Skip to content

The World Trade Center by Barney @ lib-lab

Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2001 4:34 PM
Subject: Re: Hi…

To see it from my apartment was bad but to be downtown and see the smoke and emergency services was horrific. Everybody I know is accounted for and many worked down there, but there are so many missing and people refuse to even “go there”… the streets are basically deserted apart from ambulances and police and lower Manhattan is just covered in a shroud of smoke. This is so terrible and today seems even worse than yesterday. Sorry if I’m going on, it’s just fucking weird and I don’t know what to do with it. Will try giving you a call later but subways are still erratic and may not make it home till quite late. The city that we love has changed forever, physically and mentally. It makes me want to cry.


Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2001 14:16:31 EDT
Subject: Re: bp calling from dublin

hi beep.. we phoned you yesterday on your cell in ny praying for your safety. heard from nik that you are in dublin. so glad you are out of harm’s way. we send you lots of love to you and your family…

love holly

Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2001 12:01:14 EDT
Subject: All is well

Dear BP:
It’s very eerie on the lower east side today…all the stores shut, people wandering in the street, shock on their faces. Nobody knows what to do with this hole in our lives. Myself and family are fine. I’ve heard of no-one I know in the tragedy, but it’s early days yet. Thank God it was before most people on the lower east side get up… Send regards over on the emerald isle, and hope to see you soon. Anyone you want me to track for you in NY if it’s difficult to do from so far away?

Love: Lenny

Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2001 18:35:39
Subject: Re: bp calling from dublin

beep….all is o.k with us. things are a bit sad here as you can imagine, but spirts are high. NEW YORK will not bow to this. we are going to get through this.

god bless, greg

Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2001 13:41:29 EDT
Subject: Re: bp calling from dublin

We’re OK, I was in Jersey to get the car tuned and saw the 2nd plane hit the tower! un fucking real, got home 12 hours later. I’m still in shock, Eliz was very shaken, but better now. the neighborhood is Ok, but hordes of people walking around in shock and blank stares, really weird is the blank skyline where the towers used to be. Sirens going back and forth everywhere

More later… Bob & Eliz
see attached file to see what I saw

New York 9/11 by Bob Gruen from New Jersey

Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2001 09:39:26 -0400
Subject: RE: bp calling from dublin

dearest Beep: yes, im here and well. i took the next to last plane out from la guardia yesterday a.m. before all this happened.i was lucky to get home. its horrible. im so sad for my city and your adopted city. thanks for your thoughts. we are re-thinking ireland, but its not the time to make final decisions. i have a hard time taking it all in. its a collective nightmare. lots of love, i will keep in touch.


Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2001 09:36:04 -0400
Subject: We’re OK Thanks for your thoughts …

we are both OK, although mentally this is something that will take some time to get over. From our apt, we heard the sound of the second plane colliding into the WTC … and from our roof, we saw the second tower collapse. Things are quite somber here, as I’m sure you can imagine. It’s incredibly eerie today … pretty much everything is shut down by us … it would be nice to leave Manhattan, but we don’t really have any place to go … and then there are the cats AND a dog that I’m watching for my neighbor because he can’t get home from upstate NY. I’ve gotten in touch with people I know who work/live down in lower Manhattan … all are present and accounted for … but I do have a United flight attendant friend that I’m getting worried about … but there’s absolutely nothing I can do but wait to hear back from her … left a message when I FINALLY got through to her home # in Seattle, but the phones still aren’t working very well here. Not like there’s a shortage of footage on this horrible tragedy, but I’ve attached two photos I took from my roof. I’d better go … need to let a bunch of other folks know that I’m OK here … still waiting to wake up from this nightmare to find out that it was all a BAD dream …


New York 9/11 by Laurie from her roof

Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2001 00:05:08 +0100
Subject: Re: bp calling

Hey BP, These are strange and sad days indeed. I hope and pray that a fundamental change for the greater good will come to pass as the dust of death and destruction is cleared away. It’s a jungle out there … I just hope the lions will win.

