News / USA

    A Death Scene on 9/11, Lower Manhattan Now Brims with Life

    Peter Fedynsky

    The attack on the World Trade Center's Twin Towers in New York 10 years ago not only destroyed the skyscrapers, it changed the character of life in the surrounding neighborhood.  In the past decade, the area has evolved from its business oriented past, when it was known only as the Financial District, to a family-friendly enclave referred to as the Diaper District. 

    Stephanie Hryckowian, the daughter of a Ukrainian immigrant who owned the Beekman Deli, a thriving family business that served office workers from the Twin Towers for a quarter century says Osama bin Laden’s terrorist attack devastated her life.

    "When the president said they got Osama, I sat there crying, because I was so happy they got that **** ‘cause he ruined our lives," she says.

    Hryckowian's deli went from making $25,000 a week profit to nothing.

    "We were sitting pretty before that [9/11].  After that, it all disappeared," she recalls.

    The deli folded and the location is now occupied by a Bank of America ATM center.

    Nearby is one of the office buildings formerly served by the Beekman Deli.  Like many older buildings in Lower Manhattan, it was abandoned by businesses and reconverted for residential use after September 11.  The area now has 56,000 residents - more than twice it had 10 years ago.

    People relax under shade trees at the British Garden at Hanover Square in New York. Out of the ashes of 9/11 has risen a vibrant neighborhood packed with new restaurants and hotels, places to live and spots to shop, along with many ways to pay respects to an area some worried would never come back.

    "Today, the Financial District has the highest concentration of households with children in the city," says newcomer Luis Vazquez.

    In fact, so many children that The New York Times  dubbed the area the "Diaper District". The local baby boom is hard to miss - scores of children play in a riverfront park, mothers push baby strollers down side streets, and pass by the former Beekman Deli.  

    "It’s nice to see that in the shadow of that there are all these children and there are all these activities, and it has become a wonderful destination," says Jocelyn Zoland, who saw one of the planes crash into the World Trade Center.  "We’ll see if things change though."  

    Zoland says that change could include millions of tourists expected to flood the area with the completion of a 9/11 museum at Ground Zero, and tens of thousands of new office workers who will occupy Freedom Tower, a skyscraper being built to replace the Twin Towers.

    The Beekman Deli is gone. Many neighboring businesses remain shuttered. But Stephanie Hryckowian says what did not disappear was the deli’s obligation to pay its lease through 2004, as well as taxes.  Those debts cost Hryckowian $500,000 in savings. She now rents out her home and lives with relatives.

    "We have no health insurance," she laments. "We have no 401K [retirement savings account].  We have no retirement fund.  We have nothing after 9/11."

    Lower Manhattan promises to overcome the aftermath of 9/11 with more vitality than ever before.  But Stephanie Hryckowian is unemployed and still struggling to cope with the devastation of bin Laden’s attacks.

    You May Like

    Beijing Warns Critics Over South China Sea Dispute

    Official warns critics that the more they challenge China's position regarding disputed territories in one of world’s busiest waterways, the more it will push back

    Will New Russian Force Be 'Putin’s Personal Army'?

    With broad powers to control riots, suppress dissent, National Guard may be aimed at sending a message to West as much as keeping peace at home

    Move Over Millennials, Here Comes iGeneration

    It’s the first American generation to be born, almost literally, with a smartphone in hand

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Image Recognition Market Seen Doubling by 2020i
    X
    Ramon Taylor
    May 05, 2016 10:05 PM
    From auto tagging on Facebook to self-driving cars, image recognition technology as it exists today is still in its beginning phases, experts say — and will soon change the way users and corporations interact with the physical world. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
    Video

    Video Image Recognition Market Seen Doubling by 2020

    From auto tagging on Facebook to self-driving cars, image recognition technology as it exists today is still in its beginning phases, experts say — and will soon change the way users and corporations interact with the physical world. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
    Video

    Video Child Labor in Afghanistan Remains a Problem

    With war still raging in Afghanistan, the country also faces the problem of child labor as families put their school-age children to work to help make ends meet. But, thanks to VOA's Afghan Service, two families whose children had been working in a brick-making factory - to earn their livings and pay off family debts - now have a new lease on life. Zabihullah Ghazi reports.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora