I was on the 49th floor of the American Express Tower of the World Financial Center when this happened. Not really thinking, I characterized the impact of the explosion as feeling like a car hitting a structure the size of a house. Wait a minute. This tower is a little larger that the “size of a house,” this has to be something big. As we know, it was.
I was already at work a couple of blocks south of the World Trade Center Towers on 9-11.
After the first plane struck, the people present in my department found a balcony just across the hallway with a “picture frame” view of the towers. We all still thought it was just a small plane that hit and conducted ourselves as if it were business as usual.
I left the balcony to return to my department, because the phones had to be covered, and to give my manager a chance to have a look-see.
As soon as she stepped out on the balcony, she heard the sound of the second plane approaching and saw the second collision.
A little less dramatic: when the blackout occurred in NYC a couple of years ago, I was working in 30 Rockefeller center on the 30th floor. I’d just gone done, to hand off something to a friend mine who was meeting me, bringing my cell phone with me. Went to go back up: no lobby lights, no elevators working. LSS – I avoided having to walk down 29 flights, although I luckily was able to reach a co-worker, still up there, who brought down my bookbag about an hour later.