It’s Been 10 Years Since Hurricane Sandy

Some memories are so potent that no matter how much time passes, that one is instantly taken back to that time.

This weekend is the start of the anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.

It was not the first time that this part of the country was impacted by a hurricane. Irene came through the year before. She was a dress rehearsal compared to Sandy.

Before she landed on the Mid-Atlantic and North East coast of the US, no one could have imagined the damage that she eventually left in her wake. Those of us in this part of the country are used to seeing images of this kind of destruction down south. It was a shock (to say the least) to see the physical state of the region once Sandy dissipated.

Back then, I was working in midtown and living close to where I am now. Naturally, the office was closed. While I was home, I was flipping between the news and Lost reruns, trying to keep my mind off what was happening outside.

All in all, I got really lucky. The apartment I was living in at the time was facing the street. Had things gone another way, the tree in front of my building could have fallen into my bedroom. Thankfully, I didn’t.

I didn’t have to leave my building. I had electricity and internet the entire time. The only issue was getting to and from work once the storm, once the office reopened. The trains were not running and most of lower Manhattan was completely dark. There were busses, but they were crowded and it was a slow go. I remember taking a taxi home one of those nights. It was akin to a roller coaster ride that I will never get on again.

Ten years later, the communities hit by Sandy have mostly recovered. In some places, it is as if the storm never existed at all.

While the physical scars (metaphorically speaking) have hopefully healed, the memories will last a lifetime.

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Thoughts On the Impeachment & You Know Who’s Sea Wall Comment

Regardless of where you land on the political spectrum, I think it’s safe to say that this current President has, if nothing else, rocked the political boat.

You know who’s recent comment about the proposal to build a seawall to protect New York City from another Hurricane Sandy is both arrogant and ignorant. I don’t know where he was during the hurricane, but I know where I was. It was one of the scariest experiences of my life and a kick in the pants that climate change is real and destructive.

The ironic thing is that while he mocks the effort to protect the residents of New York City from another massive hurricane, he continues to believe that building a wall is the solution to resolve the issue of immigration reform. Building the wall and maintaining on the Southern border is a waste of money, time and the human resources. If he truly wanted to reform our immigration issues, he would be doing everything in his power to work with Congress. Instead he makes up lies and spouts false promises that will never become reality.

Speaking of, last week, he became the third President in American history to be impeached.

To be fair, this does not mean (at least at this point in time), that he will be even found guilty or removed from office. Only time can tell us that. But, the message is clear. No one, not even the President of the United States is above the law. He or she is as bound to follow the rules as any of us are.

As Senator Nancy Pelosi (D-California) stated on Real Time with Bill Maher,

“If I knew that the president is listening, I would want him to know that he is impeached forever, and he is impeached forever because he used the office of the president to try to influence a foreign country for his personal and political benefit. In doing so, he undermined our national security, he was disloyal to his oath of office to protect the Constitution and he placed in jeopardy the integrity of our election,” she added later. “He gave us no choice.”

As of now, we don’t know how this will all turn out. Regardless of what happens, it is a stark reminder of how important it is to what has to be done to keep our democracy alive. If we don’t, I am seriously afraid of what the consequences will be.

Another Fare Hike Is Coming In 2019

Anyone who has lived and/or visited NYC will tell you that the public transit system is the lifeblood of the city. Without the MTA, New York City would not be New York City.

This week, it was announced that the cost of taking the trains and buses would be going up both next year and in 2021.

I get it, I really do. The MTA, like any organization, has expenses to pay. They have to maintain their payroll while getting their riders to their final destination in a reasonable amount of time. The subway system is more than a century old. The damage that Hurricane Sandy did to the system in 2012 is still not completely repaired.

The MTA is not the first company, nor is it the last company that will raise prices to insure that external and internal expenses are paid on time and in full.

But there is a catch here. The catch is that with the fare hike, the service improves. The MTA has been slowly raising the cost of riding the subways and buses for nearly a decade, but the service, for the most part, remains the same.

