Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A memory of the day after 9/11/01 and then 9/11/07

The Day After 9/11/2001:
The following day I headed to work. I was on a train from Brooklyn to Manhattan, and EVERYONE in the car was reading a newspaper. No one spoke... As we went over the Manhattan Bridge, nearly everyone (including me) quietly walked to a window and looked out at the pillar of smoke where the Towers were supposed to be. We all stood there, silent, from the time the train came out of the tunnel until the time we went back in. Then everyone went to their seats, back to their newspaper, and continued their silence for the entire ride.

On the same train ride over the Manhattan Bridge: as soon as we hit the bridge, the air was abuzz with cell phones waking up. The sound volume tripled with voices informing others with "important" messages that they were "on the bridge", etc. Then, suddenly, over the PA system, the conductor starts singing an a capella, very slow, R&B-ish -- and quite tonedeaf -- version of "The Star Spangled Banner". He made it all the way through, and just as we were about to enter the tunnel again, he finished with "God bless all of you, and God bless America."


  1. these are both great RBF stories. :)

  2. Thanks Kellie! One about NYC is the dynamics are always in motion. In all my years on the subway, I have heard people rap or say profane things after sneaking into the conductor's booth, and I have also heard conductors talk non-stop about "watch your bag", "report things suspicious", etc., but it's the first time I had ever heard a conductor break into song. It was also interesting that the conductor did not belt out the song, but sang it really quietly. But everyone heard.

  3. I was on that train too. Quite lovely. Started my day out perfectly.

  4. Very impressive.
    RBF's journey continues.
    Irony and juxtaposition are still your various breads and butters.