If you don’t all know by now, I live in Brooklyn, New York. This past week has been crazy. This is actually the second blog post that I have written about it, but the first one was from a different view point than I have today so I decided to re-write it.
I will start with the weekend… Saturday was a normal day for me, I worked all day and then headed to Jake’s house for the weekend, I knew about the hurricane and I did stop and buy a few things at the grocery store instead of waiting for my normal Fresh Direct order because they had e-mailed us to ask us to move our deliveries to another day because of the storm but I really didn’t pick up much. I have to admit on Saturday I really didn’t take the storm totally serious. I figured it would be rough but really didn’t think it would be a disaster. Sunday when I woke up at Jake’s we found out that they were shutting down all subway services and bus services at 7pm, and when Jake’s brother came in he said that they were evacuating people in his area but closer to the water. I had taken the bus because I wasn’t sure if it was going to rain, so I had to make sure I went home early. I left around 5.30 and while I was walking home, I went past a grocery store, I stopped again and picked up water, some more food, and a dinky flashlight that was like the last one there. I have to admit seeing how everyone was reacting was sort of making me nervous especially with people getting evacuated, but with the weather still holding up I just cast my feelings aside and was like it’s going to be fine.
Monday I woke up to wind, a ton of it. So much that the tree in front of my building was almost touching our windows and we were nervous that it was going to fall. Other than the wind though it really didn’t seem so bad so I planned on still heading out to the gym. It was open and it is only 4 blocks away so I was like why let a hurricane keep me in, lol. My landlord knocked on my door and told me that my scooter was knocked down so I ran down to pick it up. It was actually half in the street and hit a car, the lock was all tangled and every time I tried to pick it up I got blown over. My roommate Lydia came down barefoot since she didn’t realize I was outside and had to help me. After we got my scooter tucked safe against the fence, I was standing there wet and windblown, and started to take the whole hurricane serious. No I didn’t end up at the gym that day.
Since I did feel so guilty for skipping the gym I decided that I would at least do something constructive and I played Just Dance 3 Katy Perry edition to keep me busy.
I am not going to say it was a replacement workout but hey, it was calories burned instead of sitting on my butt on the internet like I was doing and it kept me distracted from what was going on outside.
Early in the day some of my friend’s in Manhattan had their electricity turned off to prevent damage from flooding, then later another substation exploded which knocked out another huge area of Manhattan. It was crazy watching the news and looking on facebook and seeing what was happening but there were so many photoshopped photos going around it was hard to tell what was real and what was fake. I have a ton of friends that are in affected areas that I was keeping in touch with including Jake.
Seeing the videos of the cars floating around the lower east side, and the flooded subways was crazy. But for me all I was doing is seeing photos. It is weird because here I am in a little Brooklyn bubble. I never lost power, internet, cell service, and that tree never did fall into our apartment. There wasn’t a massive clean up that had to happen on our street, just a heavy raking. My iPhone, iPad, and laptop were fully charged, and my candles were never lit and I never did turn on that flashlight. But then hearing from Jake who was in a zone B evacuation zone telling me that cars were floating in his garage and his basement was flooded so they have no hot water. He was lucky and still had electricity but he didn’t have anything else. Monday night when I went to sleep I woke up to a text from Jake telling me to call him when I got up, and I didn’t hear anything from him all day which made me nervous. I stalked him and finally got a hold of him and he was fine but was going to stay at his house to take care of his cat and to make sure his apartment was okay with the next high tide. Later that night he lost electricity and luckily the bus that connects us had started running so he hopped on the bus and came to my house.
Wednesday I was supposed to work but my clients couldn’t make it so I took the day off. Jake and I went to the gym (twice) and even he was surprised how different it was between our two neighborhoods. We are less than 8 miles away from each other but he says it looks like a totally different world. Where I am everyone was out shopping, the gym was packed and it was pretty much a normal day, by him it is a totally different story. He went home today because he has to go back to work tomorrow and oddly enough even though the school that he works at is way closer to my house it is almost impossible to get to with the few subways that are open right now.
Like I said it is still hard to get the full impact of this storm when you are in my area, we pretty much are stuck here unless we figure out the many bus transfers and deal with hour upon hour long waits to get on the shuttle buses to Manhattan. I am lucky that my job is just a little over a mile away and I am lucky that I have my scooter to get to work. Until I realized that I need gas in my scooter to make it work. I knew there was a gas shortage but it didn’t hit me just how horrible things are until I drove by 5 gas stations all with police tape wrapped around them with huge signs saying that they are out of gas. There is literally NO GAS! I still have a half a tank in my scooter which is good for maybe 30-40 miles so I have to make sure I only go back and forth to work on it until the gas situation gets sorted out but its just crazy how bad we were hit.
I know NYC is not going to be back to normal for a while. I am super impressed how fast they got some of the subways up and running already. Even though they are extremely limited, the damage that the entire system took I never thought we would hear subway trains today. A huge amount of people lost their homes, still have no electricity or anything, and a lot probably won’t have it for a while. It is going to take a long time to get NY back to where it was this weekend before the storm, but it is good to see the progress that we are making and it is awesome to get all the e-mails from businesses that have power offering their electricity for people to charge their phones. And the fact that right now the MTA is completely free to use for right now. A lot of people have banded together and are helping everyone and even hosting people that have been displaced. Even the Loom building where my salon is located is trying to start up a donation drop off zone so that we can gather donations of food and water to help.
The New York City Marathon
A hot topic today on my facebook feed seems to be the New York City Marathon. It is still going on this Sunday as scheduled, and a lot of people are angry about it. I don’t really know how I feel about it. If there is one thing that the marathon does is bring in people and money. It is estimated that the marathon brings in about $340 million to the city, and the company that runs the event, New York Road Runners, is using the marathon as a platform to raise money for recovery. They apparently have already planned to donate $1 million and have secured $1.5 million from sponsors. And with the amount of damage that this city sustained, we kind of need that, don’t we?
A lot of the feedback that I have been reading on facebook is what about the fact that people are still in need and to take the police and EMT’s away from relief efforts for crowd control when there are still people in shelters, people missing, and people with no food or clean water is crazy. Others think that all the supplies that are being saved for the Marathon should be distributed to the people in need, and that the people that are ready to run, shouldn’t. Mayor Bloomberg says that he plans on having a majority of the city back and running (with electricity at least), including the Staten Island Ferry by the weekend which will free up a lot of police. I have been reading a bunch of articles online about and it seems like some of the people that are flying in for the marathon are also planning on volunteering to help relief efforts while they are here. So in a way it can be good for the city. It will help raise awareness of what is going on, and help raise money to help all the people affected by the storm. What do you think? Do you think that the marathon should have been postponed? or do you think that this is something New York City needs during a tough time like now?