New York, New York

In the Wake of the Attacks on the WTC, Mayor Giuliani Has Urged New Yorkers to Resume Their Normal Lives. What’s Normal Now?

SIMONE SHUBUCK
Age 31
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Artist

What are you doing to get back to your normal life? I have two responses right now. One is to be fully in the event, and the other is to block it out. I have been drawing a lot.

Are you afraid to fly? Kind of. In terms of airport security, I have traveled with tools that I work with, but I've had to give them to the pilot before the plane took off.

Do you think New York will ever be the same? I'm afraid that a lot of people will go back to their sleepy realities. I'm afraid that we are not going to wake up until we experience a couple more tragedies. As a country we've been so charmed.


IHEOMA ONYEIJE
Age 32
Resides Brooklyn
Occupation Designer

What are you doing to get back to your normal life? I went to church on Sunday, which is a rare thing for me. I am a little nervous about all the flag-wagging. I don't think it's unpatriotic not to want to go to war. I feel a little sorry for Bush. I think he knows he's in over his head.

Are you afraid to fly? If I am, it's less to do with flying than with security measures.

Do you think New York will ever be the same? It will be a while. Last week the guy on the corner was selling incense. Now he's selling American flags. On the other hand, on the day of the attack, a guy handed out free sneakers to the women walking home across the Brooklyn Bridge in heels.


LOUIS EDWARDS
Age 44
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Technology director

What are you doing to get back to your normal life? I live two blocks from the site. We just got water and electricity a day ago. My wife worked in 7 World Trade Center and was still in the building when the second plane hit. They told her it was safer inside than out. I told her to just get out.

Are you afraid to fly? No, not at this point.

Do you think New York will ever be the same? I don't know. I wish they would stop using the words Islamic and terrorist in the same sentence. It sends a bad message.


FREDRICA GRANT
Age 21
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Student

What are you doing to get back to your normal life? It's too soon to get back to normal. They've blown up a part of our city.

Are you afraid to fly? I'm scared of heights, so I don't fly.

Do you think New York will ever be the same? No. We're all in a big depression. They can't rebuild the towers because they'll be targeted again. You'd never look at anything on that site without thinking September 11, 2001. I want Bush to wipe them off the face of the earth.


MEL MCCLELLAND
Age 32
Resides Brooklyn
Occupation Singer

What are you doing to get back to your normal life? The attack came at a critical time for me. I was trying to get a job and had a certain momentum going. Now I can feel that people are walking around depressed and edgy.

Are you afraid to fly? Yes. First it was Aaliyah, and now this.

Do you think New York will ever be the same? I don't know. You find yourself raising an eyebrow at people just because of the way they look. You see an Arab New Yorker and you think, "Is that man nice, or is he secretly glad this happened?" I'm afraid there are going to be more race issues. We're not innocent in all this. We trained these people in Afghanistan.


JOHNNY WONG
Age 20
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Student

What are you doing to get back to your normal life? I'm going back to class. I'm not nervous. My father has a business on Canal Street that was closed for a week. He has definitely suffered.

Are you afraid to fly? No. I was never afraid to fly and I'm not now.

Do you think New York will ever be the same? No. And I think we're going to feel shock waves that we haven't even begun to feel yet.


JERRY DIGBY
Age 26
Resides Brooklyn
Occupation Computer animator

What are you doing to get back to your normal life? When I'm at home, I'm glued to the TV and I sleep with the news on, but I have been going out to eat and shop. This week I went to Apocalypse Now Redux but I walked out. I wasn't in the mood for something that serious. Then I went to American Pie 2. I needed a laugh.

Are you afraid to fly? I've never really felt comfortable flying, and I've always felt the airline industry was lying when they said it was safer to fly than drive.

Do you think New York will ever be the same? No. It's changed forever.

 
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