From 9 PM on Monday night until 7 PM on Friday night, I was without power because of Hurricane Sandy. On the grand spectrum of the storm, I was barely affected. Believe me, I am incredibly lucky and happy about that. People lost lives, homes, pets, friends, family, possessions, and memories. In the 5 days since the storm hit, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have been struck in to an odd state. Below 39th street in Manhattan, and in various parts of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, along with the coasts of New Jersey and Long Island, the power has been out. In Manhattan it has been particularly striking – the normally brightly lit corridors and avenues of Chelsea, the Lower East Side and downtown have been dark. In the history of New York City, it has been called many things, but dark is not one of them.
One insanely sadly wonderful thing about New Yorkers, and I think people in general, is how resilient they are. You knock us down and we get right back up, talking trash and smirking at you. We come together and help one another, temporarily forgetting random stuff like race, class or ethnicity. So this is a thank you to the many people that have helped out since Monday night.
Thank you to the policemen, firemen, EMTs, nurses, doctors, volunteers and everyone else who, while I sat in the dark Monday night, were pulling on uniforms and rushing to other people’s aid.
Thank you to the volunteers that have helped out at shelters, food drives and darkened intersections
Thank you to the stores, especially Office Depot, Barnes and Noble, and Duane Reade, for letting people come in and charge their phones and laptops for free.
Fuck you to the Verizon store that was charging people 10 dollars to charge their phones for 30 minutes.
Thank you to the countless people with power that put out extension cords for strangers to use their electricity
Thank you to the bus drivers that drove for 5 or 6 hours, leading a crowded bus full of cranky riders, crying toddlers and complaining pedestrians.
Thank you to the strangers for the kind smiles, the nods of encouragement and for the countless times I saw someone help older men and women with their burdens.
Thank you to most of the people that crossed the Queensborough Bridge with me on Wednesday evening,
Fuck you to the few bikers who apparently took it as a challenge to weave in and out of people walking across the bridge.
Thanks to everyone with power who offered hot showers, hot food and a bed to sleep in to me and my family.
Thanks to the Con Ed workers who slaved away during 16 hour shifts, 24 hours a day and seven days a week to restore our power. And for answering the same question (when is the power coming back??) over and over every day.
Thank you to the Red Cross and every volunteer organization that brought relief to the people in need.
Thank you to the National Guard for taking care of my city, and to the returning armed forces members that came right to help out after returning from war.