New Yorkers in the post-9/11 landscape: 'People have bonded together'
Minas Polychronakis reopened his shoe shop on Wall Street after the original was destroyed in the September 11 attacks.
September 10th, 2011
07:00 AM ET

New Yorkers in the post-9/11 landscape: 'People have bonded together'

There’s no denying that New York is a changed place 10 years after the attacks that destroyed the twin towers and took the lives of 2,753 people.

The city has physically changed and people will forever mourn the losses. The psyche of the city has changed, too.

“We are more patient. We are more caring. I think people have bonded together,” said Sandy Levine, owner of the Carnegie Deli in midtown Manhattan. "I think we all think as one now."

Minas Polychronakis greets his customers every morning from behind the counter of his shoe shop on Wall Street. The store wasn’t always there. The original shop was on the lower concourse of the World Trade Center.

“It was raining glass, papers and bodies of course,” Polychronakis said. “I went outside and I saw the second plane hit the number two building.”

He saw a change in people that day, one that has lasted: "more kind."

"Sometime you have to pay the price to realize how good we are. They changed us for better," he said.

Newspaper columnist Pete Hamill has written about the people who make up the fabric that is New York for five decades.

“Because September 11 happened to us - not to me, not to he or she or you, but to us - that stayed in our character,” Hamill said.

“And I think with any kind of luck it will stay there as long as we’re here.”

Click the audio player to hear this story from CNN Radio's Steve Kastenbaum:

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Filed under: New York • September 11
soundoff (164 Responses)
  1. DEKE

    with taaaaasty doodoo on it

    September 10, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  2. grits

    cheesie grits are good if you sre hungry.

    September 10, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  3. Angel

    s kel-I am leaving. insensitivity is not my thing. This shows the shallowness and the kind of fear of another human, that knows nothing about love. Psychopath.

    September 10, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      Tell me something Angel, exactly what do you think of those ungodly drones we're using today over in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, hurling 500 lb. bombs on defenseless people? I guess on that you have nothing to say, do you? And everybody wonders why the Muslims hate us so!!!!!!!

      September 10, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Angel

      War, what is it good for".

      September 10, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Canadian Genius

    Im leaving too. Sorry my friends to the south. There is no reason for trolls to be at work this weekend. May GOD bless you all.

    September 10, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  5. chantal

    Thanks for the good post Deke. You said it all.

    September 10, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  6. @ s kel

    Your "firefighter brothers" noticed that standard procedures for investigating fires were being ignored, and so conducted their own investigations using standard procedure. You can view the results of your brother's investigations at http://www.firefightersfor911truth.org / A website founded by an Merit Class 1/Prentice Award FDNY fireman, who over the years has been joined by hundreds of firemen with brains.

    September 10, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Angel

      s kel I saw only your understandable anger and hurt. I saw the website and now understand your frustration. It is hard to go against the grain, to prove it to civilians who like myself do not understand the implications of what this would mean to all of us and to the country. Why it that no one covers this opposing view shows either a tabo subject and that maybe journalist in the free world are no longer free. Then it comes to the point of propaganda. Every avenue of points of view should be out for people to decide. It its much too big for my small mind to wrap around.
      I have watched building in my town fall onto itself. I am no expert. But I guess the more I know the less I understand.

      September 10, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  7. RUFFNUTT

    We have been the biggest crybabies around when it came to 9/11. Did anyone here ever consider the damage that we did to other countries like Vietnam and Chile? I suppose not! I guess that it wouldn't do much good to mention here the Christmastime bombings of the North Vietnamese city of Hanoi back in 1972, either. Most Americans thought that that was alright and I find that utterly nauseating!!!

    September 10, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      Gee RUFFNUTT, I was about to post the same thing here myself. You beat me to it!!! The reaction of the public to 9/11 today is getting rather corney and very old, I might add!!!

      September 10, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Angel

      I was young and I watched it. When our solders came home and people would spit on them, I could not understand. Then what you are saying is wars are just for govenment and not for the people? They are not to keep us safe, only to protect government Minerals and vested interest? And if the truth be what you say, what do you do to prevent this from happening time and again? I find wars vile, did not want us to go and believed it to be unfounded before we went there.
      @greg-You think killing innocent people is corny. I rather listen to all sides and have the living tell me things that may change things. I also even listened to you.

      September 10, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT

      @fakey eat (_)o(_)
      ...............poop..

      September 10, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angel

      Dang it. fooled again.

      September 10, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. layminister herman

    Ya know that may be so in ny But i loved how right after the attacks all said WE WILL NEVER FORGET THAT LASTED FOR ABOUT A YEAR HERE IN MICHIGAN I had thad in large print because if i could scream it i would But as for me ive lost some of the security knowing that them idiots did it before they could do it again

    September 10, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  9. George Patton

    I suppose that we're going to go on and on with these right-wing sob stories over 9/11 and then comes the endless Muslim bashing. I bet the the politicians in Washington just love what's going right now with everyones' minds off the economy right now. I bet if it were to be known, most Muslims hate us with a passion!

    September 10, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  10. layminister herman

    Ya know what them countries harbored our enemy and were informed you are with us or agaist us THEM ARABS THE TALIBAN ATTACKED OUR HOMELAND NOT ONCE BUT TWICE IT IS NOT WRONG TO GO AFTER THESE SNAKES And then we have you people that enjoy the fruits of our soldiers and then condem them for protecting you So that you can sit on this computer and act like you know everything You who i am talking about shame shame shame

    September 10, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  11. layminister herman

    Well hi there you piece of puke georgey gonna go by that name or banasy or gung or phillip or ruffie OR HOW BOUT THIS CRAWL BACK IN YOUR SNAKEHOLE CURL UP AND DIE

    September 10, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Angel

      So the ruffnut above is a Troll. Dang.

      September 10, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Angel

    Ruff-Did ya have a maroon GTO or not?

    September 10, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT

      nope.. firebirds camaros and monte carlos... i miss my ss monte.. it was great for farming yards...

      September 10, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angel

      K. thanks, you sounded like a great friend I used to have some years ago.

      September 10, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. RUFFNUTT

    i knew a chick named angel that lived off of blue ridge... she was smoking hot...

    September 10, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. RUFFNUTT

    i remember one time angel was making out with my friend dave... and then when he went into the store to get some mad dog 20/20 she gave me a kiss and was like i like you tooo... 🙂

    September 10, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Angel

    Nope was not me, just a name. Glad to bring you good memories. I remember kisses like that when I was young. I had some mad dog 20/20 days. A couple of large lavoris bottle kind. The next day was sad.

    September 10, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
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