In the end, whatever the final total is on the price hike, we will pay it. We know it and the people who run the MTA know it. I just wish the quality of the service warranted the hike.


I’m Ok-The New York Terrorist Attack

There was a terrorist attack today in New York City.  A man (who shall be rendered nameless in the blog post and therefore powerless) drove into a crowd near the World Trade Center Memorial. It was mid afternoon. Students were getting out of school, many of them excited for their Halloween festivities.  Adults were minding their own business when a man drove a rented Home Depot van down a busy bicycle path.

As of this evening, 8 innocent people are dead and others are injured.

The fact that this terrorist chose to kill civilians near the 9/11 memorial just adds to the grief of the families whose loved ones were needlessly taken from them. It also reminds me what a dangerous world we live in.

It also reminds me that New Yorkers have an inner strength that is always in the background. We survived 9/11. We survived Hurricane Sandy. We can survive this.

G-d bless the souls of the innocent lives lost, may their memories be a blessing to those who knew them best.

Thoughts On The 5th Anniversary Of Hurricane Sandy And The Prevalence Of Climate Change

Anyone who lived through Hurricane Sandy five years ago can easily tell you where they were and how they somehow survived.  Today is the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.

We believed, back then, that Hurricane Sandy was a once in a lifetime storm for the New York City area. It would go into the history books and we would move on with our lives. It was just another Hurricane.

Cut to this year. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma,  Jose and Maria left a wake of destruction in Texas, Florida, the Caribbean and Puerto Rico respectively. Puerto Rico is still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Despite what the deniers will say, climate change is real. We, as a species, are shooting ourselves in our collective feet and pretending that we are not. When Donald Trump announced earlier this year that the US would be removing itself from the Paris Climate Agreement, he once again opened his mouth just to shove his foot in it.

Climate change may not be happening as quickly as it appears in the movies, but it is very real. If we live to see our grandchildren born, we may be asked some questions, that we as a generation may not be able to answer.

Hurricane Harvey-We Are All Americans

The rally in Charlottesville two weeks ago was a shock to America. It revealed not only our differences, but the schisms that are keeping us apart. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a disaster to bring us together. This weekend, that disaster is Hurricane Harvey.

Many of my regular readers know that I am a born and bred New Yorker. I lived through both 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy. The thing I remember about both is that we temporarily forgot our differences and remembered that we are all Americans. If we needed a kick in the behind to remind us of this, Hurricane Harvey is that kick.

Whatever our differences are, we need to put those aside and help our fellow citizens. Whether it is a donation to a reputable charity or volunteering to help the victims, please give. Our fellow citizens need us.

Hurricane Sandy: Gone, But Never Forgotten

New Yorkers are not known for breaking easily. We may bend with with changes that life brings, but we don’t break easily.

Today is the first anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.

Every decade has its moments, a period of time when everyone remembers where they were.  I don’t think I will ever forget Hurricane Sandy.

I had bought theater tickets with a friend for that Sunday afternoon.  While we were having lunch before the show, the televisions were all turned to the news channels and the potential destruction of the coming hurricane.   Looking at the weather reports, we decided to exchange the tickets for another performance.

After picking up the necessary supplies, I was prepared to barricade myself into my apartment. I watch the news as much as the next person, but for the next 48 hours, I watched nothing but news.

When it was over and I walked outside for the first time in two days, I counted my blessings. My home and my neighborhood was left unscathed. The worst thing to happen to my family was lost of electricity for several days.

Some of my fellow New Yorkers were not so lucky. Some lost their homes and everything inside their homes, some lost their lives.

There are moments in life when you are forced to take note of the good things in your life. Sandy reminded me that I was alive, that my home was left in one piece, that I had a hot shower, fresh food and electricity. Sandy reminded me that I and everyone I love survived.

She might be long gone, but the scars have not yet healed. Sandy, you are gone, but not forgotten.



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