On September 11, 2001, I went to work at 32 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10013-2473. I got there on time or just before, went in and set up my laptop then checked conditions on the floor. Nothing much happening at first, I was in the office checking out things online at the laptop on the north side of the building when the first plane hit. I was going somewhere (cannot remember where now) passing by some contractors who, instead of working, were staring out windows facing south. When I asked them what was happening, they told me about the plane hitting the tower, the first one, and I went to the window to see what they meant.
I saw the remains of the hit, the debris falling, the huge hole in the tower itself. I stood there staring because I had never seen anything like it outside of a TV or movie presentation. I went back into the office where I was on a forum and saw some mentions of it, began communicating with people about it. Soon after my boss and the other employee, and engineer, who worked there came in, they were coming out of the World Trade Center about when it happened mentioning having to avoid debris and people, I think they walked up from there to the site.
Then the other plane hit the other tower. There were a few times I watched the aftereffects of that. I recall one time saying, “Look at all that debris coming down,” that is true a lot of wreckage, paperwork, etc. fell towards the ground. However in response one of the contractors said, “No, those are bodies,” and this was also at times true. My boss and the engineer were nervous, both were in phone contact with people and neither could get their computers to connect to the outside world. Strangely, I never lost my connection, to this day I still do not know why my computer was able to maintain the connection it had while others lost theirs. Both of them had to borrow my computer to do anything.
First one then the other tower fell and all we could do was watch. There was a part of me that wished I could do something but I am sure the bosses would have forbid it, maybe even fired me over it. After a while a decision came down from someone that both my boss and the engineer could leave due to the events that happened. I can only guess that thanks to being low man in rank in the corporate structure, I was required to stay until the usual close of business day to keep some kind of normalcy.
When I finally did leave at the usual hour, I could not take the usual path back to the Staten Island Ferry at the southern tip of Manhattan. Everyone got directed towards the East River bridges. I followed the sea of people along Canal Street towards the Manhattan Bridge, it was unusual to see so few cars in the street and large masses of people that made driving a pain because they flooded the street. When I got near the bridge, I remember someone, I think it was a police officer, telling me there was still some type of boat service between Staten Island and Manhattan, I was limited to going south along the eastern side is all.
So I went through the Two Bridges neighborhood then along street level to the FDR drive. As I passed some streets between the Brooklyn Bridge and the southern tip, I would look west and after about a block I could not see down the streets because of the thick smoke that hung in the air. I got near the ferry terminal but heard the SI Ferry was out of service however they had various boats pulling into a dock nearby across from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza where the helicopters usually landed. I was directed on the dock and wound up on a tugboat, I had never been on one before this day. Myself and a small group of people were allowed for safety reasons then the tug pulled out towards Staten Island.
We crossed New York Harbor and I could only stare back. I was unused to the fact that there was a space in the skyline where two towers used to be. I had hoped anyone I used to know who worked at the commodities exchanges where I used to work was OK. This was the first time I really had time to let this sink in on all levels I could imagine.
This is probably a boring story but it is all I have. Tomorrow I will start writing about my day after story along with some pictures I have regarding my travel into Manhattan on September 12 & 13.