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9/11


KD in CA
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I've never written any of this down, so today seems like a good day to do it.

 

At the time I worked for a small software company on Park Place, on the block between City Hall and Church Street, two blocks north of the WTC plaza.  We had a board meeting scheduled for that morning so I was in earlier than usual to finish up the slides for the meeting.  Sitting at my desk, I heard the first plane roaring past.  Had I looked up and out my window to the west I would have seen it.  In the split second I thought ‘why is that plane flying so low over the city’, it hit.  I don’t know if I actually felt a shock wave, but that was my impression as I absorbed the incredible sound of the crash and explosion.  It was obvious to everyone in the office a plane had crashed, but it wasn’t until we ran to the corner conference room, where we had a clear view of the north tower that we understood where.  The size and scope of the destruction was obvious and we knew that hundreds were already dead.  To me it was pretty clear it was no accident.

 

After a few minutes I went back to my office, shot off an email suggesting we postpone the board meeting.  Someone told me people were jumping so I didn’t go back to watch that.  Moments later I heard the second plane approaching and knew what was coming.  By now people were freaking out.  One of the co-founders and I got our boss on the phone who was driving in from NJ, told him to turn around and turn on the news.  We told everyone to evacuate.

 

I got out on the street, tried to make a call but cell lines were all jammed.  I walked through City Hall Park and was struck by how many people were already on the streets just staring at the infernos.  I recall briefly thinking about walking toward the WTC to better see the scope of what had happened, but realized they would shut down the city and I wanted to get out before that happened.  So I kept moving to the City Hall subway station and got on a 4-5 train uptown.  Subways were still running normally, just the usual sparse post-rush hour crowd (it was ~9:20).   I got up to GCT and to the platform for the 10:07 out to CT.  By the time the train came into the station there was a big crowd waiting to board it.  We piled on and got out of there.  I spent the rest of the day at an outdoor bar with a buddy drinking and smoking butts (I don’t smoke) and not watching TV.

 

Like most businesses, the only place we had contact info for our employees was in the office and on our local machines.  We stored our backup server tapes at the Citibank vault at the end of the block, so we were pretty much dead in the water from a work perspective.  It took three days just to track down all our 50 employees to make sure everyone was safe.

 

The following Monday, five of us met up and went back downtown to try to get into the office.  They had the whole area sealed off, below Chambers street and west of Center Street.  There were crowds of people around.  Somewhere around Fulton Street we managed to talk our way past some bored National Guard kid who was manning the barricade on the corner.  I recall how surreal it was walking up Broadway -- no one there, no noise, just the blanket of dust covering everything.   A cop almost chased us out, but by then we were almost to our building so he let us go.  Our building super was there and took us up on the freight elevator.  He told us stories from other nearby building supers of finding parts of the plane, partial bodies, etc.  My office, which faced north (away from the towers) and 15 stories up, was covered in dust as my window was open about a foot, so that gave me some idea of the size of the dust cloud.   We loaded up all the servers and some PCs on a big cart and rolled it up Broadway to Chambers where we found a taxi.  Over the next two weeks we set up two separate offices in little spaces in midtown.  One was completely raw;  we had to set it up from scratch;  wiring, cordless phones, I found some free desks/chairs, etc.

 

They opened the Park Place block at the end of October but we didn’t go back until mid-December, and even then it felt weird.  The whole area was a giant, dirty construction zone for years.

 

1479921570_WTCmarks2.jpg.cfe66bb9fa27b474b6b3b9d62d9ef614.jpg

 

Red:  Woolworth Building that you see in many pictures of the area.  Once the tallest building in the world
Blue:  Conference room in our office
Yellow:  Corporate apt where I stayed a few nights a month;  would walk through the WTC plaza to work
Purple:  2 Rector St.  Where we moved the office in 2003

Edited by KD in CA
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3 hours ago, KD in CA said:

I've never written any of this down, so today seems like a good day to do it.

 

At the time I worked for a small software company on Park Place, on the block between City Hall and Church Street, two blocks north of the WTC plaza.  We had a board meeting scheduled for that morning so I was in earlier than usual to finish up the slides for the meeting.  Sitting at my desk, I heard the first plane roaring past.  Had I looked up and out my window to the west I would have seen it.  In the split second I thought ‘why is that plane flying so low over the city’, it hit.  I don’t know if I actually felt a shock wave, but that was my impression as I absorbed the incredible sound of the crash and explosion.  It was obvious to everyone in the office a plane had crashed, but it wasn’t until we ran to the corner conference room, where we had a clear view of the north tower that we understood where.  The size and scope of the destruction was obvious and we knew that hundreds were already dead.  To me it was pretty clear it was no accident.

 

After a few minutes I went back to my office, shot off an email suggesting we postpone the board meeting.  Someone told me people were jumping so I didn’t go back to watch that.  Moments later I heard the second plane approaching and knew what was coming.  By now people were freaking out.  One of the co-founders and I got our boss on the phone who was driving in from NJ, told him to turn around and turn on the news.  We told everyone to evacuate.

 

I got out on the street, tried to make a call but cell lines were all jammed.  I walked through City Hall Park and was struck by how many people were already on the streets just staring at the infernos.  I recall briefly thinking about walking toward the WTC to better see the scope of what had happened, but realized they would shut down the city and I wanted to get out before that happened.  So I kept moving to the City Hall subway station and got on a 4-5 train uptown.  Subways were still running normally, just the usual sparse post-rush hour crowd (it was ~9:20).   I got up to GCT and to the platform for the 10:07 out to CT.  By the time the train came into the station there was a big crowd waiting to board it.  We piled on and got out of there.  I spent the rest of the day at an outdoor bar with a buddy drinking and smoking butts (I don’t smoke) and not watching TV.

 

Like most businesses, the only place we had contact info for our employees was in the office and on our local machines.  We stored our backup server tapes at the Citibank vault at the end of the block, so we were pretty much dead in the water from a work perspective.  It took three days just to track down all our 50 employees to make sure everyone was safe.

 

The following Monday, five of us met up and went back downtown to try to get into the office.  They had the whole area sealed off, below Chambers street and west of Center Street.  There were crowds of people around.  Somewhere around Fulton Street we managed to talk our way past some bored National Guard kid who was manning the barricade on the corner.  I recall how surreal it was walking up Broadway -- no one there, no noise, just the blanket of dust covering everything.   A cop almost chased us out, but by then we were almost to our building so he let us go.  Our building super was there and took us up on the freight elevator.  He told us stories from other nearby building supers of finding parts of the plane, partial bodies, etc.  My office, which faced north (away from the towers) and 15 stories up, was covered in dust as my window was open about a foot, so that gave me some idea of the size of the dust cloud.   We loaded up all the servers and some PCs on a big cart and rolled it up Broadway to Chambers where we found a taxi.  Over the next two weeks we set up two separate offices in little spaces in midtown.  One was completely raw;  we had to set it up from scratch;  wiring, cordless phones, I found some free desks/chairs, etc.

 

They opened the Park Place block at the end of October but we didn’t go back until mid-December, and even then it felt weird.  The whole area was a giant, dirty construction zone for years.

 

1479921570_WTCmarks2.jpg.cfe66bb9fa27b474b6b3b9d62d9ef614.jpg

 

Red:  Woolworth Building that you see in many pictures of the area.  Once the tallest building in the world
Blue:  Conference room in our office
Yellow:  Corporate apt where I stayed a few nights a month;  would walk through the WTC plaza to work
Purple:  2 Rector St.  Where we moved the office in 2003


:hug:



I didn't know him then, but my husband has told me the story of how he was on the subway train when the planes hit. They let every one off and he walked home from the stop in Tribeca that day (he lived on the upper west side at the time).  His office had once been at WTC, but had moved a few years prior.  I know he knew people who worked there still, but I have never asked if he knew anyone at the Twin Towers, and he has not volunteered that information. I think everyone has a different coping mechanism after what happened. His is not to discuss that day except in generalities. 



 

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3 hours ago, Ann said:


:hug:

I didn't know him then, but my husband has told me the story of how he was on the train when the planes hit. They let every one off and he walked home from the stop in Tribeca that day (he lived on the upper west side at the time).  His office had once been at WTC, but had moved a few years prior.  I know he knew people who worked there still, but I have never asked if he knew anyone at the Twin Towers, and he has not volunteered that information. I think everyone has a different coping mechanism after what happened. His is not to discuss that day except in generalities. 

 

Yup;  I was pretty shaken up for a few months afterward.  Didn't talk about it a whole lot.

 

If he worked in the building, than he probably knew people who didn't make it.  😞

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Bills game saved me 🙂 because we drove back late Monday and I took Tuesday off.   My usual PATH train pulled into WTC at about 8:35, so I would have either been getting out when the first plane hit or on the train that was stopped in the tunnel and turned back to Jersey City.

 

We were back to work in about a week, and I remember the war zone feel all over downtown and the diesel smell everywhere that overpowered the smoke at Ground Zero.    Ten years later, I developed a weird breathing ailment that no one has been able to diagnose.

 

Today I thought of an old poster from ATOP who seems to have disappeared.  The local station is playing 9/11 memoriam songs, and one of the best, but saddest is the Mark Knopfler - Emmylou Harris collaboration on If This is Goodbye.  Song was written from a perspective of the husband making his last call to the wife from the tower.  Never fails to bring a tear to my eye.

 

Here's to OTGEleven, wherever he is.

 

 

 

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I posted this ATOP last week.

 

Lived in the SF area. My alarm clock went off at 6 AM and the first thing I hear is a plane hut the WTC. No details. They thought maybe a cessna.  I immediately walk in the living rom and turn on the TV. Maybe 5-10 seconds later the second plane hit. Was standing in my BVDs saying "Holy F'n S for about 5 minutes.  Watched as both came dpwn and made my way to work about 8:30 AM.  Of course everybody is in and out of the lunchroom all day. At around noon, a co-worker comes in and says"look what I found in my desk". 

We had a branch in Jersey and he would travel back and forth a lot, He would get tickets for two or three days around  the expected date of coming back and then turn in the unused used ones for a refund or credit. The tickets were the blue computer cards then  and he shows us one for flight 93 for that day. He had got done early and flew back the evening before. He could have been on that flight and was one of those empty seats on that flight.

Two people on flight 93 were  from the SF area.  

I remember going to the WTC in Sept 1991. I looked for my pictures and found them. My Kodak put the date on the photos. I had visited it on 9/10/91

 

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6 minutes ago, Wacka said:

 

 

 

I remember going to the WTC in Sept 1991. I looked for my pictures and found them. My Kodak put the date on the photos. I had visited it on 9/10/91

 

 

My whole family was in New York and we all went up to the top of the Tower on 9/10/2000

 

Not really important, but it makes you think about how fragile our situations are.

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13 hours ago, B-Man said:

 

My whole family was in New York and we all went up to the top of the Tower on 9/10/2000

 

Not really important, but it makes you think about how fragile our situations are.

 

I was up there in late May, 2001.  Took 360-degree panoramic shot with my camera.

 

Always wondered if those would be worth something now, as it's a view of NYC that no longer exists.  

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