Sunday, September 11, 2011

Le Beurre de Cacahuete

I wasn't going to post on 9/11 though I have done in the past. I read in the WSJ yesterday - my sentiments exactly,
'Avoiding those memories is normal, said Yuval Neria, director of the Trauma and PTSD Program at the Columbia University Medical Center, who has researched trauma in New York since Sept. 11, 2001.
"Avoidance behaviors are perhaps the hallmark of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder," Dr. Neria said. "People are trying to avoid talking about the trauma, thinking about the trauma, being forcibly reminded by it…for some it can be a demonstration of how painful it is to be in a city that's still partially in mourning even after 10 years.""For some people, it can be a wonderful coping response," Dr. Neria said'.
Then I read of Nikie, the service dog at Ground Zero in the WSJ and I was moved. Ten years ago (OK don't fall of your chairs laughing!) I was an online daytrader. I even took trading classes in Building #2 at the WTT.
Ten years ago I was IMing(Instant Messaging) with Joanne in Detroit, a trading buddy, and she told me about what happened. First I called my photograper friend who lived near the towers - she was on her roof shooting. Then I raced up to my roof in Astoria and saw the first building go down. Like other New Yorkers I raced in town with canned goods (useless it turned out) to food centers for survivors. I became an online news junky (my TV wasn't working). I too was consumed with it and embedded in the smokey odour.
Gabriel Byrne's comment on WNYC captured exactly my experience for years, walking down 5th Avenue looking for something that wasn't there anymore.
"New York is haunted by the absence of the Trade Towers..because when you look at that skyline...the ghosts of those buildings are still there."

Tiffanys windows yesterday reminded me of...
Milton Glaser's iconic logo design...
 Hats for sale yesterday at Lee's Art Store.Go figure.
When words fail you make DIY peanut butter.


  1. None of us can avoid it, Carol, can we? It's a part of our collective consciousness forever. And honestly, we shouldn't avoid it; it's a huge part of who we are as a nation. I am watching ceremonies on TV and am moved all over again to tears by the bagpipes and strings playing, the families reciting names of loved ones, and all of us remembering the saddest moments that mean so much to us all. Thanks for posting--I do think this precious day warrants our thoughts and remembrances. xo

  2. I am thinking of my American friends today.
    Blessings to you Carol.

  3. You were very brave to immerse yourself in the memories of that horrid day and put together this heartwarming post. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Hugs, M.
    (As you know, I lived in DC back then)

  4. I was in the Island of Maddalena waiting for the ferry to Sardinia.
    It was the last day of vacation and the sky was so blue it hurted. My 7 years old son was playing beside me and my whole family was gathered.
    I shall always recall my uncle coming out of a bar saying: " They are bombing NY and Washington !!"
    We all rushed inside and we saw .... we saw the towers fuming and collapsing, we heard the comments.
    And yet we couldn't believe our eyes. We thought, may be we hoped, it was a stupid joke or a movie trailer. It was not.
    I cannot remember much of the holiday but that bar with its dim light and the deep silence I shall never forget. My thoughts are for the dead , for their families and for all of us whose lives have been change by that horrible moment.

  5. Gabriel Byrne's comment expresses what many of us feel. I've been to NY many times but never wanted to even go near where the Twin Towers previously stood. Last year my son made me go with him adding that we need to remember. I was trying to watch the memorial service but can't stop crying listening to the names. Even sadder are the first responders who lived and many are still suffering with illnesses. Thank you for posting.

  6. But I really haven't M
    I've been immersing myself in nut butters!
    Nutella is NEXT!
    Who doesn't love Gabriel Bryne!!
    I'd go on his couch anyday..

  7. Jerri A10:45 AM

    Carol, I was just thinking of you this morning, wondering what you were doing 10 yrs ago when this unimaginable thing was unfolding live as I watched while drinking my morning coffee like every normal day. PB arrived in my mailbox almost immediately! I know when tragedy strikes here, like the tornadoes in 2 small towns near us did this spring, the first thing I think is to take food.
    It is a natural response to want to do something to aleve suffering & providing nourishment is universal. It didn't matter that it wasn't necessary.
    You responded with care for those who survived...

