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

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid