hand baskets were available so people were packing groceries in empty shipping boxes and pushing them around the store with there feet because they were so overloaded with essentials. i remember seeing one guy buying only fruit and yogurt, that seemed like an odd strategy to me. When I got home one of my neighbors asked why I was buying so many groceries "because we are on an island" I said, the look on his faced changed and he walked away.

I remember being able to watch news coverage on tv and being able to look out my South facing window next to the tv and seeing the real scene. It was truly surreal.

I remember it was beautiful and sunny and it was that way for the next few days but all I wanted was for the rain to come and wash away the smoke and the smell.

I remember feeling so isolated because Manhattan is an island and it is tough to get off an island quickly especially with a two year old. By the same token, it is tough to get things onto an island so I really worried about if we would have enough food and supplies. The stores were picked clean and there was no telling how long it would take to restock.

I remember seeing the towers fall while watching tv but not understanding what I was seeing while it was happening. I didn't see it on the videos we all see now, I saw it from a video shot from a news helicopter above - the angle was so weird that it was hard to grasp what was happening.

I remember jogging from my apartment down to the WTC all that summer. I can still picture in my mind exactly how it looked down there and still when I walk down there I still expect to see the towers, Even more than missing the towers when I'm downtown I sometime think I will run over to the Borders bookstore that was at the base of WTc completely forgetting it is not there anymore.

Five years later I still remember everything about that day and I probably always will.

Comments on "I Rememeber 9/11"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:20 AM) : 

thank you for your recollections. I always wanted to hear first hand from a resident of New York what they went through. Our hearts are with you all today as you remember that horrible event. Take care.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:22 AM) : 

and as a dad, how did that all feel ? I feel like it was so much worse, as parents.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:27 AM) : 

May we all be happy. May we all be healthy. May we all live with ease. May we all be free of enemies, within and without. - Traditional Buddhist "Metta" or "Loving-kindness" prayer. JCH


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:30 AM) : 

september 11th is my birthday. in 2001 i was living in park slope on the top floor of a brownstone with a view of lower manhattan. i used to love the mornings in that apartment because the sun would hit the trade center towers and they would gleam gold, and in the evenings they would shimmer and reflect all of the colors of the setting sun. that particular morning i was standing at my kitchen window drinking a cup of coffee, enjoying the glorious blue, blue morning and the light show on the towers and thinking about how i would celebrate the anniversary of my birth when the first plane hit. i remember the frantic phone calls from loved ones around the country and the world wanting to make sure i was okay. but most of all what i remember is going down the street to the hospital to donate blood and being turned away because there was too much blood, plenty of blood and no one to claim it.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:35 AM) : 

from today's edition of

Riding the Elevator Into the Sky
By Anne Sexton (1975)

As the fireman said:
Don't book a room over the fifth floor
in any hotel in New York.
They have ladders that will reach further
but no one will climb them.
As the New York Times said:
The elevator always seeks out
the floor of the fire
and automatically opens
and won't shut.
These are the warnings
that you must forget
if you're climbing out of yourself.
If you're going to smash into the sky.

Many times I've gone past
the fifth floor,
cranking upward,
but only once
have I gone all the way up.
Sixtieth floor:
small plants and swans bending
into their grave.
Floor two hundred:
mountains with the patience of a cat,
silence wearing its sneakers.
Floor five hundred:
messages and letters centuries old,
birds to drink,
a kitchen of clouds.
Floor six thousand:
the stars,
skeletons on fire,
their arms singing.
And a key,
a very large key,
that opens something –
some useful door –
somewhere –
up there.


Blogger Francois said ... (9:58 AM) : 

We all "are on an island" now, hoping that something positive will come out of all of this. Thanks for sharing this with us.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:19 AM) : 

I remember being in LA on vacation and watching the events unfold on CNN. I remember being absolutely terrified until I was able to get back home to NYC the following week. If something like this could happen, then what next?


Blogger cd_mfo said ... (10:49 AM) : 

I remember 9/11 like it was yesterday too. It all seemed surreal, I couldn't fathom how a plane could crash into the World Trade Center. I live halfway across the world and have never been to NY, but i feel for its residents. It was one of the saddest days in history.


Blogger ageez said ... (10:51 AM) : 

scott, both yours and same dame's recollections brought tears to my eyes. i was living in arizona on 9/11 and everything seemed so surreal to us there. my heart goes out to all of you who lived through this personally and those who lost friends and loved ones on that terrible day.


Blogger ageez said ... (10:52 AM) : 

scott, both yours and same dame's recollections brought tears to my eyes. i was living in arizona on 9/11 and everything seemed so surreal to us there. my heart goes out to all of you who lived through this personally and those who lost friends and loved ones on that terrible day.


