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

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles More

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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid