Dear Valued Customers,
March 11th just rolled by and I still feel so broken hearted. Six months ago was one of the worst days of my life. On March 11th the city placed to giant light at the base of where the towers stood. Ben and I were with about two to three hundred people in Union Square when they flipped the switch and the lights went on. There was silence and a tremendous feeling of disappointment. The lights were beautiful but I truly believe that every person in that crowd was hoping for more. I think in our hearts we were hoping for the towers to be back in place as if rebuilding themselves piece by piece. Last night I saw a movie and it showed the pre 9/11 skyline and everybody in the theater gasped and there was sadness. The wounds are still fresh but I hope with time we will heal.
In memory of 9/11 I have decided to forego my usual market report. Below you will find my market report from September (actually listed under August). God bless – see you next month.
By now the whole world knows about the tragedy that has befallen our great United States of America. This Market Report will have nothing to do with comics this month. I will have a very late review of the Wizard World Convention Next month. As for now I am including emails I have sent to many of you and some you have not seen yet. These include emails from friends and customers from all over the world.
For now I pray for Peace and I pray for Justice. I would like to ask that every person who reads this market report please find a way to help- I know most of you already have but I thought I should mention. Also, please go to middle eastern members of your community and ask them if they are ok – let them know you know they love this country as much as you do – do not take out our anger on them. God Bless you all.
It's the day after the Attack on America, things are very quiet in NYC. I came to the office on the F train this morning. Just the walk to the train was surreal, I could feel sadness and disbelief in the air. The atmosphere on the train was no different. When we came out of the underground part of the subway we all peered out of the window of the train. I felt a lump build up in my throat as I viewed the NYC skyline. The Twin Towers were gone. There was still a plume of smoke rising in the air from where it stood. The city was eerily quiet this morning. There were hardly any cars in the city and it all seemed so surreal. People were trying to go about there day but you could tell something was wrong.
Yesterday morning I went to the train station a few blocks from my home. I was trying to call my mom from my cell phone but couldn't. I tried again but it was just dead? As I turned the corner on 4th Ave. to enter the train station at Union Street, I saw people standing around and I heard someone from the crowd say the trains were closed. And then I heard it ... A plane flew into the World Trade Center. A plane flew into the World Trade Center? How could that happen I asked myself? How could any pilot not avoid the WTC? Then I walked to the corner where a larger group of people stood looking at the NYC Skyline. There it was the WTC-both buildings on fire. As I watched it burn my jaw literally dropped. For a split second I wondered how strange the WTC was going to look after they got the fires out. Believe it or not the magnitude of what happened still did not really hit me. I walked across the street and was going to try to jump in a cab to get to the office (call it dedication or sheer stupidity) and someone said it was 2 planes. It was at that moment I realized we had been attacked by terrorists. I called the office to see if the guys were there and if they were ok. Even though we are about a mile away from where the WTC stood I still wanted to make sure. Nitin and Zac were at the office and were ok. Steve and Ben did not make it to Manhattan.
After learning all of the bridges and tunnels were closed I started walking home. Though I live only a few blocks from the train station the walk seemed to take an eternity. People were in the streets, in front of their homes and every person was in a state of shock. I was overwhelmed with sorrow and could barely comprehend what had just happened. I thought that after I got home I would grab my bike and ride over to the Promenade (a walkway where you can see the skyline of Manhattan and take some photos of this tragic moment. I thought how important this was for future generations to see. Before I realized it I was home. Linda met me at the entrance of our apartment in tears. We hugged and tried to console one another. I tried making calls from home but the lines were dead. My mother called soon after, devastated, hoping I was all right. After, Lin and I sat in front of the one TV in the house that worked. We watched and learned what had happened to the Pentagon and then it happened. It did not even occur to me. One of the WTC buildings collapsed. It was gone. It was gone. I could not understand this. This does not happen to America. This does not happen in NYC. And not too long after the other followed. How strange the skyline looked. How ironic that Lin and I had planned to go to the top of the WTC the week before but did not make it due to other plans getting in the way. All plans of me riding to the Promenade vanished I was in shock- Lin was in shock- the world was in shock. We just sat and watched the TV.