Blogger kiarella said ... (10:55 AM) : 

Yes Scott, we will never forget, On 9/11 I was on another island, Sardinia, it was a gorgeous day, around 3 pm local time I was listening to a demential radio station just to relax and they suddenly stopped telling jokes and very seriously described what tv stations around the world were airing, I had to run home and turn the tv on: everything felt so surreal, a catastrophic it was reality, I will never forgive myself for not being able to be there with my friends, support them and help. The towers, the people and Manhattan will always be in my heart.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:55 AM) : 

I was born in NY, but raised in LA. I've only been back for extended visits, but NY always feels like "home."

My wife and I had a trip planned to NY in Oct. 01. After 9/11, many told us not to go, but we felt we had to be there. It was hard seeing all of the damage and missing persons flyers.

I'll never forget seeing the attacks on t.v. and then seeing the damage first hand.

To those NY'rs who lived through it, our thoughts and prayers are with you. For all of us, we can never let our guard down again.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:57 AM) : 

I was working in Memphis with a colleague and remember turning to her and asking, "are we being attacked?" It was incomprehensible. Please know that we cried with you, we prayed for you we hoped for you and we still do. Remembering in Dallas...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:16 AM) : 

I remember the first time I went to the top of the Towers. I was living in NYC at the time, and it was a gorgeous clear autumn day, and I could see well into New Jersey. I remember thinking how proud I was to live there, how beautiful it was, how lucky & happy I felt to be able to say, "I'm a New Yorker."

I don't live in New York anymore, but there will always be a part of me that is a New Yorker. When I moved away, the Towers were still there. I'm not turning on the television today, because I don't want to watch them coming down again. I want to remember them as they were on that clear fall day, shining, humming with life, beautiful.

Peace to us all.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:33 AM) : 

How has your view on fashion changed since then? Is it as important to you now as it was before the terrible events on 9/11?
I was just wondering, because I've been feeling a little uneasy watching people parading around in their expensive clothing this fashion week, as if that was the only thing that mattered in the world. Maybe it's just the timing. I guess life goes on, huh?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:44 AM) : 

Thank you for that post. The personal touched me.

-from Canada


Blogger Claire said ... (11:52 AM) : 

Thank you for taking the time to share this with us. NYC has been in my thoughts all day today.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:46 PM) : 

I saw the towers in August 2001 for the first time and I still remember being awestruck. They were so beautiful, New York was so beautiful and now it seems something is missing. But, time will heal. Let's stay strong.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:01 PM) : 

Your words were really touching.
I'm from Brazil and, even living this far, I remember exactly everything of my morning that day. I just couldn't believe. I think it is time for us to ask what we've learned from that horrible event.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:23 PM) : 

i am avoiding the news today, still not wanting to see the events played out. but i still remember. thank you for giving me a chance to mourn and grieve without having to succumb to the media. this is the most meaningful recollection i will take away today. thank you


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:38 PM) : 

I worked there for 15 years , and to this day still get sick to my stomach each time I go down there . I can remember the horrible smell in the air and coughing from that poisonous dust , even months later.

I still have pictures of my family and I eating at Windows on The World and keep one on my desk as a memory ( somewhat amusing as I never cared about it before then ).

I too remember walking the streets and buying food and offering my co-workers the use of my apartment if they needed to stay overnight .

I lost 7 friends and think of them quite often .

We should all appreciate every moment we have with our family and friends and realise how lucky we are to live in this great city.

Give your kids , wife , husband , parents and friends a big hug and kiss today


Blogger Parisbreakfasts said ... (2:40 PM) : 

How quotidien it all sounds in a strange way - the guy with the yogart and fruit. The things you remember. I was online and a friend IM'd me from Detroit to tell me what was happening in my own town. I ran up to the roof and saw one building go down. The friend and I had met while day-trading online, so I'd taken trading classes on the 11th floor of Building #1 - totally out of my element, but what fun it was! I loved those buildings so much. Of course I knew that Borders, and so many other shops - it was a haven you could wander through. The WTC was NYC's touchstone. No matter where you looked downtown you saw it. I still can't accept that big empty space on the horizon..


Blogger Teri said ... (2:46 PM) : 

Lately, I have been crying a lot because there are a lot of readings about 9/11. Your personal writing really touched me. Thanks for sharing.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:53 PM) : 

Manhattan is an island...with how many bridges, tunnels and a very small rivers?


Blogger Elizabeth said ... (2:59 PM) : 

That was a very touching, very personal recollection. I wonder if it is a blessing or a burden to carry those memories with you. Thank you for sharing it.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:25 PM) : 

Thank you for taking time away from the normal content of your blog to share your 9/11 experience. It shows as much about your style as anything you might wear.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:41 PM) : 

" I was just wondering, because I've been feeling a little uneasy watching people parading around in their expensive clothing this fashion week, as if that was the only thing that mattered in the world " ....

