oh, sandy.

Hurricane Sandy has come and gone and she left a path of destruction behind her.  Initially, New Yorkers did what they always do – make fun of the situation and pretend it’s not happening.  I guess you could say I was one of those people.  Although I did prepare with 3 trips to the grocery store in two days, and I had plenty of water and flashlights on-hand.

Tropical Storm Irene was the hurricane who cried wolf.  Last August, threats were made and New Yorkers went into crisis mode, but no severe damage was done.

I have to admit that I feel a little guilty.  My friends and I were out having a grand old time at brunch on Sunday afternoon, celebrating the fact that we didn’t have to go to work on Monday.  None of us expected what Sandy would bring, but how could we?  I spent the majority of Monday visiting the grocery store one last time and picking up the necessary supplies – lots of junk food and skim milk.  Mike and I then took a stroll to the East River as the storm began to roll in and walked back to my apartment to hunker down.

As the day dragged on and Sandy gained steam, heading directly toward the tri-state area, I called my parents every hour — on the hour — to see how they were coping out in Long Island (also to make sure they weren’t letting my sweet dog out in our tree-filled backyard without supervision).  I ate dinner and made cupcakes for my doormen who were forced to guard the door — on their feet — for 36 hours straight.

Finally I got a text message from my parents around 8:30 PM saying “Power out!  We are OK.”  I didn’t actually get to speak to them until the following day, and of course my stomach was in knots considering I am an absolute worry wart when it comes to my family.  I couldn’t get through to the house phone or either of their cell phones for a good 3 hours and I finally reached my dad on his cell.  I could hardly understand a word he said – something about a 50 foot tree falling in the backyard — did he say that it hit the garage or it missed the garage?  — but he said they were “OK“.  That is all I needed to hear in order to be at ease – at least for the time being.

Now here is the reason why I feel so guilty… I have been extremely fortunate.  I’ve been fortunate enough to watch every piece of news coverage on Hurricane Sandy.  Fortunate enough to be able to take the elevator if I need to.  Fortunate enough to walk around my apartment barefoot.  Fortunate enough to take a hot shower.  Fortunate enough to open and close my refrigerator whenever I feel the need to, and lastly, fortunate enough not having to risk seeing my iPhone battery turn to red (nobody likes to see that!).

I don’t live in a “cool” neighborhood in Manhattan.  I live on the Upper East Side.  However, those who used to make fun of the Upper East Side are now making the trek uptown with overnight bags because all of downtown Manhattan is in darkness. I almost feel like an outsider looking in – almost as if I wasn’t living in New York when this terrible event took place.

Of course I do live in New York, and it’s heartbreaking to see all the devastation Sandy has left behind.  Thousands of homes were destroyed.  Innocent lives were stripped away.  Millions of people left without power.  Businesses shut down for days – even weeks (including mine).  It’s difficult to go back to work and continue on with your day-to-day knowing that so many others don’t have that luxury.

It’s crazy how much we take for granted… and it’s heartbreaking, really.  I am thinking about and praying for all those who have lost so much these past few days, and am extremely thankful for the people who have banned together and bent over backwards in order to turn these unfortunate events into something positive.

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