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  • When I first moved to New York City I learned the neighborhoods by food.
    There were Italian stores with salamis and breads in the windows and the Chinese stores with roasted meats hanging in the windows. Food is central to each culture and a bridge between us all.

    The night of The September 12th, the day after the Towers fell, half a mile from our loft, our immediate neighborhood was deserted, barricades blocked the streets out, the National Gaurd had a checkpoint for entry, all stores and shops were closed. There were no cars moving on the streets. It was quiet after the sirens non-stop the day before and also unimaginable in a city where people live and work on a twenty-four hour a day schedule.

    We went out that night in search of food, puzzled and depressed to be in post-apocalyptic times.
    We walked for a long time in the empty streets.

    A corner shop in Chinatown was open. Inside, a small group of men sat quietly at a table.
    They were as surprised to see us, as we were to see them.
    Then we all remembered how we used to do things, before yesterday, before Manhattan was attacked.
    A man showed us to a table and we ordered from the menu.
    “I’ll have the roast pork and greens,” my husband said.
    “No pork tonight,” the man said.
    For a moment the finality that the world really had come to an end registered. Fear and terror had won.
    “What is that?” my husband curious, gestured to the roasted haunches of meat hanging in the window.
    “That is window pig,” the man said.
    “Window pig,” my husband repeated and smiled,excited now, he and the man nodded and smiled at each other.
    “I’ll have the window pig.”
    We all smiled and for a moment, relaxed.
    And the ancient, lurching wheels of human civilization moved on.
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