The New York Mood: Brave, But . . .
New York is operating on nervous energy these days. Worries spurred the clearing of buildings citywide on Thursday, at Grand Central Terminal, the Port Authority Bus Terminal and the Time Life Building (home of PEOPLE), among other locations. On Wednesday, the Empire State Building had been evacuated. Former President Bill Clinton walked the streets of Manhattan on Thursday and toured the wreckage of the World Trade Center with his daughter, Chelsea, who was only 12 blocks away when the twin towers collapsed. On Thursday night, thousands gathered in Union Square Park for a candlelight vigil. Many clutched pictures of their missing friends and relatives, hoping that someone -- somewhere -- would recognize their faces and deliver good news. Acrid air wafted all over Manhattan and blew northward from the disaster site Thursday night and Friday morning, forcing people to wear breathing masks. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of residents in lower Manhattan remain homeless, having been evacuated on Tuesday because of safety concerns and power outages. In Battery Park City, a nearby residential enclave built on landfill taken from the base of the World Trade Center as it was being built more than 30 years ago, people who'd gone to work on Tuesday have yet to be permitted back into their apartments -- leaving behind an untold number of unattended pets. Driven by their own desperation, more than 2,500 people stood in line at the armory on 26th Street and Lexington Avenue, waiting to complete missing-persons reports. At St. Vincent's Hospital, where many of the victims from Tuesday's attacks were taken, relatives waited hours to find out whether or not their loved ones had been admitted. Elsewhere in the city, the stock markets will stay closed until next week while workers race to replace the communications and power systems lost in the attack, though some experts are unconvinced that will be enough time to repair the damage. Officials have announced that trading will resume on Monday morning. Traffic in Manhattan, though surrealistically light, is slowly returning to normal north of 14th Street. It is the plan to restore normal access as far south of Canal Street. Below Canal (where the World Trade Center stood and is the location of Wall Street) still remains very much a sealed fortress.
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