The City Never Sleeps

images I had to be all the way downtown at 4:30 a.m. the other day and was shocked at what I found. Rather than the emptiness I expected, the financial district was packed with people. There was even a bride and groom preparing to take a picture at sunrise.

It began on the train where I couldn’t get a seat. The changing of the guard, as it’s called, was in full swing. Granted, quite a few passengers were sleeping, but still, at that early hour, I had to actually stand.

When I got off at the Bowling Green stop so did thirty others, some heading to the ferry but most of them already going to their offices. Was I rightfully impressed.

There were also newspaper trucks and garbage pick-ups, restaurant deliveries and men sweeping the sidewalk. If I had any qualms over being safe they left me quickly.

New York I forget has her own pulse. When I think this was a heartbeat away from where the World Trade Center once stood, I can hardly believe it. Fear is the last thing one feels. There’s spirit in its stead that soars overhead where those planes did so much memorable damage.

I’m sometimes asked how not only can I still live here, but how can I go near where so many innocent people perished? They were merely going to work, same as me, never dreaming of what was about to happen. Aren’t I afraid? What if it occurs again while I’m down there.

It’s not that I don’t think of that terrible day especially when I am in the vicinity…how could you not, but I’m just like every other New Yorker. We live here…Manhattan…it’s in our blood and hard to shake once it gets in there. I pray Al Qaeda leaves us be, but like everyone else living within her shores, New York’s home and she seems to take care of her own…

even at 4 a.m. on a Thursday morning. Like the man dropping off the New York Times toΒ  the massive office building I was waiting in front of who kindly offered me a copy. “Here Miss, have a read while you wait for whoever.”

I did, and on the front page, what do you know, there was a nationwide terrorist alert. Was I scared? No, just read it as I sipped my coffee waiting for my peers to arrive.

After all, what will be will be and if my number is up, it doesn’t much matter where I live, now does it?

Lightening (or a plane) could strike anywhere.


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
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16 Responses to The City Never Sleeps

  1. skinnyuz2b says:

    So true, Susannah. The first news that I read this morning was of an Australian baseball player, shot and killed in Oklahoma by some bored teenagers. It doesn’t matter where you run to, so you might as well live where you are most fulfilled and happy.


    • That’s an awful story Skinny. What is wrong with people? We’re having an explosion of gay hate crimes. All these men are being brutally attacked by gangs downtown. Amazing. I really, in my innocence that I completely own, never understand where hatred breeds from. Is it in the water?


  2. When I see a sign that reads “open 24 hours” I think “please, NY has been doing that since the beginning of time.”


  3. micklively says:

    I sympathise, for what it’s worth: my missus has the alarm set for 0400, three mornings each week. The world is a different place at that time of day. It’s true, even in sleepy Lincolnshire. I find early morning people are happy people. A sweeping generalisation, I realise, but that’s the way it seems to me.


  4. Jeanette Hamilton says:

    You are so right about lightning striking anywhere. I read an article recently listing the ten US cities with the highest crime rate per capita. My little sleepy southern city was near the top of the list and New York didn’t even make the list. Of course, the threat of another terrorist attack is a whole different matter but if you’re going to live your life in fear you might as well just hang it up. I say take reasonable precautions and just keep living your beautiful life. Next time I am in Manhatten, I will make a special effort to experience it at 4:30 a.m.


    • It’s always so nice to hear from you. Fear is a terrible emotion one I fight tooth and nail. I do take precautions like. walking on the wider Avenues rather than the side streets. Instead of by myself I stand on a crowded train platform away from the edge. New Yorkers in the morning all seem to possess an air of hope even if it comes wrapped in stifled yawns. I’ve heard myself say, Manhattan is the only place I feel safe…it’s when I step over the state line I get nervous…hope you’re well.


  5. D. D. Syrdal says:

    Morning is like time in an alternate universe. You get to be in the world without having to share it with so many people. It’s like being part of a special club. People (humanity) are often criticized for quickly forgetting about disasters and tragedies, but that’s part of our survival instinct. If we weren’t able to put those things out of our minds and trudge on we’d have died out as a species long ago. Be thankful for being able to forget (or at least not dwell on) horrors. The world has never been a safe place.


  6. kerrycooks says:

    Interesting that you mentioned lightening, as you’re actually far more likely to be struck by lightening than be injured by a terrorist attack.


  7. As I just came in from dodging lightening while walking the dog, I agree with the above comment… Love this post, New Yorkers are the best, I think… they were knocked pretty hard and yet they stood up, survived, and live. I have the most respect for them as a whole.

    Interesting post, I used to wake at 4:30 daily and we lived across from a major freeway. The sound of the traffic increasing from 4:30 to 5 was constant. It is amazing how many people are not only awake, but up and functioning at that hour. Love early mornings! Thanks for this, DAF


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