On a typical day, New York City streets register more than 70 decibels, enough to cause progressive hearing loss. The quiet that enveloped the city after the Towers fell was overwhelming. Manhattan-bound traffic was closed off to nonemergency vehicles for two days, and all commercial flights coming in and out of JFK, La Guardia, and Newark were canceled. Subways ran off and on because of power problems caused by the destruction at Chambers Street. Major League Baseball games were postponed until the seventeenth; the Stock Exchange reopened the same day. That wasn’t the half of it. Whole parts of the city seemed mute—most strikingly, its typically loquacious residents, who walked the streets speechless.