Tuesday, November 13, 2012

FDR Drive After Sandy

This is my one and only photo of Hurricane Sandy and it's being posted two weeks after the fact. Sandy knocked out power to our entire neighborhood (in fact, to almost all of Manhattan south of 36th Street - an area now nicknamed SoPo for "South of Power"). For those of us living in highrise apartments this resulted not only in lack of power and all of the obvious things that go along with that (no phone or cell service, or power to even recharge cell phones) - but also lack of running water and flushing toilets. After 3 nights in the dark I found shelter at a hotel in Queens. After showering and then finding a warm meal, I returned to the hotel and turned on the the TV and saw, for the first time, the devastation all around the NYC area. That was when I realized how lucky I was to have made it through the storm with what, in the grand scheme of things, was just a minor inconvenience (however severe it seemed to me at the time). It took almost a week for the power to come back at home... and another 24 hours for heat and hot water to return. But when I returned home on Sunday, my apartment building and apartment were intact and I was able to get my daily routine back to normal - even though my head is still not quite back to normal. There are tens of thousands of people in surrounding communities who are not so lucky - who's lives have been turned upside down and whose homes have been completely destroyed. Yesterday I had an appointment in the financial district (FiDi) and I walked past some skyscrapers that I had worked in at various times in the past. These are huge fortresses of concrete and steel - yet they were no match for the force of mother nature and they will remain uninhabitable for months (one for up to a year). Sandy has shaken my sense of safety and security more than 9/11 did and it took took quite a while for me to feel "right" after 9/11.

This photo was taken the morning after Sandy hit bringing record flooding along the East River. The FDR Drive and adjacent streets and parks had been completely under water the night before. Most of the water receded back into the river by morning.

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