John Bloom

New York Diary: 26 Federal Plaza

WRITING - John Bloom

The line forms at sunrise. If you arrive at 26 Federal Plaza after 6:30, you're already too late. The building doesn't open until 8 a.m., but the queue already contains a hundred people, and there are several hundred more likely to arrive before the security door opens.

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Infrequently Asked Questions

WRITING - John Bloom

Where's Ernie Pyle? Where's A.J. Liebling? Where's the guy in the khaki flak-jacket with buttons on his pockets, going where all other reporters fear to venture, bringing us human-interest prose that gnaws at our conscience?

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Aid and Comfort

WRITING - John Bloom

Let's imagine for a moment that one of those terrorist cells in New Jersey lived in an apartment house--several guys together, in several rooms.

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Cooper Union

WRITING - John Bloom

Less than a mile from Ground Zero, at Astor Place in the East Village, there stands a big brown Gothic building that looks kind of gloomy and foreboding.

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War Bonds

WRITING - John Bloom

Wall Street has always been the Afghanistan of New York--tribal alliances that are constantly broken, blood in the street,

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The Pearl Harbor Analogy

WRITING - John Bloom

It's not like Pearl Harbor at all. It's like the Pequot War.

Since everyone's looking for the apt historical parallel--a vicious attack on civilians by tribal warriors, followed by swift uncompromising retribution by a modern army--we should look not to Hawaii in 1941 but to southwestern Connecticut in 1634.

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New York Diary: Visa Wars

WRITING - John Bloom

In 1950s thrillers, there's always a terrifying moment when the "chief inspector" boards the night train to Munich, scans the faces of the huddled passengers, and picks one out with the words, "May I see your documents please?" (Try it with a thick Teutonic accent and arched eyebrows.)

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WRITING - John Bloom

Somewhere between Cleburne and McGregor, Texas, not far from President Bush's ranch, I lurch through the observation car--the train runs at top speed through these flat treeless prairies--and find an empty table in the dining room.

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New York Diary: White Ash People

WRITING - John Bloom

I'm riding the Ghost Train on my way to examine the rubble.

By 11 p.m. the subways of New York are disturbingly quiet and vacant. Empty cars. A person here and there who needs to get on or off the island of Manhattan.

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