Pugliese, not convinced, said it was the would-be bomber's ineptitude that saved the day. "He was an amateur and his bomb messed up. We were lucky. Again," he said.
Hardened as they are to out-of-routine events, some young New Yorkers lost their casual attitude over the weekend.
Cynthia Laker, 49, said her teenage son had come to her Monday morning and asked if she would drive him to school. Normally, he, his siblings and mother take the subway, which runs under Times Square.
Laker, who remembered the nerve-racking months after Sept. 11, when many New Yorkers froze in fear at the sound of low-flying airplanes, refused to get the car out of the garage.
"I told him, 'Forget it.' We can't go there. If we start to react again, what's the point of living in the city?" she said.
Vinnie Gorham, a bike messenger who pedals across Manhattan, agreed. Watching out for danger, be it potholes, distracted pedestrians or terrorism, was all in a day's work for New Yorkers like him.
"I'm so caught up in what I do and on the move, I hardly think about the worst that could happen," said the wiry, 45-year-old biker before slinging a silver messenger bag over his shoulder and taking off.
Ken Dilanian in the Washington bureau contributed to this report.