  8. Dogs are so amazing!
    I loved Nikie's story!
    I used to do therapy with my black& tan Tibbie, Flyer. He always knew who needed him. One Woman in the nursing home was 87 & was very frail too.The nurse said I could sit Flyer on her bed. He snuggled up to her. The nurse placed the lady's hand on his back. Her breathing which had been somewhat irregular normalized. soon we saw her fingers working through his hair. the director and several aides had been standing in the doorway watching. I, and the nurse geared up, and when I looked over everyone else had too. That was when the director told me that Miz Lili had not been responsive to any staff or doctors since her arrival 4 mos before. a few days later they told me she was talking some. and she looked forward to seeing my boy,Flyer. We got to see her several more times before she passed.

  9. Goat Fancier10:49 AM

    I will remember when words fail, make peanut butter, but not macrons!

    Tried again yesterday, perfect low humidity,gorgeous fall like day! No photos.
    Let's just say they looked like mutant unfolded fortune cookies! also tasted like them.
    They spread out &connected randomly.
    I should have painted them & shellacked them & called it an "art" piece.
    Instead I broke them up & gave them to the Goats!
    They loved them!!

  10. Thank you Carol for sharing today. I had not heard the story of Nikie and his handler, or if I had it wasn't as detailed. It allowed me to let out the emotions that I have held onto so tightly for the last few days leading up to this anniversary.

    Peace be with us all-everyone today and always.

  11. I was in the small town of Roanne, France, at Ecole des Trois Ponts. I was with a few friends from the US. My husband called to tell me what had just happened and because of the time difference, I was in town that afternoon. When I returned to the school in the late afternoon, the message my husband left was, "The US was just attacked. We are all ok but call asap". I tried to call him but all phones were out to the US. I remember talking to the MCI operator (I didn't have a cell phone in those days) and asking what had happened in the US. As soon as I asked, we were cut off. I was unable to reach him until two days later. for some reason, I was able to reach my daughter in Eugene, Oregon and my son in new York on his cell phone, but not my husband. I was frantic because my son was supposed to work in the WTC that morning. As it turned out, his job was cancelled just before that morning so he was home and safe.
    The town of Roanne and all French people we met were wonderful. Because we were Americans in their town, the local newspaper interviewed us (in French!) and placed the article on the front page with our pictures. All week, strangers came up to us when we went into town to ask how we were doing, and to ask about our families. We had a taxi driver refuse to take money from us because we were Americans. We had a group of German tourists toast to us in a restaurant when they heard us speaking English.
    The owner of the school invited us to stay at the school until the airports opened up and we could travel back to the US. He said, "Stay here. You will be safe". I remember the chef sitting with us as we watched Sky News on cable to hear what was happening in the states. This chef didn't speak a word of English but wanted to be with us as support. I cannot tell you how much all of these acts of kindness helped us at this time.
    It was difficult being out of the country at this time. Coming home was strange too. I remember all the flags and pictures of missing people at every corner.
    It is all etched in my memory, something I will never forget. I can't believe it's ten years!

  12. Thank you Clare for sharing that story
    it helps a lot

  13. I don't live in your area, nor did I 10 years ago. However, I have been avoiding any and all coverage of this as much as possible. Yours is the first blog I've read on the subject. I feel I can't cope with it. Maybe in another 10 years. I hope that's not disrespectful to the deceased and the survivors, but I get exceedingly sad when I see the images and hear the stories. Maybe it is because I was just home from surgery the day it happened and I watched the coverage 24 hours a day for several days. Maybe I never learned to cope with it. God bless you all.

  14. Anonymous12:11 PM

    Thanks for the very touching 9-11Special Edition. When I was in Paris sitting at a patisserie ,parked there on the sidewalk I saw a policeman's motorcycle with a sticker with an American flag and FDNY on it! It was very touching.
    I had to take a photo! It just said to me how the tragedy is still remembered around the world.
    Fan in rural Oregon

  15. I was on top of a mountain in Colorado, in my home. My boyfriend called me from Phoenix to tell me and I turned the TV on just in time to see the first tower fall. Then I had to get off the phone to try to call my mom and sister since they said that one plane had crashed just north of Pittsburgh and I had to see if they were okay. (It was east of Pittsburgh actually.)

    Thanks for sharing Nikie's story. Goldens are amazingly human-connected, even more than most dogs.

    Thanks, Carol.

  16. A sad day all around.... you caught e without peanuts, but at least I have Trader Joe's pb thanks to your recommendation.
    I saw the completed memorial today and think it's design is simply genius!

  17. Thank you for this sweet and touching NY-er point of view, Carol.

    I've never posted about 9/11 because I didn't think I had anything to say. But when I made myself sit down last night and think not about New York or the Twin Towers but the effects the tragedy has had on ME, I guess I had plenty. On my blog today: -

    I-heart-New York, too.

  18. P.S. You're TORTURING me with the nut butters! The other night I dreamed I wasn't allergic to peanuts anymore and I was just stuffing them into my mouth - dry roasted, chocolate covered, toffee covered...

  19. Sorry Amy :(

    I thought the peanut was really a BEAN!?

  20. IMHO I think that you are the perfect anti 9-11.
    I think that our response as a society to the 9-11 attacks should be to embrace life, and all of the beauty that life holds, in nature, in art, and in our friendshps with each other.
    Furthermore, I think that we should share all of life's beauty and joys with each other.
    Isn't that exactly what you do with PB--seek and find beauty in life, then bring joy to your loyal followers by sharing it everyday?

    Thank you for all that you do to bring joy and color into my life!

    Yours very truly and appreciatively,


  21. Geri, NJ4:06 PM

    Thank you Carol,
    I've avoided the media each anniversary until this year. That morning, my husband called me to say "Ger, I just heard a very low plane fly over the building...I want you to know I'm ok." I turn on the TV, say, "There's nothing about anything...." and simultaneously, I hear the first responders, through the telephone...and witnessed the second plane on TV. This weekend, I was able to share once again with our daughter certain things, like how her dad instinctively knew the North Tower was collapsing bc in his office 14 floors up, 8 blocks away, he could feel it...his legs began to shake, perhaps from nerves, and he fell to the floor. Some time later, after collecting himself, because he had waited a bit too long to leave to try to get home, he ended up too close to the rubble, invoking a bit of firefighters' ire, thankfully, and thereby having to run away from building #7 as it collapsed a few hours later. Sorry for adding so much to this unlikely forum for 9/11 discussion, but I had to get it out. I hope I can feel strong enough to some day visit the memorial, the design of which is brilliant. On an aside note: I have never forgotten the kind message of condolences Emailed to us from a small Paris shop, Gault Miniature Galleries, on Rue de Rivoli, which we had visited a couple of years earlier. I had no other business w/them other than purchasing some lovely souvenirs once, and leaving my email address at their request. Never heard from them before, or since, 9/11; I printed that out and come across it every now and then as a reminder of the inherent kindness of people in general.

  22. Dear Clare, I can't tell you how much your story has meant to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  23. Great post.
    I used to have a gf in Jersey & I was in NYC a lot. I saw the towers a lot. Like every tourist, I took pictures.
    When the towers were hit everything changed for all of us.
    I'm glad that you weren't working inside the buildings on that day :)

  24. Carol, I had a media free day today (aside from watching the US Open Women's Finals this afternoon.) It was much better for me to be contact with friends, old and new and to share individual, personal feeling about then and now.

    I think that those of us who were hereabouts 10 years ago have very clear memories that will cling for a long time still.


  25. Thanks for the post. It's therapeutic to share and so important for those who weren't around in 2011 (or were very young) to understand the horror and the magnitude of what happened. God bless America.

  26. Nothing like fashion week to make one think Paris.
    I agree more with Peggy Noonan's WSJ daughter lives/lived 4 blocks from ground zero and saw the planes go in and lived through the aftermath. She has so much to be thankful for.

  27. Wow Carol, your post has opened up the hearts of so many of your fans, and rightfully so. On this recent 10th anniversary, I was with my ailing Dad, in his little S. Jersey house. Throughout every day he likes to listen to a Philly round-the-clock newsradio station. Every 20 minutes they repeat the very same news, and interviews, and stories, and on this day, it was mostly replays of their "live" broadcast of that fateful day, 10 years ago. I share the sorrow and horror of that crazy day, but by Sunday night I was SO TIRED of hearing the same sounds, over and over. It was just too much. And quite honestly, I almost felt offended at the crassness of it all.
    Or so it seemed then.
    But yours is a wonderful post.


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