The night of September 10-11, 2001, I was moving apartments in Brooklyn. Friend went on tour with a rock band and I sublet her place on Prospect Park SW. After a buddy and I spent most of the night moving, we went to the roof to smoke a few cigarettes and look at the skyline.
Earlier that week, I took the PATH train out to Exchange Place in Jersey City. I needed to settle some money stuff, and after I was done, I went to sit on the edge of the water, have a few smokes, and enjoy the beautiful view. That’s how it looked, but it was late afternoon.
My flip-phone rang as I was sitting out there. It was an old friend, sometimes girlfriend, who was talking about her latest film project. She mentioned the Taliban and it’s destruction of artifacts in Afghanistan, and I wasn’t paying too much attention.
Back to that night—we’d unloaded all the boxes, including thousands of CDs, and somehow gout them up to the fifth floor of the pre-war building with no working elevator. We were tired, but I felt bad—had to drive my buddy back home to the Bronx; was the least I could do.
So it’s probably 4AM, and I’m racing up to the Bronx. Drop him off—days before smartphones and Apple Maps—and I got myself seriously lost. Ended up crossing over to the west side somehow. By the time I got myself to the West Side Highway, I was starving and I wanted a coffee.
Those days, when you don’t have a car in the City and you rent a UHaul truck, there are worse things to do than drive around Manhattan all night. I remembered the Krispy Kreme down at WTC, near the Borders, and looked forward to getting down there.
I pulled up, ran to get a plain glazed and an old fashioned. Coffee light and sweet in those days. Grabbed a @nypost because the Democrat primary was the next day, and I was curious.
So the keys I’d left in the car, on the passenger seat, like a dummy. It was maybe 530AM at this point, and I was exhausted. Found the number of a locksmith, and rang him up. Guy told me I could save money by waiting until after 9AM, otherwise it was double price.
I thought about it for a few seconds, took a sip of coffee, and realized just how tired I was. I couldn’t wait around for a few hours; I’d pay the money and get home and sleep. So the guy came and he left me a receipt that had WTC and 9/11/2001 on it. I pulled out at around 745.
Got to my old place in Brooklyn, and collapsed on the couch. Didn’t sleep long—before 9AM my roommate’s mom woke me up on the land line. We were on Carroll St, and had a back window that looked onto lower Manhattan. On the phone—saw smoke coming from one of the WTC buildings.