Sunday, September 10, 2006

New York City's 9/11 Recovery: Strong but Fearful

Today's Los Angeles Times has a compelling front-page article -- both riveting yet sad -- on New York City's recovery from 9/11. The lives of New Yorkers are mostly back to normal, though inexplicable traffic jams or staccato burst of fireworks quickly rekindle lingering, subliminal fears of life in the city:

In the five years since the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center — when hijackers flew two planes into the twin towers, killing more than 2,700 people — New York has made a stirring recovery. Lower Manhattan shows signs of economic renewal and is once again a trendy place to dine; real estate values citywide have soared; the stock market has strengthened; new construction is booming; the overall crime rate is down; ticket sales on Broadway have hit an all-time high; and tourists are flooding the city in record numbers.

To an outsider, New York seems to have regained its cocky edge. But many New Yorkers concede that there is a lingering anxiety underneath their public bravado — a hair-trigger fear grounded in the memory of Sept. 11 that can erupt at any time. And this fear, many say, may be the long-term legacy of the terrorist attack on New York.
It's a lengthy article, but entirely worth a good read. The story notes that life in the city is like living on the edge -- emotionally and strategically (as residents live with routine worry of another assault) -- and despite calls from outsiders for New Yorkers to move on, there's no existence in the metropolis without some kind of reminder of the attacks, whether that be in the diminished skyline or in the rebuilding of Ground Zero.

My heart goes out to the city's residents. I haven't been to the city since I was a kid, but I'm planning a family vacation to the East Coast for next summer.

Be sure to look at the article's photo slide show, "
New York and 9/11: Five Years Later."

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