The Douglas Kelley Show: a Manhattan TV show and list about art and receptions

Next Show Friday at Midnight on Channel 34 in Manhattan

 
 
Grief Party      
 

Manhattan Disaster Stories

 

 

Rebecca in NYC

Larry Warshaw

John Zeiman- NYC

Fred Reed LIC

Cary Hart NYC

 

Recieved 9.13.01

Rebecca in NYC

Hey friends,
First of all, I want to thank all of you guys who called and emailed so
concerned for my and Dottie's safety. We really felt so cared about. Thank
you!
As most of you know, we are both fine. But we do have quite a story to
tell. It kind of shakes me up every time I tell it, so though I apologize
for the impersonal mass email, this was really the best way for me to be able
to share it with all of you.
Tuesday started out as a gorgeous morning. Sunny, clear, and cool.
Dottie and I are now living in a sublet apartment in Midtown Manhattan until
October 1st.
I had been up for a little while when my mother called to tell me a plane
had crashed into the World Trade Center. We watched on tv in shock as the
second plane slammed into the World Trade Center.
We had half an hour to be at work and I asked Dottie if she wanted to
wander down that way to see if we could see anything. We left with the
intention of simply getting further downtown. But after walking a bit, we
decided it would be faster to take the subway for a few streets.
We intended to take a local train and get off around 14th street or so,
well enough away from the Towers. We thought we'd just see the towers on
fire.
In our haste though, we wound up on an express train by accident and it
passed all the stops we wanted to get off at. Finally, it arrived at
Chambers street. The train slowed to a stop. We jumped up to get off, but
the doors would not open. Then it slowly began to move forward once again,
leaving the station behind.
We were in the last car of the train and as we pulled forward, a person
in our car jumped, looked our the window behind us and exclaimed, "Look at
all the smoke!"
The people on the train were silent and we all exchanged worried looks as
we traveled through darkness into the unknown. Soon we arrived at the next
station, Park Place. The entire car exclaimed "Oh my God!"
To our horror, the ENTIRE station was filled with smoke. You could not
see the other track on the other side. The train did not stop but slowly
crept through.
We had no idea what was going on. Why all the smoke from something that
happened on the top floors of a building over 100 stories up?
No one knew what was going on.
Slowly we kept moving forward until we stopped. With no idea where we
were or what was going on. All I knew was there was smoke behind us and the
World Trade Center in front of us. And we were stuck on the subway.
We were really scared. I thought perhaps terrorists had indeed invaded
the city and they had bombed the subway system. I don't even know how long
we were stuck down there. Finally, there came an announcement for us to
calmly make our way to the front of the train.
Really great news for us in the last car. It took forever. And as we
finally did begin to move, each car got smokier and smokier. At the front,
there was a uniformed person held the door open for us and directed us up the
subway stairs.
I was beyond relieved to be out of there. I didn't care what happened
(at the moment) just that I was off the train.
We walked up the subway steps expecting to be let out in fresh air. But
that was not the case. The steps led up and into a building. Outside the
building, it looked like WWIII. The streets were absolutely empty and
completely grey.
People were gathered in this lobby having no idea what to do or where to
go. Behind us a guy who was on the subway let out a nervous laugh or
something. But a man who had apparently escaped from the WTC attacked him!
He was beating him until the guy fell to the floor, yelling, "You think
that's funny? I narrowly escaped with my life out of the there! I have
friends in there!" It was horrific and out of control, as the victim's
girlfriend tried in vain to get the guy off her boyfriend. And other people
tried to subdue the man.
I knew we had to get out somehow.
The lobby was filled with the smoke. People were handing out gobs of
toilet paper to hold over your mouth and nose. They wouldn't let us out on
the side of the building as the subway, but I saw people exiting the other
side of the building.
I led Dottie that way. A policeman stood outside. When I opened the
door, I can't believe what I saw.
It was like nothing I had ever seen. The entire city was grey. Ashes
rained from the sky, just like in Auschwitz (the Jewish concentration camp).
Piles of ashes carpeted the street. Like walking through a playground of
sand. The cars were blanketed in ash. It was like a nuclear bomb had hit.
And yet, perfectly quiet. Except for sounds of sirens in the distance.
I walked up to the cop and asked him where to go.
"Toward Seaport," he said.
"Which way is that?" I asked him.
"I don't know," he said, "I don't know where I am right now."
I looked both ways. He pointed behind him.
"This is the bad way," he said. "Parts of the building are falling down."
And just as he said that we heard it. It didn't sound like an explosion,
it sounded just like what it was. A giant piece of building falling from
above and crashing down on the street. And it sounded very close.
"There's another one," he said. "Just walk that way," the policeman
advised me.
Taking Dottie's hand, we just followed the rest of the confused crowd.
Summer had turned to winter all around us. Everyone was covered in the
ashes. We couldn't breathe and we couldn't see. The streets were very
quiet. All you could hear was the sirens. Tons of sirens.
We passed some men handing out masks. He ran out as we approached him,
so he found some gauze to give us. We continued to walk with no idea where
we were going. I saw one woman crying hysterically, stopping to be held by
the person who walked with her.
Only once was there a cop to direct us.
"No matter where you're going, you have to go this way to get there," he
said.
We kept looking at the smoke behind us, completely confused why we could
not see the towers of the World Trade Center and assumed it was hidden by the
thick black smoke.
Finally, we came to clearer air and blue sky. I turned to take some
pictured. We didn't take any in the thick of it because all we cared about
was getting out. We learned that there were no subways working, so we wound
up having to walk from there all the way back to Midtown (it took about two
hours).
The streets were chaotic. People covered in ashes, would come up to us
and start randomly telling us their stories of what they saw, including
people jumping out the windows to their deaths. As we walked by a pay phone,
two men were there almost ready to fight each other over it. Policemen
directed traffic at every intersection. On the streets, emergency vehicles
rushing from the scene looked like they themselves were on fire with all the
soot streaming off their roofs like smoke.
As we continued to walk down the streets, we came across several small
crowds all along the city who wrapped themselves around cars who had their
radios playing or store windows that had tvs, all along the streets. That is
how we learned just how large a scale this attack on America had been.
But it was not until we arrived in Times Square and joined the massive
crowd that had gathered on the sidewalk to watch the famous big screen tv and
saw the live coverage that we realized the Twin Towers were gone. We had
heard it hear and there, but never truly believed the giant buildings had
fallen until we saw it.
Comparing the times we looked at our watches and what we saw, we assume
the towers fell as we were underneath in the subway. We must have stepped
out onto the street just after the second building had fallen.
You have to understand, no one, including us, had any idea that the
buildings would fall!
I cannot believe the Twin Towers, which I have learned to call my own,
are gone from the magnificent New York skyline. I called them the king and
queen that guarded the city. And they have been completely destroyed.
As far as New York goes, everything was shut down from then on and today
as well. We arrived home on Tuesday our feet, clothes, and hair covered in
ashes. By Tuesday evening, Times Square had completely emptied out. It was
almost like a ghost town in a busy known for heavy traffic, both on the
sidewalks and on the streets. Cell phones and land phones were very
difficult to get through on, if at all.
I have been home from work both days. The mayor has asked for all of
Manhattan to remain at home if at all possible. Tonight we saw many
candlelight visuals on the street. Dump trucks full of debris travel the
streets as well as numerous emergency vehicles, sirens whirring.
I don't have to share with any of you my horror and sadness of this
situation. Tonight we unite as a country. We have all become victims. We
all are probably feeling the same thing right now. Life will never be the
same.
Also, I am sure that many of you may have friends or families who were
traumatized, hurt, or killed in this horrible disaster. My heart is with
you. My heart goes out to our entire country right now.
I just want you all to know that I love you all very much and you have
all been in my thoughts through out this whole situation. All we can do is
hang on and see what happens next.

