It happened while I was driving to work. The one doctor who was part-time loved to tell jokes. When I arrived he asked if I'd heard about the plane hitting the tower? I told him, no, paused and waited for the punch line. It took about 3 times for me to believe him that it was not a joke especially since his habit was to play his jokes off as if they were a real story.
I put the radio on, we heard about the rest. The TVs in electronics were on with across their screens. People huddled, talked, looked horrified. They eventually decided to close the mall, we called appointments. Some people (the fuckers) bitched that their appointments were being cancelled. And those people knew WTF was going on. At least one person had to be told to turn on their TV - and it was afternoon by then.
When the one plane went down in PA we started looking at the sky, waiting for more - since there was no clue when/if it was ending.
I was glued to the news for days and days, crying to the point of no more tears. Hopelessness and inevitability set in for awhile. And fear.
I cannot imagine the horror of being in NYC at the time. :-(