I just wanted to reply to this post ... N.Y fashion week has always taken place around this time, well before 9/11 ... many of the people attending the shows, modelling in the shows, working in the shows, organising the parties etc.. live in N.Y ... Just because they're "parading around in their expensive clothing" doesn't make their memories of 9/11 any less real ...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:48 PM) : 

It is amazing that everyone has its own 9/11 story, and it always feels like yesterday; for me, those little stories are much more touching than any other 9/11 blockbuster movies.


Blogger 4chair said ... (9:08 PM) : 

a prayer everyday for everyone who has to live through war


Blogger Shopaholic D said ... (9:52 PM) : 

thanks for sharing...very interesting to hear the different stories people have for this tragedy.

i was in college and i remember my roommates waking me up to tell me that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I remember we sat in front of our tv's, legs crossed like children, watching to see why a plane would accidentally fly into such a large structure. I remember watching the second plane hit the other tower and thinking that something was terribly wrong but not knowing exactly what. I remember we sat there for what seemed like whatever, unable to turn away. I remember seeing the first tower crash down and thinking that it couldn't be possible. I remember we prayed the second tower would make it, but watched it go down as well. I remember the terrible feeling of helplessness and confusion and not knowing what would happen next. I remember the other college students were scared that colleges might be targeted next b/c colleges had many of the future leaders of the US and lots of them in one confined area. I suppose that last part sounds somewhat silly now, but that's just what I remember.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:49 PM) : 

till this day I still can't believe what my eyes saw that morning on tv. I was a high school student, and me and my friends were overwhelmed by, the now tangible fact of evilness in the world, which made us think about how far people would go for their own interests. my heart is with you and all the american country, whom, till this day, are still grieving their loving ones and the lifes of those who died in behalf of their people's country.


Blogger Rafe Totengco said ... (10:57 PM) : 

I remember we were heading out to do our Spring photoshoot the morning of September 11, and you're right, it was surreal when we realized what was happening. Fashion seemed so... inconsequential that day, that year even. But one lesson learned is that we can't take our lives for granted, and to be thankful that - even if it's for something as 'inconsequential' as fashion - we can live our lives doing what we love.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:01 PM) : 

I remember being woken up by my roomate, I was a student then and we were living in dorms. He had the TV turned on, and it was before the second plane had hit. I thought, briefly, that it was an accident. I remember still going to class, not that I thought it mattered, but because it was normal. I also knew others would be there and I remember thinking I just want to talk to other people, but why, what can be said? It was one of those days you knew that everyone's mind was singularly focused.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:54 AM) : 

Scott, thank you for your thoughts.
I remember looking out my apartment window in the West Village the night of Sept 10th, 2001 and seeing the glow of the Marc Jacobs after party out on a Hudson River pier. The pier was lit with infinite small lights. It was beautiful to see from afar. It was indeed fashion week. I was told the party was fantastic. Of course no one at that party knew it was the last time people could get together in one of the most wonderful places in the world and not have to worry about their safty and security. It had to be the last true party. Through the same window on the morning of the 11th I watched the most incomprehensible scene. But what also stands out, is the scene that so few witnessed. It occured on the morning of Sept 12th. All of downtown was in lockdown mode. No non residents were allowed. The West Village community, lined the West Side Highway and watched the endless caravans of every available truck and rescue vehicle go down to the WTC. In my mind, the might and resilliance that is America, has never had a finer day. Later that week life in the city resumed, almost as normal, I was determined, as my friends were to make living and having fun in a free society, in a great city, a mission. As big an effort and as surreal as it was, we went to the benefits, the theatre and the events that make NY great, most of which were not canceled.

As I look out my window right now I see the tower of lights, which were conceived and designed by two friends that I stood with on the West Side Highway on Sept 12th 2001. It's a powerful symbol to me that NY still thives, and the party, while not as carefree, still goes on, (and let's face it NY is a perpetual party) and with that said, Scott - go out there tomorrow and shoot some great NY fashion! I think you're a true NY ambassador.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:20 AM) : 

thank you so much for the post, sart. and the sexton poem posted by ptsd is beautiful...

i also remember the day's events, exactly. i worked in boston at the time. i was in the office at 8 that morning, unusually early for me. at 8:30, my mother called from the west coast - 5:30 am her time, she was up, watching the news, saw what was going on, called me. (one of the planes had left boston... so she was concerned.) it was totally weird to find out about it (and get our first bits of information about it) from someone so much further away from it than we were.