People have long stated that Americans do not have the same grit and heart of those during W.W. II. I walked to our local hospital to give blood yesterday. There were signs in storefronts reading Emergency please give blood at local hospital. When we got to the hospital there was a group of people reading a sign saying that they had received as much blood as they could handle and would open again Wednesday to take more donations. And this was the same all over the city. People were bringing food and themselves as volunteers to local hospitals to help. This tragedy has galvanized the people of our city and our country. That is what makes us great- we are United.
We went to sleep at midnight. As I tried to sleep I wanted to believe the old cliche', that I would awoke the next day and this would all be a bad dream. But when I woke up in the middle of the night unable to sleep the first thing that flashed through my mind was the 2nd plane colliding into the South Tower. I still could not believe it and I could not sleep. I found out this morning that the same thing happened to many of my friends.
Our prayers go out to all of you all over the country. Know that we are ok and we hope and pray for all of the victims and family members of the victims. We have lost something very precious in our country. We are at war. We will prevail and everything will be ok.
Thanks so very much for your kind words- pass my email and this one along to as many as possible- people all over the world should know what is going on. They should know how much love, compassion and courage there is in this city as well as in D.C. They should know people are uniting like never before, not only in NYC, not only in the USA, but all over the world. I sat in on a candle light vigil last night and prayed in a circle of people from all over the world. We sang songs and prayed and consoled one another. We will persevere.
Thank you. Keep praying.
This is a letter from a fellow comic collector who is a photographer:
”I was downtown at 9am for a photo job at Vestry and Hudson
“On the way as I was driving the first tower was already hit and people were just saying a plane had crashed .I had my cameras and I began taking pictures out the window as I had open views of the towers. When I got below Canal the view was unbelievable .The second plane had struck and the first tower's upper floors were entirely engulfed in smoke and flame. This is when I saw something fall ... from the upper floors ...It just did not register ,my mind kinda just wouldn't allow me to realize right away that it was a man in a brown suit fighting the air on the way down .I could see SOS s being waved out the windows ,I shot a few frames and then changed lenses and shot a few more frames .now this is happening and I am thinking "I gotta get up to this ad agency for my photo job " ...So I actually go upstairs to the office thinking I gotta do my job ,get paid etc
“But when I get up there, of coarse, people are freaking and are out on the fire-escape watching .By this point the mass exodus has started north and thousands of people are coming up Hudson but everyone is pretty calm and just walking ,the cell phones were down and there were lines forming at the payphones ,We were watching out the windows when the first tower came down ..you just don't get the scope of the debris from the long-range camera shots on the news ,the physical stuff must have covered 4-5 squared blocks ,its was an umbrella of death to the street below 100s and 100s of people were caught in this maybe 1000's and all the Fire, EMS and Police that were working the situation and working the building were just engulfed .This is when the woman whose son works in the Tower broke down and any sense of "lets get through our normal day" was gone .The smoke, dust and debris FILLED all of lower Manhattan FILLED it ,I picked up my stuff and said bye and made it for the elevator .There was a guy in the elevator going down with a camcorder and I told him the tower had collapsed and he just didn't even hear me "no it couldn't have "
“I could see he was psyched to have a camcorder to go record what was going on, it had not sunk in to him either .As I got out to the street the whole energy had shifted gears, People were now jogging and looking over their shoulders and payphone lines were abandoned for evacuation. This five-storey wall of gray smoke and matter was moving up the street engulfing everything. Some people where I was, were still holding their ground but as the cloud kept coming and the sky was literally filled with smoke and debris you could not see anything else, the other tower wasn't even visible, I thought to myself because I am a photographer to stay and even make my way down into it but people were actually saying "its terrorist for sure and they might have had biological weapons on those planes " this actually spooked me and I made for my van and headed north prioritizing the fact that I have a family and they needed me .There was no traffic heading south at all and everyone heading north was orderly I made for the George Washington bridge As I passed the huge Post office across from the Garden (the only one I know that is actually open 24 hrs )police were taping it