This past Saturday night Christian and I had our monthly "Broadway Night". First was dinner at "The Old Homestead" a great steak house located in the meat packing district. It's been there since the days when the area was labeled seedy as opposed to chic. I fondly recall the 80's and early 90's when all the S and M clubs were in the meat packing district. The area was dark, dimly lit but for the occasional cab illuminating the ole brick streets dropping off club attendees.
After dinner we jumped a cab and headed up to the theater district en-route to see "Next Fall". Having a little extra time, we stopped at a deli and had some coffee. As we were sitting in the coffee shop at 45th and 7th, my NYPD cell phone alert went off. The text read "Bomb threat" 45th and Broadway. I drank my coffee and speculated it was a hoax. Another false alarm. I continued sipping away and watching the parade of people and buses pouring into Broadway. About 7:45 PM, we exited the deli. I then observed that Theater Row was shut down and on "lock down". The powder blue and stainless steel Police barricades and police lines had been established. (They don't stop dozens of people trying to go under and over police lines.)
After these observations, I knew from my training that this "bomb scare" was not a hoax. The decision to shut down the vibrant theater district is significant. Today the NewYork Post has a video of the terrorist.
Interesting is that he changed clothes in the middle of the street walking away in a pink shirt. Clearly a premeditated attack with a strong desire to escape and leave behind innocent people maimed and killed.
My reflections are simple. I'm a New Yorker and as I sipped my coffee I had this feeling of superiority over the tourists swarming into Broadway. Now I see these folks, the visitors, guests, tourists and foreigners as the heart of America spending their hard earned money on vacations, day trips and on the fueling our local economy
Supporting our theater, dining in our restaurants and proudly leaving for their homes and bragging about their night out in the City that never sleeps. And as they brag about a night out they leave behind the strongest recommendation a City can have, "word of mouth" New York is marvelous.
And like 9/11, I was very close to ground zero. Unlike 9/11, the terrorist's failed bomb was detected in timely manner, and rendered safe by the Bomb Squad.
This was an attack on New York and America, and an attempt to kill innocent men women and children of all sizes, shapes, colors, ethnicities, religions, nationalities and orientations. We all must be resolute, and now is the time to see a Broadway show, dine in New York and let them know in the words of Winston Churchill " we have nothing to fear but fear itself". We are not afraid.