Peace and love to you from the bottom of my soul,

Becca


 

Recieved 9.12.01

Larry Warshaw

I was standing at the corner of West B'way and Grand at 10:15AM, 9/11, right after Tower 2 South Tower collasped.This is only 12 twelveblocks away from the WTC. It was beyond belief to look up andsee Tower 1 with a deep black gash and fire buring inside andon the surface. I had binoculars and saw inside this gash seeingthe flames burning burning.

At 10:28 AM I was looking up at Tower 1, and in a state of shocksuddenly saw a tremendous explosion blow up in the skyof gray dust looking like a giant mushroom rising into thesky covering everything yet changing its shape in sharp detailin the visual sky, time froze for everyone, then immediately dropping like acoat falling off the wall one saw the entire rectangle silver structurefaint into nothing until it hit the ground and the billows of grey explodingdust seem to rush towards us. Time now seem to actually freeze andmy comprehension of what just happened seemed stamped into myconsciousness - the overwhelming sense of the magnitude, and detail of what just happened I will never forget. I had no feeling, no thoughts, no sense of emotional life.

Today the clouds still cover the entire downtown area, only there isa burnt odor everywhere in Soho; I actually had to leave my studiosince the smell was too strong to stay inside, and as you walk to Canalstreet the smoke is heavier and most people are wearing face masks.Youcannot go south of Canal Street. The cops that stop you are from New Jersey.