Much love, Fiachna

Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2001 06:04:41 +0000
Subject: Re: bp calling

Hi Beep Are you back in NY ? were you there for the blitz……..i have to say watching CNN since …….is sometimes a bit embarrassing ..americans can be gushing with over the top emotions. But I suppose it’s fair enuff. But people bursting into ‘God Save America’ and national pride stuff is a bit stifling……It’s the result though of America’s own foreign policy where they have bombed and fucked up the middle east for years. Bush openingly supporting Israel…. That is not to say i am deeply sorrowed by it all…’s terribly sad. Make way for in a years time: “AND THE OSCAR GOES TO……….RAMBO 5 ‘THE REVENGE’!” you know me a black sense of humour

much love johnnie

Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2001 06:27:52 +0000
Subject: all o.k here

my friend, every one keeps saying the same thing, that things will never be the same here again and that is the way it feels it’s never been such a sad or such a proud time to be an american , or even more so a new yorker. camaraderie has never been so strong here. still it doesn’t seem safe. the village i love so much has become like a prison as it is hard to get out of the city or even above 14th street, as the roads are blocked off and you must have i.d. and a paper showing where you live to get to most parts the city. the mayor has been unbelieveable, as have all our leaders. spirts are high, but sad. we thank the irish people for their love and their prayers ……..


Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2001 12:53:49 -0400
Subject: Re: bp calling from dublin

Yes BP I am fine. (Other than breathing in lots of smokey air.) Don’t personally know of anybody hurt or missing, but I know a lot of people who do. It’s pretty fucked. I know a few people who live close to the WTC who won’t be able to go home anytime soon, but at least they’re ok. Things downtown were pretty much shut down till today (Friday). Believe it or not, I have to spend today writing club listings; my mind is not really on it, needless to say. Then deejaying tonight…


Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2001 12:37:35 -0400
Subject: Re: bp calling again

Hi BP: I’m doing fine, things kind of getting back to what passes for normality here (at least until the US starts bombing whoever it is we’re gonna bomb)…


Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2001 14:21:43 EDT
Subject: Re: bp calling

We’re in London for the opening tomorrow of my Clash Exhibition & Book. Wish you were here, NYC is shell shocked and we don’t mind getting away a bit.

miss you, Bob

Date: Thurs Sep 2001 14:08:47 EDT
Subject: Re: bp calling

…yeah, we be hanging, and vibing with the positive as much as possible. It helps somehow to bear in mind that the world really HAS been this dangerous for awhile now… and God willing our chances of being caught in the crossfire will remain low, I pray. Whew. I saw the site, the devastation the other night with my own eyes. Holy shit. You’ve never seen anything like it. Every breath of life is a miracle. Every moment with friends and loved ones is a gift from God. I know that now more than ever…

Love Always, Bill and Alley

Date: Wednesday September 28 2001 3:44 am
Subject: O Superman

Thanks and a tip o’ the hat to Irwin Chusid for reminding me of this…

O Superman
by Laurie Anderson (1981)

O Superman, O Judge, O Mom and Dad, Mom and Dad.

Hi. I’m not home right now. But if you want to leave a message,
just start talking at the sound of the tone.
Hello? This is your Mother. Are you there? Are you coming home?
Hello? Is anybody home? Well, you don’t know me, but I know you.
And I’ve got a message to give to you.
Here come the planes.
So you better get ready. Ready to go. You can come
as you are, but pay as you go. Pay as you go.

And I said: OK. Who is this really? And the voice said:
This is the hand, the hand that takes.
This is the hand, the hand that takes.
this is the hand, the hand that takes.
Here come the planes.
They’re American planes. Made in America.
Smoking or non-smoking?
And the voice said: Neither snow nor rain nor gloom of night
shall stay these couriers from the swift completion
of their appointed rounds.

