Letter from New York
by Scott Stowell

My studio is just over a kilometer from where the World Trade Center used to be. We had a great view of the Twin Towers from the sidewalk in front of the building. Eight weeks ago, I came to work early to meet a deadline. After hearing the news, I walked out the front door around 9:00 and into a different city than the one I'd been living in for eleven years.

I’ve always loved New York because it’s the city where anything can happen, anywhere, anytime. I guess that turned out to be more correct than I thought.

I now live in a city where I know that people will help and support each other. I now live in a city where every firehouse is covered with flowers every day. I now live in a city dotted with military checkpoints, but no one seems to mind. I also now live in a city where we're relieved if a plane crash turns out to be the result of mechanical failure.

But New York is still full of smart, exciting people doing smart, exciting things. Reactionary flag-waving aside, I’m prouder to live here than ever before. Who knew Milton Glaser’s I Heart NY logo would become a political symbol?

It’s been said that what happened here in September pushed all relationships forward six months. The economy had been slow, and that hasn’t changed. But now, if a project had been on hold, it’s happening. If a project had been problematic, it’s now over. People concentrate on what matters, and help each other get it done.

Whenever I close my eyes, I still see images of what I witnessed on the morning of September 11th—not the TV version. And I never did make that deadline, but no one seemed to mind.

This article was written for Graphics International Issue 92 (December 2001).