Having spent much of last week at the World Trade Center, I wasn’t there yesterday, so I am fine. The wind doesn’t seem to be carrying the smoke and dust north, so we are physically unaffected in midtown Manhattan, but, even aside from emotions, we are certainly affected.
I cannot yet make any long distance calls (yesterday even local phone service was sporadic). The subway service is still spotty. For reasons I do not understand, most stores and theaters even in my neighborhood were asked to close. The entire Lincoln Center complex was closed, and, even with my ID card, I was not allowed in. Restaurants and food stores remain open, but they cannot take credit cards due to the phone problems. With no traffic allowed into the city, I wonder how long supplies will last. The blood drives have been overwhelmingly successful. The Red Cross has been turning donors away. The sound of fighter jets thundering by is a little freaky. Most people look a little dazed, even up here.
From a TV standpoint, most analog and digital TV stations had been broadcasting from the top of the north tower of the World Trade Center, so they are all off the air. The notable exception is WCBS-TV, which retained an auxiliary transmitter in the Empire State Building. When the World Trade Center was bombed years ago, WCBS-TV was the only major station to stay on the air; that’s still the case. WCBS-DT and WNYW-DT, which are also located on the Empire State Building, are also on the air.
Because programming on the major stations yesterday consisted of wall-to-wall coverage of the attack and aftermath with no commercials, WABC-TV (channel 7) was able to be carried by WNYE-TV (channel 25, the Board of Education station, located in Brooklyn), WHSE-TV (channel 68, Home Shopping Network, Empire State Building), and New Jersey Network (PBS, which has one station, WNJM, channel 50, located just eight miles from Manhattan).
Most local cable systems get video and audio feeds either directly from the stations or via the microwave New York Interconnect, so cable had all channels. In addition, co-owned cable networks carried broadcast news programming, so, for example, VH-1 had CBS news, ESPN had ABC news, TNT had CNN, Fox Sports had Fox news, etc.
If anyone would like me to relay messages via local calls, just let me know.