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. RUFFNUTT

    "IT WOULD BE REAL EASY to discredit the conspearicy dudes... just release the video tape and security videos showing the plane...
    .

    September 10, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. gung hoe

    Well banasy even though ive only somewhat known you for a short while it seems to me weve known each other far longer And even though with politics were on different sides But i still really respect your advice

    September 10, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. gung hoe

    Go further educate me ruffie

    September 10, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    @gung hoe:

    Politics makes for some lively debates, but tends to bring out the worst in people; that's why I say very little here on the boards.
    There's very fow people I *dislike* on these boards...I aim to keep it that way!
    I'm pretty easy to get to know.
    I'm a preety happy-go-lucky kind of girl!

    September 10, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. gung hoe

    Here's that damn Tea Party Brigade again, spewing out their right-wing mumbo-jumbo over 9/11 and how Al Qaeda attacked the Twin Towers on their own, which in reality is quite dubious. But it will go on as usual as these Tea Partiers never quit!!!

    September 10, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. RUFFNUTT (elvis impersonater )

    @GUNG HOE supposedly there is several cameras that would show the plane on its way to the pentagon...
    .
    thing that messes me up is where the wings go?
    .
    the towers i watched get hit so that's for real real..
    .
    pentegon.. not sure cause no videos of it..

    September 10, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. banasy©

    George pattong troll:
    Now you're doing it to gung hoe.
    What a class act you're not!

    September 10, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. banasy©

    @Ruffie:

    We should ask s kel, he was a first responder at the Pentagon.

    That is, is it isn't too painful to him.

    September 10, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. fernace

    I don't know what 9/11 did for New Yorkers & I suppose every1 has a different perspective, but I think we as a country keep it in the back of our minds, knowing it or something worse could happen again! We are not exempt from war/terrorism on our land, as we've thought for so long! America, the Super Power, #1 in innovation, baddest ass armed forces with the most wicked equipment, all other nation wants to be us, etc.! But we are human, not Superman, we can be harmed & war can be brought to our shores! I think the event made us realize that we've believed alot of hype about our nation, & that we have to work hard to earn our standing in the world! We're not so willing to believe politicians, but like to do research to get a true picture of the rhetoric they are apt to spout, for their own purposes! We're not innovators, many nations have surpassed our skill level, we don't manufacture anything, our educational system is not even in the top 20 of the world! We have work to do as a nation & as a people!!

    September 10, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jean Sartre

    I would just hope, sincerely, that sooner, rather than later, we can all get by this annual memorial of 9/11 and get on with our lives... Yes, it was a horrible event; yes, it did show that the great Capitalistic, always-meddling-in -other –countries-affairs, America was vulnerable – something almost anyone with an IQ above 70 and a little knowledge of the world and security knew – but for us to continue to spend millions of dollars, each and every year, REMEMBERING, is nothing but sheer folly. We have better places for our money; we have better places for our thoughts and feelings: It is called, building a FUTURE, instead of wallowing in the PAST.

    Let us, as a NATION, move FORWARD…

    September 10, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. gung hoe

    No problem banasy I tore into him earlier but thank you

    September 10, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    I agree completely,
    And we may never actually know WHAT happened.
    However, there are those on these threads who insist upon have their version of those events shoved down our throats every single day on these threads.
    It brings up this horror all year around, not only at the anniversary of 9/11.

    As long as these conspiracy theorists continue to post their opinions, (and make no mistake, that is what the majority of them are), they will continue to fan the flames that keep us moving forward.
    Having a yearly memorial might not be in the best interests of some, but for those who have lost loved ones to 9/11, the recognition that they have not died in vain may bring some measure of comfort.

    And for the record, I am not talking about my CO friend.

    September 10, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. banasy©

    "majority of them are), they will continue to fan the flames that keep us FROM moving forward.

    September 10, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. THE ONE AND ONLY DRAKOREX1

    PEACE!!!!!!

    September 10, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. banasy©

    Hope your eye feels better, Drakorex1.

    September 10, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
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