A Map of Fear

In an entirely unscientific sidewalk survey, conducted at the corner of 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, we asked 100 people—some of whom are pictured on the left—if they had thought about how to get out of the city in an emergency. Only 13 had escape plans or prearranged places (like the “Brooklyn Tech high-school football field”) to meet loved ones. “We’re to meet at the 79th Street Boathouse, which is six blocks from home,” said Eduardo Otero, 44. “We have a bag at home filled with birth certificates, I.D.’s, etc.”

Most were more nonchalant. “I’ve just been trying to learn my lines,” said drag performer Flotilla DeBarge (age: “less”), who happened to be visiting Bryant Park. “I am more afraid of our government’s abuse of the situation than I am of real terrorism,” said Anthony Ashhurst, 28.

Forty-three people said they wouldn’t avoid any location in the city. “The way I see it, I’m either in the building when it happens or I’m not,” said Alexandre Arminjon, 20.

Fifty-seven said they would try to avoid the following locations (respondents could select any number of sites):

Wall Street area (41)
New York Stock Exchange (40)
Grand Central Terminal (32)
The Holland Tunnel (32)
The subway (31)
Penn Station (29)
JFK airport (28)
Madison Square Garden (27 )
Times Square (24)
Citigroup locations(23)
La Guardia airport (22)
The Brooklyn Bridge (21)
Radio City Music Hall (15)
Time Warner Center (15)
Yankee or Shea stadium (15)
Chase-bank locations (13)
Public buses (10)
The meatpacking district (7)
Taxicabs (6)

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A Map of Fear