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Life has to go on 24/10/01
The sky still looks angry here.
With the train line under the
Hudson closed, commuters funnel on
to ferries instead, all strangely muted.
Their rush hour to Manhattan is two
hours long and involves the worst
kind of sightseeing. It wasn't just
that the view here was dominated
by the twin towers, it was the twin
towers. Now all you can see are the
cranes over there and smoke still
rising from the site six weeks on.
And the surprise, as we move down
the river on this boat, is that we
can actually smell the smoke that
is coming from ground zero. They
don't need reminding their lives have
I see children and I enjoy seeing
them. I'm calling my family more.
You just don't know what will happen
Any life-changing experience makes
you into a different person. You know,
you definitely change. Absolutely. I
don't think I'll ever look at New York
the same way again.
I try not to look, that's why I'm facing
It's just behind you, but you don't look
No, it's hard for me to look and not
see them there. I would rather look
at the Statue of Liberty.
I was in New York three days after
the attack. Coming back, it is profoundly
sad to see the missing posters turning
ragged as the bereaved finally let go
of any hope. There are eye openers
on every street corner, but it's the
bustle that is impossible to ignore,
tempting the thought that normality
is forcing itself back into view.
Robin Forst gets her children ready
for school, but does the painting
on the wall or the carpet give it
away? The whole family has had to
move into a hotel room indefinitely,
because their apartment was next
to the twin towers. Addresses matter
in this city and Robin is desperate
to get back to her old one at Battery
Park, a 9,000-strong community which
she wants to ensure is rebuilt, but
life is not quite as simple as that.
There are many people who have
left already, but many more who are
undecided as to whether to return.
It will be a long time before the area
is restored, in terms of transportation
and services. The schools are no longer
accessible in the neighbourhood and
you can smell the fires that still burn
If you lived in that actual block, as you
did, coming back to look at it, with the
space where the twin towers were next
to it, must be very affecting?
It was bizarre to see buildings that I had
never seen before, because they had
been obstructed by the World Trade
Before all this happened, the big issue
was whether or not roller blading
should be banned, is that right?
That's right. A lifetime ago.
And home to her hotel. The fountain
pen repair business must be one of
the most susceptible to a recession,
but this store is hardly helped by
the fact that it's in the area near
ground zero that is sealed off.
While a massive repair operation
gets under way outside, they make
tiny adjustments to gold nibs in a
shop where some pens cost $2,000,
but very few are shifting. The
manager is angry. No-one is passing
No, not at all, no traffic at all.
They are all up the end, but nothing
through the street.
What has that done to your
Are people starting to tell you when
the fences are coming down?
There is no answer from the city
or the government. We don't know.
What about financial help, not just
for your business, but particularly
for the hard-hit businesses down
There are loans given right now, but
it's hard. If you go for a big loan, I
don't know how we will pay it back.
We are just not getting any answers.
The store is in an area that was
known as the hot zone, but angry
business people here are now calling
it the frozen zone. Nothing moves
without ID and a very good reason,
and it's possible to see immediately
why businesses say they are being
asphyxiated. This is a candy store,
closed, and this shoe shop here
looks like it's out of action. The
terrorists did just 20 minutes' work,
but the cost of putting this city back
together is now being put at $105
billion. If there is one upside, it's
that capitalism is suddenly showing
a human face. This bailiff claims
he's been holding off on repossessions.
Are you getting more tolerant
of people not paying the rent?
Yes. You can't do any evictions down
there now. Nothing. You can't serve
any papers there.
There is no business?
You are not allowed to.
All the evictions on your front
seat, where are they going?
Upper East Side.
Rebuilding New York is not only
economics and filing cabinets. It's
also about people. Stacey Farrelly
has lost her husband, the father of
her three children. Joe, a firefighter,
went into the twin towers but hasn't
been found. It is difficult for her
to think about the future when
she's only just accepted that Joe
I didn't accept it. I kept thinking he
was going to be on the cover of
Reader's Digest as the miracle man
who lasted 100 days without food or
water. I saw a counsellor who
suggested that I go to the site. I took
the kids to the site and when you go
there, you realise that no-one is coming
out of there.
Remarkably, Joe left a note on Stacey's
pillow just before he went on his last
shift. It said, "I can't begin to tell you
how much I love you. Already I can't
wait to get home." Julianne sounds wiser
than her 11 years.
I think to the world, it told everyone
to really pay attention. Nobody thought
anything like this would happen to them.
They always thought it would happen
to somebody else.
What kind of future does her mother
As far as the world and the war
and the anthrax, I don't know. But
right now, it's day by day. I would
like to try to work it out in my own
mind. I hope that women who are
out there can help us. Because this
"time will heal all wounds" is not
cutting it for me. I just don't
want to do the time. I want to see
what will happen.
The chaos of September 11th is
reflected in the very different
reactions now. Some are moving on,
others understandably unable to.
And meanwhile, the ruins still