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:

You can also listen to CNN Radio Report podcasts on itunes or subscribe to the podcast here.

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

    "Absolutely nothing! Huh! Say it again!"

    September 10, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angel

      You know who I am.

      September 10, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    And that was absolutely NOT JIF responding!

    Troll is failed troll.

    September 10, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angel

      Dang it.

      September 10, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |

    that's why you dontt stop partying... i remember perry this retard guy we knew got paid ever other wednsday, so we would pick him up after work and get him to buy a big bag of weed.. well we got him so high one night that he started dry heaving for 45 minutes.. my ribs hurt so bad from laughing all night.. he was also holding onto the toilet like he was going to fall onto the celing if he let go...
    btw he wasn't really a retarded retard... he just real slow or something..

    September 10, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |

    one time he almost got me fired cause i took him out back and got him so high that he was laying down on the floor in the front of pizza hut and he suppose to be doing dishes...
    the manager told me it was my fault and that i shouldn't be getting other employees high,,,
    i told hugh (the manager) that it wasn't my fault cause i just gave him a little bit and if he couldnt handle his stuff it wasnt my fault...

    September 10, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |

    the most amazing thing about perry the tard was that when you got high with him he got he turned normal or something..

    September 10, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angel

      Maybe because you were there with him?

      September 10, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |

      later i thought maybe we're getting stupider.. he was a good guy tho.. i miss him.. i remember we got robbed and he didn't even notice.. he jsut keept washing dishes... i was like perry.. we just got robbed you can take a break and stop washing fer now..

      September 10, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. saywhat

    Time to move on.
    We cannot afford to continue using the memories of the victims of 9/11, as diverse as this great nation has been, to fan the flames of rage, hate & fear every anniversary. Let these memories remain sacred for the families.
    These memories should not be allowed to be exploited by those forces which while appearing to be patriotic are working against American interests and pushing this nation down a path of self destruction.
    This war battered nation, teetering on the edge of financial & economic disaster, bleak outlook , declining as a world power needs to take a deep breath and a stock of itself.

    Learn from the mistakes we made, the flaws in our policies, the factors which led to 9/11 & the mess we find ourselves in to day. A nation divided, unproductive politics of bickering, self serving agendas playing on fears, twisted ideology in the hands of intellectually challenged politicos. This is what we have become.
    Time to get our act together, come together as a nation. Raise our voices to prompt the political leadership to get down to business of serving Americans.
    Tackling real issues facing ordinary Americans, the common man. Get this country back on track to economic stability, growth & properity. Seek end to wars and for the sake of our kids & grand kids forego the insanity that has gripped us since the invasion of Iraq. Get serious in resolving festering issues like Israel-palestinian conflict , get us out of Iraq & Afghanistan and learn the ways of statesmanship, diplomacy , wisdom & foresight. The Hallmarks of great nations.
    Military might only has never sustained great empires, history tells us.
    Time to move on.

    September 10, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angel

      Unless your s kel or a vet and then you have to live with it. In your mind for the rest of your life. Trying to right a wrong you think happened. Trying to find justice for the people you wanted to save.

      September 10, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. @recollections

    Trying to tell a FIRST RESPONDER to the Pentagon site to get a clue is really the height of inpropiety. He was THERE, you WERE NOT.
    Not to try and take away from your 'message', but trying to diminish his actual HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE because you are have a conspiracy theory is really, really galling.
    GET A CLUE!!!

    September 10, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Angel

    Bye People, charity to attend.

    September 10, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    S kel:

    Please do not let anyone who sits in front of a computer all day get you mad; they are people who do now have the experience you had that day.
    I am sorry that there are not more first responders, such as yourself, adding to this forum to tell people what you experienced that day at the Pentagon.

    I will believe your experiences over anyone who tries to tells me otherwise any day.

    I am so very, very sorry for your horrendous memories; I pray that NO ONE will ever have to experience the aftermath of such a brutal day, no matter WHO was behind it.

    You are in my thoughts, s kel.
    I know what painful anniversaries are like.

    September 10, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. banasy©



    September 10, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. banasy©

    Good bye, Angel, I think I do know who you are.

    September 10, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. gung hoe


    September 10, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. gung hoe

    Hey skel That little lady banasy dont really have it right when it comes to politics But she sure has That 12 47 post dead on

    September 10, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  14. banasy©

    Why, thank you, gung hoe.
    That means a lot to me.
    And, hi!

    September 10, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. banasy©

    Uh, not about the politics part, lmao!

    Couldn't resist, could you, gung hoe?


    September 10, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
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