Since this morning....

After I was rate-limited by Twitter (they are trying to fix it now), I went out for a run, the same longer run (six miles) that I used to take 10 years ago. Until last weekend, I had not taken that longer run since my cancer surgeries. As I ran today, I listen to Brian Lehrer on WNYC and the ceremony at the World Trade Center.

Here is what happened to me in that time 10 years ago...

As I emerged from the sanctuary of the Chase building after the first tower fell, on the plaza there in front of a sculpture in black and white, an African American couple passed, dazed. I asked whether they were OK. They nodded. I remember they were covered in white, as was I, except for the trails of dark tears on the woman's face.

When I came out of my refuge in the Chase building, I decided to walk east, away from the towers, as the second was sure to fall. As I walked east, it did, sending more dust through the air.

I saw people buying masks as a hardware store. They sold out.

I reached the East River and saw more police, fire, and emergency medical personnel arriving. Some saw me, covered in the dust, and stopped me to ask what it was like back there. They wondered what had happened to their brothers and sisters.

I misinformed them. I told them I'd seen the top of the tower fall, as I had. I didn't realize that the entire South Tower had collapsed.

I was desperate to clean my eyes, mouth, nose, and ears. I went into a nearly empty supermarket, still open, and picked up a bottle of water and roll of paper towels. The lady at the checkout barked, "closed," as I approached. Then she looked at me and her tough New Yorkness melted. She checked me out. I say that was the bridge from old New York to new New York.

Outside, first responders who had also left the scene came up to me so they, too, could use my paper towels and water to wash their faces.

I started walking north.

At the Brooklyn Bridge, I saw people walking across like refugees. I debated joining them, to get farther away from the destruction, but that also would have taken me farther from home in New Jersey.

I continued north and hooked up with a man in a business suit, just to have someone to talk with, finally. We compared stories. As we walked farther way from the Trade Center, I was the only person in site covered with the dust. Some people looked at me in horror. Others stopped and ask, "Are you OK?" That happened a lot that day. I asked the man with me whether I looked scary. He said I did but it was getting better as the wind blew the dust off me.

I stopped in newsstands trying to use a phone to call home. I wondered what the proprietors, some Middle Eastern, were thinking. As a reporter, I wish I'd just asked them. They let me try to use their phones but they were not working.

We walked by storefronts with TVs and crowds watching. That was the first time I saw how the world saw 9/11: towers in the distance with smoke rising; lower Manhattan with a cloud of destruction rising. It had looked so different to me, at eye level.

Stores were closing all the way uptown and by the time I arrived in Times Square, now shut, it was practically shut.

About 1 p.m., I made it to CondéNet's offices at 1440 Broadway, a block from where I work today. The building had been evacuated like all around. I begged the guard to let me up to my office there and he did. It was empty.
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