Needless to say, Halloweekend came to a much more serious close than anyone would have expected. And Halloween has never felt less like a holiday dedicated to candy, costumes, and scaring people. Hurricane Sandy did enough “scaring” for a good, long time.
It’s been a rough few days for people in the Northeast. While we were given warning of this Frankenstorm’s coming, and heeded the warning for the most part, I don’t think anyone really expected the magnitude at which she would hit us. Electricity was lost all across the tri-state area, trees uprooted and thrown on top of houses and cars, subways and railroads flooded and debris strewn across the tracks, dooming commuters to days of difficult and dangerous travel.
The news has never been more heartbreaking. Views of Breezy Point and The Rockaways in Queens, and Long Beach, Long Island, were the worst for me; watching these areas flooded, broken, burnt to the ground was truly hard to watch. With so many friends residing in or near these areas, it put a pit in my stomach to think of them losing everything that they had once called home. My thoughts are with everyone who was put in such a horrible situation.
My family and friends are lucky enough to all be safe from harm, and enjoying electricity, heat, and cable in our homes. Yet our neighborhood itself suffered quite a bit of damage. Fallen trees in the streets make getting anywhere difficult, and wires and street lights lay dangerously on the corners of many blocks. With no railroad or subway service, we’ve been a bit stranded and are working from home, lucky at least to have power and Internet to do that. While I am definitely suffering from a bit of cabin fever, and am devoted to finding a reason to change out of sweatpants today, I know I should count my blessings because in the wake of this disaster, I truly am one of the lucky ones.
Cars are ruined, houses damaged, but as usual, the one thing that always stays in tact is New York’s strong and solid disposition – we will get through this.
The rewarding thing is watching New Yorkers (and those from New Jersey and Connecticut, as well) pull together and reach out to help one another. Even in my own town, we saw and heard stories of neighbors opening their doors to those without electricity. Those reaching out over Facebook and Twitter to offer help and assistance to those who needed it. Volunteers going back into flooded areas to save friends and neighbors who chose not to evacuate. Just like in other devastations, just like we always have, New Yorkers looked out for each other, and stood together.
I was happy to be home in NYC this weekend, regardless of it all. I think had I still be in Miami, I would have felt helpless and out of place. No matter what the weather, there’s no place I’d rather be than New York. My heart goes out to those who have lost their lives, their homes, their belongings, and the places they made some of their fondest memories, from Seaside Heights and Staten Island, to Breezy Point and Long Beach. Yet I encourage everyone to stay strong; we will get through it all, as we always do. It will be slow, and it won’t be easy, but we will rebuild all that we lost. It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness.
That being said, it is Halloween, and if anyone has any interest in coming over, curling up on my couch, and watching The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown with me, we’ve got bags of Reece’s peanut butter cups just begging to be eaten. Plus, I think we could all use something sweet and a few laughs and smiles after a rough few days.