These photos were taken in the Michigan Ave area in downtown Chicago on September 12 or 13, 2001. Around 5 or 6 p.m. If you’ve ever been there, you’ll know the streets and sidewalks would be PACKED at that time.
September 11 was the 2nd day of my very first work conference in Chicago. The Sears Tower and John Hancock Tower were potential targets so downtown Chicago was evacuated by mid morning and all inbound freeway ramps were closed.
Those of us at the conference had no homes to go to, so we continued our conference in a high rise sandwiched between those landmarks and the only “traffic” we heard all day were military jets zooming past our windows.
Later that week I took a crowded Amtrak home after two failed attempts (and HOURS of waiting and chaos) at the airport.
This spring when I saw photos of the streets in major cities looking like ghost towns during the lockdowns, it totally reminded me of these pictures. Totally surreal.
Nineteen years later...same visuals, but a lot of division instead of cohesion in this country. But, also the knowledge that the country can, and will eventually, return to “normal” after such a surreal time.