MOBILE, ALABAMA, WOULD BE A
chair, department of sociology, New York University
Five years later, I think New York is perhaps the least-affected place in the country. And that’s simply because the wheel that 9/11 set in motion has led to two wars and the largest deployment of military reserve forces in recent history. This means that places like Scranton, Pennsylvania, or Mobile, Alabama, have had their daily rhythms and lives continuously uprooted, and New York, and Manhattan in particular, with perhaps the lowest percentage of reservists of any area in the country, has not really felt the impact of Afghanistan and Iraq as much as Peoria, Illinois. The forces that have made New York what they are today—the drop in crime, the rising income inequality, the continual changeover from a city of renters to a city of co-op owners—these have little to do with 9/11.