Sandy (was Sandy a she storm or a he storm?) made history, but we will all be happier when Sandy is past history. There are still so many people suffering the after-effects and will be for a long time to come. Incidentally, the American Red Cross has come under fire for failing to meet the needs of storm victims. Here are few good alternatives for those moved to contribute: World Vision, Direct Relief International and Samaritan’s Purse are all recommended by Charity Navigator. I made a donation to Redeemer Presbyterian – their downtown Manhattan branch just debuted the week before Sandy swept through the city (God’s timing is perfect!) and I know they are on the ground there and making a big contribution to the community.
In Manhattan, Sandy was a tale of two cities. There was uptown and there was downtown, and this week’s New York Magazine cover is the picture that is worth several thousand words:
Our experience was so different from what others went through. The winds were high, and that crane cost us sleep, but I’m almost embarrassed to say that we never needed a flashlight. which is good, because we didn’t have one.
As the wind started to whip up Monday morning, we sneaked out against our doomen’s recommendation to meet Taylor and Christine for an early lunch at the Brooklyn Diner, one of the few restaurants remaining open before the storm.
As I mentioned before, we didn’t even go without our morning coffee, thanks to an intrepid street vendor who was tipped handsomely each day by the CE. Because of the hotel in our building, employees were given rooms to stay in overnight and there was almost no interruption to the service. In fact, I hang my head in shame when I admit that we ate a post-hurricane lunch at Jean-George’s elegant Nougatine restaurant. In our defense, it was the only thing open.
But signs that all was not right were all around us. I have seen Fifth Avenue free of traffic on Easter and I have seen streets blocked off for parades and fairs, but I have never, ever seen Columbus Circle without a stream of cars whizzing past.
Those of us living in Midtown and above were very lucky. Downtown was a different story: no cell service, no electricity and no transportation. Daniel and his roommate, Jeff, trudged sixty blocks to find shelter with us after the storm.
Daniel and Jeff stayed on at our apartment after we left and by week’s end with no assurance of power being restored and the temperature dropping in Bronxville, Angie brought James to stay there as well, while Bobby, Thomas and Tiny bunked with friends. But this morning there was great news: the lights are back on in lower Manhattan and in Bronxville! We’re even hearing reports that subway service is at least partially up and running downtown.
Sandy delivered a blow (and our hearts go out to those in NJ, Queens and Staten Island) but you can’t keep the good city of New York down. You can throw anything at them, including a hurricane, and they will ask what else ya got because they will stand right back up again…at least once the lights are on. #bestcityonearth
Now, if they can just get those Yankees back in shape…