Well, here we are back to the daily grind in NYC a week after Hurricane Sandy. Most subways lines and roadways are up and running for most. People are lined up at Starbucks and bagel stands to get their normal fix. Businesses are open. Power has been restored to the majority. I have to give big props to the MTA and ConEd for getting everything up as quick as they did under the circumstances. It truly was a Herculean effort, and the employees of those companies that were in the trenches working day and night need to be applauded. There are still areas that are out but should be up shortly.
I thought Governor Cuomo showed excellent leadership throughout this crisis. It made me happy to see him blast the utility companies and make them perform. It’s all about accountability as he stressed. Mayor Bloombito at times said the right things, but he will forever be known now as the arrogant insensitive moron that he can be with the whole New York City Marathon debacle. I just don’t get him, as one moment he does good in his position, and at another he makes us all cringe. Thankfully, this is his last term.
Still, there are so many that life will never be normal again. Watching the news this morning and reading the paper on the way to work brings the images of devastation, suffering, and heartbreak to the forefront of my mind. So many lost their homes, livelihoods, everything. Many areas of Staten Island, Jersey, Queens, Brooklyn, and others that were hardest hit are in for a long battle to recover. Many will never truly recover. That is why we all must show our compassionate side and pitch in. Even just a little bit helps. Many that are without homes and power are struggling through cold nights this week, and with a Nor’easter looming in a few days it will make matters worse for so many and damper recovery efforts. It’s called being human people, and won’t take much effort to help out.
I had my own experience with this first hand yesterday. Made sure we got up early to hit the local stores to buy bags of supplies and food for Far Rockaway Relief efforts. There was a local bar in my hood serving as a donation drive center. It was astounding walking up and seeing the amazing outpouring of support and donations from the Upper East Side/Yorkville area that I live in. It made me swell with pride for my neighborhood. There were hundreds of people piling in with all types of goods and necessities to give. Huge trucks were filled to the rim with bags and boxes. The local fire dept was on hand to help out. I literally had tears in my eyes as I walked away after handing over our donation. It made me believe again that there is some good in my fellow man.
The second half of my day was spent giving blood at the donor center close to where I live. Again, it was heartwarming to see so many piling in to give. The place was mobbed and right after I walked in at 3pm they locked the doors behind us. As they were understaffed we were told it might take a few hours and could leave if that would be a problem. There was no way anyone was leaving. Well, two hours turned into four and five by the time it ended. Very few left. It became such a sense of “community” with all of us bonding and telling our Sandy stories and experiences. We were determined to see this through, as it really was not that much of a sacrifice. Again, it made me believe that there really is good in most people.
So much more needs to be done. The Red Cross and many other charitable organizations are still taking donations and will be for quite a while. You can always give blood, once every two months. Volunteers are still needed to help out the areas ravaged by this storm on a daily basis. We can all do our part whether it be big or small. Be human. We are all in this together.