‘Cause when love is gone, there’s always justice.
And when justice is gone, there’s always force.
And when force is gone, there’s always Mom. Hi Mom!
So hold me, Mom, in your long arms.
So hold me, Mom, in your long arms.
In your automatic arms. Your electronic arms. In your arms.
So hold me, Mom, in your long arms.
Your petrochemical arms. Your military arms.
In your electronic arms.


This is chilling: Laurie Anderson – O Superman

Date: Tue, 02 Oct 2001 04:52:59 +0000
Subject: Re: the future?

hi beep, I really like those shots……..really funny. i sent them to an american friend and he liked the bush shot but said he was still emotional for the other 2……..there lies the problem…US is too stiff to see things in perspective and will blundgen a path of revenge on any poor people so they can feel better. So much for democracy………….I used to think Russia were the war mongers..that’s what we were thought in school …….but it’s america who is ……They will put an end to terrorism once and all, ….what a joke !!!…….it’s like saying…….we will stop prostitution .. or that stupid childish phrase..”Just say NO”…….what a load of crap……….same difference. Bush saying “this will be the first war of the 21st Century”………so scary !!!…..ego tripper !!!.. Sorry…… lurve and peace to all


Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2001 2:40 AM

hey Been quiet for a while I know. Stuff going on that’s really fucking wearing me out. Got the O Superman lyrics, very apros pos (?). Odd that you should evoke her, NPR the public radio station here were running a series with artists in light of what happened and how they interpret it and use it. She was one of them, a very smart cookie indeed. So, I’m taking it that you are in a bit of a contempletive mood, hard not to be I guess. Things here are about at the same state of weirdness. Though got to admit, for me it now feels like part of the city is missing or deficient, like a limb has been cut off and you can’t stop staring at where it used to be. So, though more or less things are back to “normal” it just feels like a huge part of this place’s identity is gone, and gone forever. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it feels deficient. Some time’s a building’s just a building, some time’s it’s a presence, whether you can see it or not. But in a more realistic sense, though, it means that the focal point of the city has now shifted uptown to Midtown. When you leave a subway station you now need to look for the Empire State in order to get your bearings, it really sucks.


Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2001 02:51:15 EDT
Subject: Re: stomp!

hey baby.. how you? thanks for sending us the laurie anderson song. today is a very sad day. pressing on nonetheless. the best thing we can do is kick ass creatively like never before. how are you feeling. i miss you. are you still in ireland?

love hollygirl

Jaime’s journal: October 3rd 2001 …

As the city temperature rises to a weekly high of 75° the smoke and cloud of dust heat once again. New Yorkers’ lungs are filled with this dank air to remain conscious of the September 11 catastrophe. The smell in the air has thickened. Knowing that the dust from bodies is floating through the air is unreal… It looks like hippieville around here, all those old flags tarnished and dusty hanging amongst New Yorkers’ post-war New York Unite vibe. We are told to go back to work and keep our heads high and be strong Americans! I pray through this motion we do not go numb. I pray that when we suck back our tears we do not get jaded. At the moment being a New Yorker I find it hard yet rewarding to have my eyes opened in such a harsh way. It is definitely a toughening of the soul, to say the least… This is an amazing reflection on how we live our lives and exactly what is important to us… Head bowed. Wine in the future… …

Jaime Coon Ass

Date:Sunday October 14 3.27pm
Subject: lk calling

Hi Beeep….
A quiet Sunday in NY, in the first week of the war. Things are surrealingly normal here, the streets filled on the weekend nights, and yet overhanging all, like the smell of acrid smoke, is a sense of waiting and watching and seeing what’ll happen when the other shoe drops. Not a pleasant sensation. I’m just trying to keep me head down and watch and wait and sing ‘People Have The Power’ with P. at any available peace rally (like the one yesterday in Washington Sq. Park). It soon will be time for lone voices in the wilderness, for someone will have to stand in the way of the war hysteria and the fear factor. Anyway, miss you here, and could use a good dance at a rockin’ club…oh, well, soon come….say hi to Jaime if she’s over there with you, and spin those discs and keep the faith. Here’s to the future….

love: Lenny