I was at work at Albert Einstein’s Biochemistry Department in Bronx. Golfer called me to say that they heard a loud thump and a plane has hit the WTC. I went on CNN.com and saw a little hole on the North Tower. Was a helicopter lost control slammed into the building I thought at first?
There was car bomb or two hit WTC in 1993.
After that hit, His trading floor’s monitors were all turned to the news network. And they watched in horror, both from the TV monitors and from the windows the second plane went into the south tower.
Their PA system soon announced to evacuate the building.
By then (not sure before or after the 2nd hit), people in my office began running to the conference room where there were TVs.
My mother-in-law called and cried .
We continued to work, function as normal.
Golfer called twice. He walked to uptown, stopped by one of his company’s offices and made the call. Large parts of subways were closed, especially the river crossing (either above or under) lines. He took the subway 6 heading uptown to Bronx. I went to pick him up at about 4 or 5pm from Pelham Parkway station and drove home.
I called home (I think the schools did not dismiss the kids early) and spoke to the kids. They were fine. Schools did not dismiss the kids early – in case their parents were affected by the attack.
On the way home from Bronx the roads were rather empty for that time of the day. I commuted by either Whitestone Bridge or Throng Neck Bridge to work. The twin towers were part of the landscape in the distance that I took for granted. The scenery had changed on 9/11, the place the twin tower once stood was empty and thick smoke was still rising as we were heading home. My mind was vacant and feeling was numb.
We couldn’t get home fast enough to see our children.
It was odd that I could spend the day at work. No one said we couldn’t go home but no one said we should go home.
That night, many friends called, including Xiao Yin from London and Ruby from Hong Kong.
The following day, we both went to work, as usual.
Schools in our town opened for business as usual.
I usually took Northern Blvd to Cross Island Parkway to the bridge. But for whatever the reason, I took LIE instead that morning. And even called my neighbor who also works at Einstein. Which was a mistake. There were roadblocks to check each passing cars. My neighbor took the old routine to work without much traffic.