off, closing it .By the time I got to the bridge entrance the police had closed it ,Now everyone out of town heard on the news that these throughways were closed but when you are seeing people die and are trying to get home to protect your pregnant wife and 3yr old son because you have no idea what's going to happen next and you are thinking that you may have to evacuate the area and your home ,this makes no sense to you at the moment ,they are trapping the people in the city and I did feel powerless so I parked my car and walked over to the walkway for the bridge and they were not letting people walk either .I had a Cop yell at me about it when I said to him "it makes no sense to not let people at least walk across " and the answer was no not only to the 100s of people milling about at this point but a man with the secret service produced his ID and was refused access. So no one was going across because the were afraid that the Bridge was a target .So I was talking to a guy that was trying to get to a town next to mine and we were told that the Tapenzee was the only thing open, which is the northernmost bridge out of Bronx, so the entire city was being bottlenecked north and we tried to make it up there but it took 2 hrs to get 20 blocks ,just as we were going to get stuck on the Deegan expressway the radio said that they had opened the upper level of the GW bridge so I made a U turn and headed towards the GWB it took now 2 hrs to get back that 20 blocks to the bridge but it was moving a couple car lengths at a time .By the Bridge all these business people in suits were begging rides across the bridge because they were still not lets people walk so I got 6 more people in my van and took them across .I dropped everyone at the major intersection in my town where they were having people pick them up and meet them then I got home and hugged my wife and son .My neighbor across the street is a high ranking state highway patrolman he wears a suit to work not a uniform but there he was in his drive way in uniform loading his guns. He was on his way to Liberty State park where they were setting up Medical and morgue facilities. I turned the TV on and saw the TV pictures for the first time I fought back tears many times watching these pictures as I still am. Last night I had dreams that I could call "nightmares " but all they were the sights I had seen during the day, the man in the brown suit swimming through the air, the huge cloud coming down etc I woke up several times as the line between dream and reality seemed blurred I still hope I am going to wake up and this nightmare will be over.
I feel really depressed and powerless right now and I wish I could have gone down to help and take pictures but I had to think about my family and getting back to them to protect them. My wife's best friend (the girl who threw her baby shower), her fiancé is missing. He got a call out to his parents while he was still in the building but now no word for the past 24 hrs. I have not heard about a couple other guys I know that are broker/trader types that work there.
Today is my son's 3rd birthday and I am trying to act happy and playful with him. I just have to make his world, my wife's and my unborn son's a better place, one day at a time where I can. I have to take my power back and make the difference where I can.
Lin and I spent the night at a Vigil in Union Square. When we got there a Buddhist Meditation was taking place. Hundreds of people sat in cross-legged, in lotus, or semi-lotus positions and lit candles. There was chanting and then we circled the park in procession. After, people gathered around a Lama who stood by four aluminum catering trays filled with water and tea candles. When the ceremony was finished we walked to the 14th St. end of Union Square Park and stood with candles around a large statue of a candle. We prayed and held each other. There were so many people.
There were people drumming and across from them others had created a forum for New Yorkers to voice their opinions. I was amazed and though this is what Ancient Greece must have been like in the beginning days of democracy. Strangely enough we were all congregating under a statue of George Washington and off to the left a statue of Ghandi. We sat and listened to people with very interesting perspectives speak their mind. Many in opposition to one another- but I guess that is part of the beauty of living in a country like ours. A country where people with different opinions can speak freely. God bless our country.
After, we walked downtown. The air was getting bad and smelled of burnt metal. A most horrid smell. A smell I will never forget. Almost everywhere we looked we saw people wearing ventilators and decided to stop into a local tavern and ask for some dampened napkins. The bartender obliged and when I went to give him a tip he soundly objected, I did not press the situation because I understood- it wasn't about money it was about being a decent human being and about being a good neighbor and fellow New Yorker.
We entered a restaurant and tried to enjoy a meal. It was a good meal but all I kept thinking about was how much everything had changed. Our country, our lives and our futures...what would be next.
