(Wall Street Journal) — Even before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Lower Manhattan—salted with shabby government offices, storefront delis and foreboding bank buildings—was rarely counted among the city’s more charming residential neighborhoods. And for a while after the attacks, its streets grew seemingly more inhospitable. An acrid sting lingered in the air, along with a palpable anxiety. The wreckage at Ground Zero smoldered for months. Barriers and debris blocked streets. The National Guard was a constant presence, checking the identification of residents. A decade later, Lower Manhattan has undergone a significant shift into one of the fastest-growing residential sections of New York. Adding 26,800 residents over the past 10 years, the southern tip of the island below Canal Street has nearly doubled the population it had in 2000, according to U.S. Census data. ”As things were rebuilding, we were returning to some semblance of normal. I just realized one day, it just struck me that it was a new normal. But it was normal,” said Michael Kaufman, who has lived in Battery Park City for 16 years.
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