One has to face the fact that since 110 floors collasped one ontop of another within seconds, the people who were working onthese floors would be pulverized by the great pressure of the immensedweight, and now the dust that covers cars and peopleand moves through the airare in fact the particles of their human remains.The dust is the only footprint left of these human lives.

This is be one reason why so few bodies have been found so far. There may have been over 20, 000 people working in both buildings.

You cannot imagine how much dust particles cover the streetsof lower Manhattan, and move thru the air in the silence ofwarm brightly lit day, and horrible moment in time, this dust is aliving memorial to those we shall never see again.


 

John Zeiman- NYC

 

living 3 blocks from the WTC, as I do, I was astonished by the loud proximity of the first crash, and went down to the street in time to see the second fireball plane exploding. I went up to get ready to get out, and the worst sound effect of all, a huge explosion approaching my house, shaking like an earthquake on a train toward me, and then a black cloud of dust blocked all the sunlight, I was plunged into the nuclear winter of burning soot and ash and toxic fumes, and lost sight of everything. I thought for sure I was going to die, and when the smoke cleared a bit, there were people running everywhere in terror, and the street was covered in an inch of white ash dust with office papers mixed in. Then the second tower collapsed, the horror explosion, and again the black

cloud covered with pitch darkness. I got my cat out and got in my car, we're sitting here in my office, there's a golden plume in the southern distance, but its a beautiful day to be alive...


 

Fred Reed LIC

 

9/11/01 - I'm in a bit of a jumble ... got a bit of the shakes, don't know
how to begin describing it but I guess I'll jump right in. I was up at 8AM
this morning, made breakfast and was doing some paperwork before leaving for
a dental appointment at 10AM. Around 9AM I started to hear a lot of sirens,
even more than usual. I started to get really irritated and looked out my
window but didn't see anything, longing for the peace of the Maine woods I'd
just returned from. Then Richard Khuzami called, a musical collaborator and
friend of mine who told me to turn on the TV. I climbed to the roof from my
fire escape instead, where I had a clear view of Manhattan from the WTC to
the 59th street bridge. I saw one of the towers clearly, the south one being
obscured by smoke. Just after I got to the roof a huge cloud of debris
spouted from the sides of the south tower and then blew across the south and
east of Manhattan. I realized with horror that the tower had collapsed and
that I had witnessed the deaths of hundreds, possibly thousands of people. I
watched closely with binoculars as smoke and flames billowed from the 2nd
tower. I was wondering why they weren't trying to evacuate the 2nd tower by
helicopters from the roof when it collapsed also. I still can't get over what
I witnessed and the sickness of the minds that must have planned this. I
climbed back down my fire escape and banged on my neighbor Gordon's door with
a sick feeling in my stomach. I've played with him and known him for over 20
years and he develops software for large corporations right at the WTC. I'm
wondering how many other people I know that might have been there on business
or been unlucky enough to have been traveling in the vicinity. Rumors galore
are running rampant in the city, and the bridges and subways are shut down,
no traffic being allowed into the city. Millions are now walking out of the
city and over the 59 street bridge, trying to get to their homes. I just got
thru to Gordon and he's fine but pretty shaken up after having witnessed the
second plane crashing into the WTC from across the street. He couldn't
believe how many people were coming downtown to watch before the towers
collapsed as he fled the vicinity. The phones are screwed up right now (I've
been able to reach people inside the city but not outside), so I hope
everyone will get this E-mail. OK, that's all for now..... I'm sure there
will be more later. Fred

9/12/01 The remains of the
towers are still burning, still visable from my building...... meanwhile
almost everyone I know is out of work for a while. The phones are working
fine now, but it's going tto take me awhile to catch up with everyone and I
don't know when I'll be working again myself. I'm trying to volunteer for one
of the rescue/cleanup crews, but pandemonium reigns............ I might work
with one of Cary Hart's crews....... his E-mails are quoted and included
below. Thanks to everyone who tried to call or E-mail me, I'm fine, but a
lot of people I know aren't. Yours, Fred


Cary Hart NYC

 

I am OK, I was standing on Thomas street 8 blocks north on Broadway. I
heard the first air craft go over my head and slam into tower #2, I fucking
couldn't believe it, 5 minutes later while watching I saw the second
aircraft explode into tower 1, bodies jumping, the inside were an inferno,
the steel was so hot it was arcing, they had no choice. Then the second
tower crashed, crumpled like a skeleton that had its skin ripped off. it
was the most horrible thing I have ever witnessed. I walk north 6 blocks to
my office which looks at the tower from the 7th floor, we were watching and
then the second tower collapsed. I think every emergency personal in the
city was there and was killed. Friends are missing. Buildings are still
burning, F16 fighter jets are flying over. You would not believe what has
happened here. There must be 5000 or more dead at least. horrible. I
will stay in touch. I hope that this country as a people make the right
decision about this terrorist attack.

ATB
Cary

Our crews and people are ok. We are

a couple of blocks away waiting to be
called into to do search and rescue or what ever else they may need us to
do. The area is still burning. My offices are on the 7th floor with a clear
sight to the south. Nothing left. I was on the west side highway and saw a
caravan of 50 ambulances, no sirens, only flashing lights heading north to
hospitals. Triage centers are set up all over the place, but I heard they
have only found 10 people alive since last night. People are calling from
their cell phones in the lower basement levels, they can't get to them,
highly unstable structurally. The Marriott hotel adjacent to the site is
breached by fire and may collapse. I was with a group of engineers from
Turner & HRH construction and the assessment was not good. Heavy equipment
can't be used too far into the site. Underground structures are breached
and every effort to move them in discloses another breached holiday beneath.
It is incredible frustrating with everyone wanting to get in and help find
people, but though the area is much better organized today it is still
logistically hazardous. I fear anyone who were in the buildings when they
collapsed are lost. The fire and police rescue teams were in tears this
morning when it became clear in the light of the day what remained. I will
keep you posted as soon as I hear or see anything more.

ATB

 

Our crews and people are ok. We are a couple of blocks away waiting to be
called into to do search and rescue or what ever else they may need us to
do. The area is still burning. My offices are on the 7th floor with a clear
sight to the south. Nothing left. I was on the west side highway and saw a
caravan of 50 ambulances, no sirens, only flashing lights heading north to
hospitals. Triage centers are set up all over the place, but I heard they
have only found 10 people alive since last night. People are calling from
their cell phones in the lower basement levels, they can't get to them,
highly unstable structurally. The Marriott hotel adjacent to the site is
breached by fire and may collapse. I was with a group of engineers from
Turner & HRH construction and the assessment was not good. Heavy equipment
can't be used too far into the site. Underground structures are breached
and every effort to move them in discloses another breached holiday beneath.
It is incredible frustrating with everyone wanting to get in and help find
people, but though the area is much better organized today it is still
logistically hazardous. I fear anyone who were in the buildings when they
collapsed are lost. The fire and police rescue teams were in tears this
morning when it became clear in the light of the day what remained. I will
keep you posted as soon as I hear or see anything more.

ATB

Cary

I am OK, I was standing on Thomas street 8 blocks north on Broadway. I
heard the first air craft go over my head and slam into tower #2, I fucking
couldn't believe it, 5 minutes later while watching I saw the second
aircraft explode into tower 1, bodies jumping, the inside were an inferno,
the steel was so hot it was arcing, they had no choice. Then the second
tower crashed, crumpled like a skeleton that had its skin ripped off. it
was the most horrible thing I have ever witnessed. I walk north 6 blocks to
my office which looks at the tower from the 7th floor, we were watching and
then the second tower collapsed. I think every emergency personal in the
city was there and was killed. Friends are missing. Buildings are still
burning, F16 fighter jets are flying over. You would not believe what has
happened here. There must be 5000 or more dead at least. horrible. I
will stay in touch. I hope that this country as a people make the right
decision about this terrorist attack.

ATB
Cary

Our crews and people are ok. We are

a couple of blocks away waiting to be
called into to do search and rescue or what ever else they may need us to
do. The area is still burning. My offices are on the 7th floor with a clear
sight to the south. Nothing left. I was on the west side highway and saw a
caravan of 50 ambulances, no sirens, only flashing lights heading north to
hospitals. Triage centers are set up all over the place, but I heard they
have only found 10 people alive since last night. People are calling from
their cell phones in the lower basement levels, they can't get to them,
highly unstable structurally. The Marriott hotel adjacent to the site is
breached by fire and may collapse. I was with a group of engineers from
Turner & HRH construction and the assessment was not good. Heavy equipment
can't be used too far into the site. Underground structures are breached
and every effort to move them in discloses another breached holiday beneath.
It is incredible frustrating with everyone wanting to get in and help find
people, but though the area is much better organized today it is still
logistically hazardous. I fear anyone who were in the buildings when they
collapsed are lost. The fire and police rescue teams were in tears this
morning when it became clear in the light of the day what remained. I will
keep you posted as soon as I hear or see anything more.

Cary


 

 

   
 

 

 

 

© 2001 Douglas Kelley