We headed back to Union Square and when we arrived a circle had formed around a group of women chanting "All we are saying is give Peace a chance". We joined in and Linda began to cry. I held her so tight and sang louder. We sang for what seemed like hours. I turned to my left and noticed a young woman next to us who was also crying. As we left I tried to comfort her, gently rubbing her shoulder. Lin reached out her hand to hers and they held one another’s hands tightly until we left.
The sight from the train was as eerie as it was the first day I saw it. The skyline had lost something. I could no longer recognize New York City. People all over the train peered out the window, many I believe still in some kind of shock.
When we arrived back in Park Slope-our home, we crossed 4th Ave and noticed 2 men putting up a banner on a fence. They called it the Mending Fence. A small sign told how one of the men had been sitting watching the TV for so long, after breaking its hypnotic hold he thought about how he yearned to do something-anything to help (just as so many New Yorkers and people all over the country and the world want to do). He created the Mending Fence. You could take a piece of material and write a note on the back of it and then attach it to the fence. We immediately went into his store and wrote our messages of peace, love and compassion for all to read when they passed the Mending Fence. As I sat and wrote I realized how blessed I was to live in such a wonderful neighborhood. On our way home we passed a home where 3 large black garbage bags had been left out. On the fence upon which the half-filled bags leaned were signs. One sign read “pants”, the next “shirts” and the next “shoes.” Another sign read "lets all pitch in and help those without". Again my heart was filled with love and pride.
I know things are difficult for us all. I can't tell you how much I appreciate all of your emails and calls. They help to strengthen us. I cried today and yesterday and I probably will cry tomorrow. That is fine.
Please email this to as many people as you can. I want people all over the world to know what is happening here in New York. God Bless you all. Keep praying and meditating – we will get through this together. Hopefully things in this country will change for the better –we will, I believe, be more compassionate to one another and more tolerant. God bless you all.
Friday Night at 7:00 p.m. step out your door, stop your car, or step out of your establishment and light a candle. We will show the world that Americans are strong and united together against terrorism. Please pass this to everyone on your e-mail list. We need to reach everyone across the United States quickly.
The message: WE STAND UNITED - WE WILL NOT TOLERATE TERRORISM.
We need press to cover this -- we need the world to see
Glad to hear from you again. I hope the time you spend with your fellow New Yorkers can somehow begin to help the healing process. It has to help some to know that you are not alone with all of this: the people who are close around you are able to talk about it and help everyone to deal with it. If the terrorists thought that this would divide our great country, they were sadly mistaken. It has brought us together like nothing has since Dec. 7th, 1941. Just hearing about the different opinions that people have and the different groups that were gathered together makes you realize how great the country is. I'll tell you one thing, you're all heroes in NYC. One doesn't have to watch the TV too long to realize that. Just getting up and going about the day-to-day things after all that has happened is heroic. You all have shown the world what it is to be Americans.
I hope you got to see some of the vigils and gatherings all over the country today on TV. Please remember that we all support you. We had a TV station here collect $327,000 yesterday for the Red Cross and to help with the rescue effort. Collections are being taken everyday at business places in the area. If you see any trailer loads of cookies, crackers and snacks from the Kroger Co. show up there in NYC those were made where I work, the Kroger Bakery in Columbus, Ohio. On the news tonight they had a little girl here in Columbus who had a lemonade stand to raise money for the Red Cross. She was taking donations and she got $2000. One person gave her $300. This is happening all across this great country.
I wish you all the best. I have shared the emails with other people who are close to me and also family members so they can know what is going on there from people who are actually experiencing it, not just some news report. Thanks again for sharing these moments with me, please write as often as you like. God Bless.
We were in Long Island today and went to a firemen lead car wash with all proceeds going to help the victims. We also saw a house with RED White & Blue Christmas lights all over their home spelling out USA!
Flags were everywhere – little girls selling lemonade and cookies for donations!
It was inspiring.
Once again thanks for reading and please feel free to send these to anybody who you think it will help.