The Oscar-winning actor has lived in the Big Apple all his life and has a luxury home in downtown Manhattan, just blocks away from the former site of the World Trade Center.
He watched the 2001 terrorist attacks unfolding and stared in disbelief as the Twin Towers collapsed - and it was so surreal he became convinced he was dreaming.
The Goodfellas star tells The Observer Magazine, "From my apartment I could see the towers, about nine blocks away. I watched with binoculars as the flames and smoke rose from the buildings. When the South Tower collapsed, the news was on and I had to turn from the window to the TV to confirm what I was seeing with my own eyes; it was surreal.
"Then the North Tower went down. Watching this happen was beyond belief... Some people think that the pace of the city's recovery has been slow, especially at Ground Zero, but New York has many moving parts and conflicting interests that work against one another. Maybe we needed 10 years to put 9/11 into the kind of perspective that helps the city to rebuild in the right way."