JOIN THE JOURNEY
I’m in the middle of a new adventure. A small team and I launched ConsumerMojo.com It’s a website filled with videos and original content about money matters. We report honestly about everything from credit to student loans, to 55 Plus issues, mortgages and more. Visit the site, watch the videos, read the posts and let us know what you think.
September 11th and we always remember. Every detail stays with us.
I live in Greenwich Village and on September 11th 2001 at about 8:45, I stood in front of a mirror and applied eyeshadow. It was election day, and I was getting ready to go to vote before I went to work.
Suddenly, I felt our four story house shake. The NPR voice on the radio disappeared and I heard screams from the street.
The front door flew open and my husband Nick yelled, “A plane just slammed into the World Trade Center."
What? Impossible, I thought. The radio voice was there again. “A plane crashed into Tower One at the World Trade Center.” “
I had only one thought. I have to go.
I called my news desk, at WWOR-TV and FOX5 NY. The assignment editor urged, “Go. Go now.” I pulled on a black dress, put on sneakers and stuffed my makeup, my notebook, and a bunch of other stuff into a backpack and asked Nick to come to help me.
We saw the towers from the corner of Bleecker Street and 7th Avenue South.
A woman ran toward her building screaming, “I saw it. I saw it.” Tears streaked her face. Neighbors clustered in small groups. They stared in horror.
Black smoke and flames sprouted from the north tower. A neighbor said, “I saw the plane. It flew so low over Sixth Avenue that I thought it would crash here. ”
Nick and I walked south against a tide of thousands. They headed north on Varick Street and who could blame them? The north tower was burning and everything seemed uncertain and unknowable.
My phone linked me to the newsroom and I learned that a plane crashed in Pennsylvania and a third plane flew into the pentagon.
“How could this happen?” Nick and I repeatedly asked each other. “Where were the warning systems? Where was the CIA? Where were the government watchdogs?”
We lost the cell phone connection near Canal Street. We reached the burning towers and stared dumbly, helpless and horrified. We wanted to do something, but what?
Four plain clothes N.Y.P.D. detectives appeared out of nowhere. A strange slow roar seemed to leap from the earth itself. “She’s coming down. Run," one of the detectives shouted above the deep growl.
The sky darkened and grey and white matter floated through the air. The south tower crumbled.
It seemed like a slow motion nightmare. We ran north with the crowd. Two blocks up, we turned back. Tiny white figures in the dark slots of the upper floors of the north tower tumbled out and floated in the air moving down and down and down.
“No. Don’t,” I heard my voice scream when I saw another figure in a window. A man next to me said, “They have no choice. It's burning behind them."
Unimaginable. How could you choose between a burning death and a jumping death?
I had to find a working phone. The bewildered manager of a shuttered McDonald's, on Chambers Street, let me in. They had a fax phone that worked and he let me use it.
The FOX 5 live truck was headed our way. Nick and I rushed to meet it. Then, One World Trade groaned and collapsed. The sky darkened even more violently and thick gray dust and smoke covered lower Manhattan.
The dark cloud trailed us as we ran the few blocks to find the TV truck.
For the next week, I reported live. I held the microphone for people with stories to tell. Some searched for loved ones, others grieved. Many came to dig to try to rescue anyone who was left. Some worked in the morgue and talked to try to clear their heads.
A doctor said he jumped on his motorcycle outside of the Archive building on Christopher and headed toward the burning buildings. He told us that he began to help people injured by falling debris. An emergency technician worked beside him and helped. But then, the north tower began to collapse. The man helping yelled, "Take cover Doc." The doctor slid under a fire truck as the tower came down and when the debris settled he couldn't find the emergency technician.
He wanted to find this man, and used our microphone to call out to him. "You called me Doc. He said. If you're still alive, please let me know."
Parents from Long Island, held a photo of their son in front of the camera and asked if anyone had seen him.
Rescue workers, still covered in bits of debris, talked about the struggle to get people out alive and some told about the thrill of actually finding a person they could help.
A preacher who volunteered in the morgue said simply, "I have never seen anything like this in my life. I never thought that I would see anything like this." And then his voice cracked and he wept.
There are so many of these stories and they are indelible.
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A GOOD MAFIA TALE
MY HUSBAND NICK'S BOOK SINS OF THE FATHER WAS JUST REPUBLISHED. IT'S A GOOD READ ABOUT A FAMILY RUNNING FROM THE MOB AND JOHN GOTTI
Nick is timely. With so many out of work, Americans need jobs. "American-Made: The Enduring Legacy of the W.P.A.: When FDR Put the Nation to Work," tells the story of the federal government's response to the "Great Depression" when millions of Americans were out of work and people were starving. The government created jobs- all kinds. People worked as laborers building roads and schools, as artists, as librarians, as archeologists, as actors, as publicists. You name it. They did it. And they created projects we can still see today. Nick did a great job weaving together the stories and the politics. If you are a history buff, if you wonder why government doesn't do more to fix things now this is the book for you.
Take a tour of WPA projects with Nick Taylor
SAILING IN THE B.V.I.
I'm dreaming of green water and blue skies. Our annual trip to the British Virgin Island was done in by the emergency restoration on our house.
But I like to go back and read about how much fun it is to sail there.
I've posted my blog about it, and it remains on the site.
Nick and I took a ten day sailing trip alone aboard a 40 foot Beneteau in the British Virgin Islands. We began when the moon was almost full and we vowed to proceed with caution. We’ve learned from scary experience it’s best to be humble when you are in the water with boats. During this trip there was plenty to be concerned about. Small craft advisories were a regular feature of the daily weather report, and as the forecasters predicted, we experienced high seas, howling Christmas winds, at least one blinding rainstorm, a series of beautiful rainbows, and pastel sunsets. We were plagued with a weird toilet flushing system, a cranky dinghy motor that beached us on a night when Nick was dressed up in a white linen suit, and orange espadrilles. And of course we had our share of anchor and mooring escapades. Through it all we had a terrific time. We hope you enjoy our story, which is on my blog page. And if you are sailor looking for a place to go, we hope this offers useful insight.
BEAUTIFUL SKIN OF COLOR
I'm the author of "Beautiful Skin of Color," with two talent dermatologists: Dr. Jeanine Downie, and Dr. Fran Cook-Bolden. If you are Asian, African American, Caribbean American, Native American, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean from the Indian Sub-Continent, or from the Pacific, this book has important, useful information for you about your skin and hair.
You can find it online at Amazon, or Barnes & Noble. It's available in both paperback and hardcover, and we hope that you enjoy it.
You can purchase Beautiful Skin of Color on-line or at your local bookstore.
City Limits features a video investigation by my Hunter College Students
Adelyn Maldonado, Jullieo Paillero with help from Matthew Perlman investigated Gramercy Residence. It's a foster care group home for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teens run by the not-for-profit Green Chimneys. The report got action immediately. The city launched an investigation, and it appears big improvements are underway.
I'm the author of "Beautiful Skin of Color," with two talent dermatologists: Dr. Jeanine Downie, and Dr. Fran Cook-Bolden.