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We all remember where we were on September 11, 2001. And most likely, we have bittersweet remembrances of the day before, the last day of innocence and serenity before everything came crashing down.

On September 10, 2001, I had the opportunity to attend a runway show at Bryant Park’s Fashion Week. I’d been covering apparel for trade publications at the time and had somehow snagged an invite to a lingerie show presented by the Intimate Apparel Council.

Truth be told, I don’t remember much about the lingerie. The day was more about the overall experience of Fashion Week at Bryant Park: getting into the tent, being told that people were trying to sneak under the tent and into the runway shows, which must have been next to impossible with security checking our IDs every five feet, then being herded with the other not-too-important attendees behind a velvet rope so the beau monde could be seated first. Not that this bothered me in the least, as all I could think was, Wow, I’m stuck in this herd of annoyed people at Fashion Week because I’m a nobody. Cool! 

After the show I walked out to a perfect, sunny, and relatively quiet late-summer September Sunday in Manhattan. Not wanting to go home, I strolled under the azure sky and met my sister for a late lunch al fresco.

And one day ended and the next began. There’s no use in describing my experience of 9/11, as it wasn’t much different from that of other New Yorkers. Throughout the day, I felt a sense of disbelief: how could this be happening when yesterday was such a perfect mixture of excitement, adventure, and well-being?

The two days seem like the two faces of a coin, attached but on opposite ends of each other, and remain forever linked in my mind.