First off, as I was writing my entry last week on Hurricane Preparedness, I had no idea what kind of destruction was in store over the next 36 hours. Unfortunately, I think the mildness of Hurricane Irene last year placed many people in a false state of comfort – myself included. My girlfriend and I were very lucky that our apartment in Brooklyn was largely unaffected by the storm and floods. For those of you who were affected, I hope that you’ve been able to return home and regain some semblance of normalcy.
About half way through my sophomore year in college I endured a significant sports injury that prevented me from playing in many athletic games that year. After realizing that I wouldn’t be able to play, I was initially very upset and depressed. One of my teachers offered me these words of wisdom that have stuck with me:
“Injuries are hard and terrible, but they’re also important. They give you those unexpected breaks that let you take a step back and look at things from a different perspective.”
There’s no doubt that Hurricane Sandy injured our city, but this week of recovery has also allowed me to take a step out of my normal routine and think about things from a different perspective.
I will always remember this week of disaster. One image that will forever be burned into my memory is the bright green light shooting out over the city as the electricity transformers exploded in the east village. From our perspective looking out over the Brooklyn skyline, it looked like bombs going off.
The explosions and the devastation have been absolutely unreal.
Riding my bike through Lower Manhattan on Thursday, I remember thinking how fragile it all seemed. Every restaurant was closed and dark, there were people huddling for warmth around fires in 50-gallon drums, there were no stoplights and very few people. Later in the week I would learn that the entire tri-state area only has enough fuel for about six days in-between shipments. When the system works, it works, but when it doesn’t, it gets ugly. I’ll have more thoughts on media and technology next week – but I wanted to devote this entry to the recovery and reanimation of New York City.
I hope you are all safe and well on the way to recovery.