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CNHI Special Projects

August 25, 2011

10 years after 9/11, New York residents reflect

Life in city has been forever changed

NEW YORK — Ten years after 9/11, New York residents reflect on the tragic events of the day – and how life in the city has been forever altered.

IVAN RUBENSTEIN-GILLIS, 39

Midwood, Brooklyn -- Musician

What are your memories of Sept. 11?

I drove upstate early on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, to do some recording in the country. I remember that it was one of the most beautiful days I have ever seen — a crisp clarity of light you could see for miles. When I arrived in Ulster County, I received a call to turn on the news. Two hours away from my apartment on 14th Street and 7th Avenue, my friend and I stared at the televised horror, transfixed.

How have things changed since then?

Well, in some ways, everything's changed, I think, about American culture, generally, more than just NYC. But New Yorkers are, true to their reputation, pretty gritty and resilient. I don't think things are very different.


ISAAC MADDOW-ZIMET, 23

Williamsburg, Brooklyn -- Research Scientist

What memories do you have of Sept. 11?

I was a freshman at Stuyvesant High School, downtown, so I was about a week or two into school on Sept. 11. We were sitting in Spanish class when the planes hit, and [we] saw the second one collide into the tower, just a few blocks away, out of our classroom window. Our school was turned into a triage center [and] we were evacuated by Secret Service agents about an hour or two after the first plane hit. I remember turning back as I left the school and seeing this huge plume of smoke suddenly come up. It wasn't until I got home that I realized it was the north tower collapsing.

How has the city changed since that day?

I'm not sure it has, quite honestly. If anything, maybe I think that there's a sense, among New Yorkers, that only another New Yorker can relate to what that day was like — that it was a certain kind of communal experience, that changed us, and changed the city but not necessarily in a clear-cut way.

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