word spread quickly. we tried to get more info from news websites but they were flooded with requests and nothing was coming through. about half my co-workers were from our nyc office, so people started calling friends, calling the ny office. phone calls stopped going through, the lines were so busy. every other person in my office, it seemed, had a connection to someone who either worked in the towers, or could have been on one of the planes, or something. it was really scary for a while - one colleague's father worked at AON at the top of one of the towers; another colleague, new at our company, had worked in one of the towers until very recently, and was trying to get in touch with his former co-workers...

quite soon, our office shut down for the day. a few of us watched news coverage in the bar on the ground floor of our building; then we walked home down eerily empty streets, too afraid to take the subway. later that afternoon, going crazy in my apartment all by myself, i met up with a friend and we walked through harvard square, the nerve center of cambridge. again, the city was empty. many stores had closed for the day; the few that hadn't, we wandered into, and had lovely conversations with storeowners who we'd never met before, with whom we all of a sudden could be very intimate.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:48 AM) : 



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:32 AM) : 

I remember 9/11 I'm a med dr and i was on the operating room in an french hospital in the center of Paris. Somebody told me the fact..i stop all the procedures and went to my office to see the TV who give in direct the second crash...Iwas sad and i'm always sad...I'm an american in my heart...Martin webmaster of


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:50 AM) : 

Thanks for sharing your recollections of 9/11.

Even though I am living in Denmark, far away from the US, 9/11 it felt so close. Yesterday brought back that feeling.

Looking forward to go back to NY again some day. It's the most wonderful city, despite of 9/11.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:53 AM) : 

That was powerful, to hear from someone who was right in the middle of it.... I think everyone in the western world remembers exactly what they did when they first heard about this awful, awful happening... I do. But we didn't have to be in the middle of it.


Blogger MARIA H said ... (2:18 PM) : 

The american spirit will be celebrated in spite of that attack. Thanks for taking the time to commemorate our great loss and compassion.


Blogger O-Ren said ... (5:10 PM) : 

I remember sitting with my mouth open in the classroom during 2nd period Enriched Patterns, watching the towers crumble live on the very fuzzy television and pinching myself hard in the arm, hoping to wake from this impossible nightmare.

It's still so clear.

God bless you and your family!


Blogger Frida said ... (6:49 PM) : 

Although I live in Sweden and can not begin to understand how New Yorkers and Americans must feel, it was still so very sad and unreal when it happened. It still is. I too remember everything about that day, sitting infront of the tv for hours...just totally shocked. You never expect something like that to happen. I can't believe it's been five years already.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:48 AM) : 

" I was just wondering, because I've been feeling a little uneasy watching people parading around in their expensive clothing this fashion week, as if that was the only thing that mattered in the world " ....

I as well want to reply to this. If something has been going on for a while and it celebrates a passion, a vitality, a certain joie de vivre. Then I think it is even more important to keep on doing after the fact. You can't let an event, no matter how terrible, like 9/11 take that away. Otherwise you let them win.

May the many innocent victims of that day memory be a blessing.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:45 AM) : 

Truly moving


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:54 PM) : 

As already said, thanks for sharing this with us; I remember that day, far away from NY, as one of the most surreal, you could just breathe the air, walk on the streets, and felt something was wrong. What a sad day.


Blogger diuxi said ... (1:39 AM) : 

It is amazing how strongly that experience is emblazoned in our memories isn't it. I too watched the whole thing out my living room window and from my roof on what was one of the worst days of my life. I didn't panic and buy food, but I did try to donate blood. As a friend and I walked by the nearest hospital we saw signs that they did not need any more donations. There was a row of crisp white stretchers waiting for survivors who would never come.

I remember random calls getting through. My family telling me to leave and go upstate to my brother's house. I had never felt more love and pride for NYC and there was no way I was leaving my city behind. I live below 14th Street, so initially I had to show i.d. to get back home and the restaurants started running out of things because they couldn't get their deliveries. For awhile I only had one or two channels on my tv, as I don't have cable and most of the antennaes were on the towers. My heart broke as the city became haunted with the faces of the missing that were plastered everywhere. I anxiously listened for my neighbor who had not returned home. Every time I saw a friend my embrace was a little tighter and clung a little longer. It was a horrible time, all very surreal, a burning smell wafting into the apartment, jet fighters overhead. Yet, I think how little I actually suffered compared to those who lost loved ones or people who continually live with the violence of war.

I now work two blocks from Ground Zero and on 9/11 I decided to go by. It didn't take long for my eyes to well with tears and I had to leave. Watching the movies and footage, I still become overwhelmed. As I sat at my computer that night to post to my own site, a photo project documenting my clothes, I couldn't find any of the words that seem to flow easily now, just tears. Instead of posting pictures of the clothes I wore that day as I usually do, I just posted a picture of what I wore five years earlier and hoped that said it all. I remember.


Blogger Lillyma said ... (9:03 PM) : 

Thank you so much for that memoir and the same to the other commenters who were there.


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