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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid