As the 10th anniversary of 9/11 looms before us in horror, it’s time to raise a glass of wry and honor those antiheroes of that awful day:
The ones who decided that they couldn’t possibly live in New York anymore because something so awful happened here.
As they angstily fled for parts unknown, I remember thinking, “Those people didn’t belong here in the first place.”
New York is not for wusses.
Besides, New York happens to be the center of everything — both good and bad — and if you don’t know that, you shouldn’t live here any more than the people who complain about nightclubs that are open after 11 p.m.
And the fact is, there’s overwhelmingly more good than bad that happens here, if you bother to make a reasonable examination of it all.
And one of the good things was the sense of solidarity and openness and togetherness that bonded all of us 9/11 survivors that day and forever afterward.
I’ve never felt so connected to my fellow New Yorkers than on that night, when we walked the streets searching, talking, mourning, and getting through it all.
Running away would have been the last thing on my mind. I don’t happen to be a wuss, so I shall stay. Sure, I’ll complain (witness my “Why I Hate NYC” column), but basically I’ll deal, I’ll live, I’ll love, and I’ll enjoy.
And do you honestly think bad things don’t happen in places outside New York? (Especially when you factor in blandness, creative death, and bad attitudes.)
To those who left …
Don’t come back!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 13, 2011