Some of you have heard the story before, for which I apologise. For those that haven’t, the details are below. Strange, the twists and turns we experience.
The email below was written some years ago, after the events of 9/11. You’ll understand why I wrote it, I hope. As far as I know, this letter has never been printed. If you’d like to share it, please feel free to do so. It may eventually find it’s way to it’s intended recipient.
With continued respect and affection for New City and the people who live there.
Sent: 24 August 2004 21.18
Subject: IMPORTANT: Message from UK
I live in North Wales, in the United Kingdom. I am writing to you in the hope that you could perhaps print a message to a citizen of New York city in your newspaper.
In September 2001 I was staying with relatives in the Washington DC area, on vacation, and decided to take a trip on the Greyhound bus to New York. I had always wanted to visit the city having seen it on television and read about it over the years. So two friends and myself decided to make the trip.
When we arrived we explored, and that evening went out to eat and see some more sights. Around 10.30pm we left the Broomhill bar (I think in Little Italy?) with the intention of going across the river on the Staten Island ferry. The taxi driver who drove us was a great character, friendly and a real New Yorker. He asked us what our plans were, to which we replied, “We’re going to go up the Empire State Building tomorrow.”
The driver pointed out the window, and gave us some honest advice: “See that building there?” he asked. We nodded. “That’s the Twin Towers. Go there tomorrow morning; it’s free, you don’t have to wait, and it’s higher up so you get a better view.” We thanked him and said we’d take his advice.
The next day, as you can probably guess, was September 11th.
My companions and I never made it to the top of the towers (we stayed out late and didn’t get up that morning early enough). We were lucky, as the horror that unfolded that day proved.
I just want to let that taxi driver know – we didn’t go to the Towers that morning. Just in case he is tortured by the advice he gave us. I don’t know the taxi drivers name, just that he drove a yellow cab and was a native New Yorker (his father, he told us, had worked on the Staten Island ferry). I hope that you can print this letter in the hope that he may read it, so his mind may be eased if this has troubled him. Because if he has been troubled, he need not worry anymore. I’m sorry this letter hasn’t been written sooner.
With fondest regards to the people and city of New York,
(Email address removed for privacy)