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Weekly Features
Letter from New York
Mathew Tombers is the President of Intermat, Inc., a consulting practice that specializes in the intersection of media, technology and marketing. For two years, he produced the Emmys on the Web and supervised web related activities for the Academy, including for the 50th Anniversary year of the Emmy Awards. In addition to its consulting engagements, Intermat recently sold METEOR’S TALE, an unpublished novel by Michael O’Rourke, to Animal Planet for development as a television movie. Visit his web site at

Reflections On A Week
By Mat Tombers

It was, I think, on Monday that the end came, officially, for the
search for body parts at Staten Island, where all the remains from the
World Trade Center were sent for sifting, to seek out, to find,
anything that could be identified. Families have received wallets,
keys, driver licenses, small things that you wouldn't think could have
survived. But they did. Nothing big did. Only the small things

But that news, as serious and as central to the last year as it was, did
not claim the top slot in the news. That went to the gyrations of the
market. Down 400 points; a last minute rally, unprecedented losses, the
dollar trading at par with the Euro for the first time in two years.

The news this week hasn't been able to decide what is more important -
the current gyrations of our economic life or the ongoing fall out from

It's not just that they're quitting looking for remains. It is this is
also the week they have unveiled the first plans for what will be built
on the site of the Towers.

That filled the papers today but hardly page one, anywhere but New York.
I say it's only the first plans because nothing that was put out today
pleased anyone, including Mike Bloomberg, the rather enigmatic
billionaire who is Mayor of New York -- after having spent a
considerable amount of money to be elected by a thin majority.

Surprisingly, he gets pretty good reviews and seems to be the most
egoless man to be Mayor of New York in generations but, despite that, he
is going not be a pushover on what gets built. He has his own ideas; we
don't know what they are yet but I'm sure we will. It is in the nature
of New York Mayors to put their mark on events and doings in their

And while we are working on figuring out what happens to the acres that
once held the Twin Towers the country is sitting on a huge bubble of
fear about retirement, 401k's and the slowly dawning realization that we
are facing the worst bear market since the market of the '70's.

Seeing some friends last week, the conversations lead directly to their
losses in the market. And then to what it was like for me to be a New
Yorker. We are moving on but we are not forgetting.

Today the papers pointed out that we don't trust our CEO's, we don't
trust our priests, we don't trust HMO's but we do trust each other more
that we did before. We don't trust much right now institutionally but
we seem to trust each other more. It certainly seems to be true in New
York where race relations are better than they've been, maybe ever. But
the news is telling us that this is a national phenomenon. I said that
to my friend Medora and she was absolutely in agreement - that this is

It's an agonizing time in our lives. Certain fundamentals are slipping
away - our sense of national security, our sense of national fiscal
security, our sense of trust in certain institutions. I grew up
Catholic and I'm surprised, not shocked, but surprised by all this
noise. Was it that bad? Perhaps and even probably - but I didn't see
it growing up but looking back I'm a little suspicious.

Cooked books! God knows I'm in that line of people who have lost money
on those now unglamorous stocks. Ouch! Worldcom! Why did I hold it
until it was two?

But perhaps in all of this we will look at ourselves and we figure out
just what is important to us and we will realize that what is important
to us at the end is that we seem to trust each other - more than we
have. This is America creating itself, anew, always anew.