Please note: This article is published as an archive copy from Philadelphia City Paper. My City Paper is not affiliated with Philadelphia City Paper. Philadelphia City Paper was an alternative weekly newspaper in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The last edition was published on October 8, 2015.

September 28-October 4, 2006

Cover Story

"Nothing Will Ever Be The Same"

Edited By Frank Lewis - September 13, 2001

City Paper 's production schedule isn't always flexible enough to accommodate late-breaking news, but when two planes hit the World Trade Center on a Tuesday morning, slightly over 24 hours before the paper would normally be put to bed, there was no question of running with the planned Fall Guide cover. Howard Altman, Jim Barry, Daniel Brook, Jenn Carbin, Daryl Gale, Mary Patel, Gwen Shaffer, Rick Valenzuela and David Warner (then on sabbatical in New York) hit the streets, filing time-coded dispatches from around the city, the first logged less than an hour after the second plane hit. Managing Editor Frank Lewis put the pieces together for a first look at a world shaken to its foundations, and art director Brian Hogan turned the sky around the towers blood-red. The paper's 9/11 coverage and the cover image took first place at that year's Keystone Awards.

11:30 a.m., Center City
Bewildered tourists, unable to visit the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, wander aimlessly, jostling with the office workers who are scrambling to get home early. Some see the early workday as a reprieve, but most are frightened and confused. Most cell phones have spotty reception, and people are frantically trying to call loved ones.

"If it can happen in New York, it can happen here," says one woman, nervously smoking a cigarette as she waits for a bus on Market Street. She refuses to give her name for publication, as does her companion, a healthy dose of paranoia added to the mix of emotions.

"There's only one major city between New York and Washington, and it ain't Baltimore," the second woman pipes up. "And we have lots of national symbols here."

12:30 p.m., Fifth and Market
A crowd gathers on the patio outside KYW's studio. Tourists, passersby and curious onlookers huddle around a 13-inch television to watch Dan Rather recount the horrors in New York and Washington. Some weep openly, others shake their heads and vow revenge against the bastards responsible for the carnage.

Ten minutes later, Police Commissioner John Timoney conducts an impromptu press conference in front of the Liberty Bell for a half-dozen reporters.

"One thing I guarantee is that policing in this country is changed forever," says Timoney, "in more ways than I can count here. We have to change the way we look at internal and external security from now on."

Lewis, now editor of the Cleveland Free Times , recalls that the decision to scrap the planned cover took "about 30 seconds." Looking back on the issue, he says it "accurately reflects the confusion of the day. It's easy to forget that no one had any sense of what might happen." For months afterward, an alternate version of the cover graced editor Howard Altman's door, whose headline captured an equally accurate, if less measured, reaction to the day's events: "Jesus Fucking Christ!"

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