So I WAS in Manhattan that day, but I was far from World Trade Center. I was in college, just started my final year at Fordham University in Lincoln Center (Google map it, you'll see, pretty far away). At this time I would have a night class on Monday night and a morning class on Tuesday mornings so I would crash at my friend's dorm room since I lived on Staten Island and it's a long commute. I remember that Monday morning on my ferry ride into Manhattan (which affords an AMAZING view of Manhattan), it was very foggy and the twin towers looked so cool because the fog made the tops of them disappear. I distinctly remember wishing I had had my camera because it was such a cool image. Ugh. I hate now especially hate that I didn't have my camera.
So Monday goes as normal and Tuesday morning I woke up a little earlier than usual, so I went to the school library to go online before class. My class was at 10AM, so I probably only got up around 9. Everyone in my friend's dorm was still asleep so I had no idea yet what happened. When I signed on to AIM, my friend immediately IMs me that two planes hit the towers. We went back and forth a few times while I thought he was just fucking with me. I seriously thought he was lying until I looked it up. I spent my remaining few minutes there with him messaging me everything he was seeing on the television before I went to class. The whole thing was swimming in my head, something completely unbelievable. Then I realised my mother worked right by there! As a kid I would go with her to visit her office sometimes and walk around that neighborhood at lunchtime looking up at the towers They made me dizzy because they were so tall and they looked like they would fall over. I'll never forget that.
So once I realised my mother was so close, I started frantically trying to call her to no avail. I could see everyone in the halls also trying to call others or talking with wide eyes. We were all waiting for the "classes are cancelled" announcements, but it didn't come right away, so we went to class. I remember my morning class was philosophy because I HATED that class and the teacher that I had. I remember being infuriated with him because the class was all riled up and he told us to stop and pay attention, that we were far away from the towers and were not in any danger. Seriously? Ugh.
The announcement came about 10 minutes later, though, and we ran outside and continued our frantic calls. I still could not get through to my mom so I finally called my dad and had also not heard from her yet. I didn't know what to do so I just went back to my friend's dorm room. Normally, you have to have someone come down and check you in to bring people in, but they just abandoned that and I just went right up to her room. We spent the rest of the day up there watching everything on television, huddled together under a blanket, sometimes crying, with me periodically trying to get through to my mom. I can't remember when I did, but I did and she was fine, but she was being told to stay in her building because of all smoke and ash and stuff. You know, I don't really remember much after that. Once I knew my mom was safe, I guess I kinda just checked out. Oh, I think I remember my friend putting on Spongebob to distract us, but we kept putting the news back on.
I'm pretty sure my mom made it home ok that night, I don't think she had to stay in her building over night. But there was no way for me to get downtown to the ferry because I couldn't get past the Trade Center. So I stayed over again. I remember being so desperate to just be back home and everything be normal. I remember walking to the train and spazzing out because it wasn't running downtown or something, calling my parents crying and just like "I WANT TO COME HOME!" So I took the train to Brooklyn instead and my parents were able to drive there and pick me up.
I know I don't have like the most terrifying story, I wasn't close enough to actually see anything and I (THANKFULLY) didn't lose anyone. But man was that scary. Especially because my mom was so close. I'm so lucky that I was around close friends and that my family was safe and that I was safe. Unfortunately it was no so for everyone. This was a fucked up thing that happened to us by some fucked up people. I just hate how some people use it to justify treating certain other people like shit. Don't let it do that to you and don't accept it when you see or hear others doing it.
I'll just end this by saying I absolutely LOVE this city. It's got is dirty, dark side that isn't so great, but there are so many wonderful things and wonderful people here, there's no other place I'd rather live. I'm lucky to have been born and raised here and I wouldn't have it any other way. Now I really wish the bureaucrats would get off their asses and rebuild Ground Zero!!!! (Personally, I think we should rebuild the towers exactly as they were. I thought it then and I think it now. Nothing would prove our strength more than that.)