Now that the immediate danger from last week's attempted bombing of New York's Times Square has been diffused, finance professionals and others employed at area businesses must return to the daily grind. The traumatic experience of an attempted attack can still affect people who work just one or two blocks away.
"These events produce original responses," said Dr. Michael Garfinkle, a New York-based clinical psychologist. "A more anxious person might become more anxious, whereas a resilient person might feel differently. There's no blanket response, but these events can definitely change people's perceptions of safety."
Ernst & Young, which is located on 7th Avenue between 41st and 42nd streets, said that the company has been in contact with authorities and has "reached out [to their employees] on an informal basis."
Similarly, a NASDAQ spokesperson said that "the facility has been open for business as usual" and trading will not be affected. He added that the New York Police Department has added a strong uniform presence in Times Square.
Barclays, Morgan Stanley and Viacom, which may have been the target of the bombing attempt as the parent company to Comedy Central and South Park, declined to comment. But a Barclays employee who did not want to be named, who works on 7th between 49th and 50th said that the company hadn't sent out any memos regarding the incident. She said she felt safe going to work, however.
According to Garfinkle, events like the one last weekend and 9/11 inspire a sense of togetherness for city-dwellers. "One of the slogans after 9/11 was 'see something, say something,'" Garfinkle said. "When people get conscripted into this idea of 'we're all in this together,' it gives them a sense of empowerment."
Irina Popova sells artwork on 47th and 7th and was there on May 1 for the evacuation of the area. "They caught the guy who did this, so I feel better. This is the safest place in city to be."
Arlo Hissine, a New York City bus tours operator, was also there for the evacuation, and said that business is down this week but he expects it to pick up soon. Asked whether he feels safe coming to the site of a potential target, he said he has no choice.
Others agreed with the sentiment. "I have to feed my family, but every time you leave the house it's hit and miss," Charles Harper, who hands out jewelry store flyers on 48th and 7th, said. "Security's not tight in this country. If it was, this type of thing wouldn't happen."
New Yorkers are nothing if not resilient, so even if the threat of terrorism hangs over them, they still find a way to make it to work on time.
Write to Julie Steinberg