posted on Aug, 2 2004 @ 10:31 AM
While I believe that the govt is not above the use of fearmongering for political reasons, I do believe that there is some substance to the latest
warnings. Maybe some of this belief is due to the fact that I am a New Yorker. Step into my viewpoint for a second.
On 911 I watched the second plane hit from my subway car that was stuck on the bridge. Actually, I didn't actually see anything--I was looking at
the WTC towers and they looked perfectly normal, with no fire coming out of them. I wondered what everybody was screaming about. Later it turned out
that I had psychologically blocked the view of the flaming, smoking towers with a "screen" because it was too traumatic. Then I got off the train
and went to my job. Everybody there were walking around like zombies and I didn't know why. Then we were all called into the conference room in time
to watch both towers collapse. We then dispersed into the chaos. There was no transportation and so me and a friend literally ran 20 blocks to her
apartment. We had no idea what would be next; it was a siege mentality. I frantically called my boyfriend's work but there was no answer. When we
were all finally accounted for & I was back at home, I watched CNN 24/7 & saw all the gory details. I drank a lot of alcohol. When I went back to
work the following week, every train ride across the bridge was filled with foreboding & terror. When a normal malfunction would happen, like the
train being stalled due to a switch problem, most people in the car were agitated or stressed. All I pictured in my mind again and again was a
fireball ripping through the train or the bridge exploding. This feeling went on for two months. Also, when a manhole cover exploded or we heard
some other loud noise at work, we'd all freak out and initially conclude that it was an explosion. And let's not forget about the fire alarm going
During the years that followed, we have had several scares where a box has been left outside the building and then there's 100 cops surrounding it.
Oh, and bomb threats. But most telling of our state of mind was when the blackout happened last year. When our lights & computers pooped out, there
was hysteria. People were looking out their windows in fear and waving to others to find out what was going on. Oh, and always have a bunch of cash
on you and at home...with the ATMs not working & the banks closed, you could find yourself an instant temporary poor person. And did you know that in
Manhattan hi-rises that depend on electricity-powered water towers, water runs out pretty damn quickly?
A month ago I passed by 6th & 50...right around where the CNN building is. There were tons of cops, a helicopter overhead, and about 20 blocks
closed-off. A suspicious package. Me and the friends I was with tried to just dismiss it as "life in the City" -- but we were all tense.
Truth is, NY is a #1 terror target. We have tons of significant landmarks, tons of people, and a degree of chaos that will never be fully contained
by precautions & security. As evidenced by the blackout, we don't have a heck of a lot of resources to take care of the tons of people who might be
stranded by an attack. Food & water are at a premium. I saw people getting into fist-fights for gas. The only food I could find was Dunkin
Donuts--and only the yucky flavors.
Life as a New Yorker during the age of Terrorism has meant to me that whenever I pass by the Empire State Building or cross a bridge, I think about
potential disaster. I'm sure that sounds paranoid, but there you go. So when I hear specific terror warnings I go take some money out of the bank,
buy water & canned food, and hold my breath. And yeah, I know that people in Israel & other countries experience this sort of thing all the time, & I
should just "toughen up" -- but the mind of a person who has grown jaded at the threat or sight of violence is no great thing, either.