They tried to blow up my city last night

Last night, a Nissan Pathfinder loaded with propane tanks, gasoline, fireworks (?!) and a detonator was parked on 45th Street and Broadway—right in the heart of Times Square. The detonator went off but it failed to ignite an explosion. It was discovered around 6:30 p.m. I’ve been through that area at that hour and it is choked with beautiful, happy tourists. Those wonderful people who come to New York and help to feed, and feed off of, its greatness.

A quick-thinking T-shirt vendor, who is now a local hero, saw smoke coming from the back of the car and alerted a mounted police officer. The officer smelled gunpowder and Times Square was evacuated.

Then, these tough motherfuckers from the bomb squad moved in and did their thing. Who ARE these guys?!

Brendan McDermid/Reuters

The very good Mayor Bloomberg held a press conference at 2:30 a.m. Apparently, he was at an event because he typically doesn’t dress like this when talking to the media.

Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times

I’m exhausted with sadness. I don’t want to live through another 9/11. Mrs. Wife and I had an apartment just a mile and a half from the World Trade Center and I’ve experienced all the terrorist activity I care to for one lifetime. And PLEASE spare me any lectures this morning about how other parts of the world suffer this fate on a daily basis. I’m not a blind idiot. I feel for them.

But New York is my home, so this cuts deep and it’s personal. I love this city so much and I don’t want it all fucked up. Again. It’s like watching someone try to hurt somebody you love.

19 thoughts on “They tried to blow up my city last night

  1. the responsible eejit will be caught in this case, and i suspect it was a one-off whack job, not the harbinger of future threats to NYC. Can see that for you this is certainly a personal attack…

  2. What was interesting to me when I read abut it this morning was that I thought of you. Honestly, I wondered what you were going to say about this knowing how much you love that city.

  3. I liked your post, aeons ago, about your favourite street coffee vendor, and the way you support small businesses, and hey presto, your city is saved by a street vendor. Maybe the govt should pay them a stipend.Glad nobody was hurt, including the city.

  4. Pat: It’s great that someone caught it but everybody is thinking, what about next time?Daisy: I absolutely agree. They’ll fine these shitheads. The bomb is reported to be an amateur attempt, so it is likely a one-off.GOTJ: So the first thing you think about when you hear New York is my dopey blog? Excellent!PG: That’s one of my all-time favorite posts. It gets to the heart of what’s great about this town.Savannah: Thanks for your thoughts. The Mayor said we got very lucky this time.Leah: Thought about you last night. Why don’t they leave us alone? Eh?Quiller: Welcome! Wish you were here under happier circumstances. But, thanks for your thoughts.

  5. I’m so sorry. Thank God for the vigilance — and willingness to get involved — on the part of the tee shirt vendor.I hope they catch him quickly.Pearl

  6. Pearl: Thanks. I almost feel safer with guys like that around. People who aren’t afraid to get involved, instead of just run like hell. Especially in the case of the bomb squad!EG: It really could have gone horribly wrong. I hate to think about it…

  7. My inner Mulder kinda got a spidey-tingle when I saw the headline about this. Seemed diversionary. Kind of like the Arizona thing seem calculated to get people from looking too closely at what is or isn’t being done by the government again.I thought it was interesting too that the suspicion went immediately to foreign terrorists at time when we probably have more than a few home-grown that are more of a threat. But I did read that the late great al-Quada were claiming responsibility.I can only imagine (and not very well) the unease of living and working in NYC as it is one of those places that is marked with a big X by people looking to make a bloody point. I immediately began to worry about our oldest daughter who will be on holiday in Manhattan in a few weeks. What if something were to happen while she was there? That’s silly though. As Doug Stanhope pointed out – accurately – most of us will never live in “exciting times or places” but have average, uneventful lives.

  8. SAW: It seems we have more than our fair share of nut jobs. It might be because of the sheer numbers. 12 mil strong.Map: It sucks but it’s a one-off and I can guarantee you that this guy will be caught. In fact, I can’t wait.Pop: That was one long fucking day. Where were you? I watched it unfold from a midtown conference room window. Had to walk to the lower east side but wasn’t complaining.Annie: Actually, I don’t recall hearing a lot of blame being heaped on foreigners. They’re looking for a white guy in his 40’s. They’ll get him. This is purely home grown.

  9. I too thought of you when I heard this news. As much as you love the city, I knew how you must be hurting. When i was there last summer i fell completely in love with NYC too. But knowing what we know now after 9/11 i was struck by how vulnerable the city seemed to an attack by very motivated and determined enemies, homegrown or otherwise. Sitting in Times Square we even commented on how easy it looked like it would be to do exactly what has just been done. Just gives you that sick feeling in your gut, and that thought that you don’t want to have but you can’t help having – that it seems inevitable, and it’s simply a matter of time. I hope I’m wrong about that, and that I’m just a cowardly old scaredy cat.Thanks to all the brave people who helped to thwart this attempt. Life is so fragile, isn’t it?

  10. Heard about this on the news. Thought about you. Was wondering if you were safe and if you were anywhere near the site at the time.

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