Posted by Samantha Shelton
So, there was this hurricane and its name was Sandy. She was a real bitch these last few days and well, she wreaked havoc all across the Northeast, putting much of the great city I love under water or into darkness.
The damage that’s occurred has been devastating and lives were lost, homes were destroyed and many of my friends are without power right now. But the one thing that has been so uplifting in all of this? Our community.
People aren’t kidding when they say New Yorkers are tough. Many are heroes. I mean, when you have nurses evacuating newborn babies out of NYU Langone Medical Center in the middle of the night, in the middle of the hurricane, you have real heroes on your hands. Seriously, these people are rock stars, along with all of those who have been working tirelessly around the clock to help our city bounce back quickly and safely.
New Yorkers don’t mess around.
Photo from NYRR
I’m so proud to call myself a New Yorker.
I’ve heard that you’re not a real New Yorker until you’ve lived here for 10 years. Maybe this is true. For those who believe it, I respect you. But I’m a real New Yorker. I grew up in Central New York, went to school in Oswego and have now lived in New York City for a year and half. I’ve been through countless blizzards, a handful of earthquakes and two hurricanes. Mother Nature likes to mess with us, that’s for sure, but I believe she hasn’t dealt us a losing hand quite yet. Yes, what happened this week has been devastating. But what’s happening as a result is amazing as well.
Another amazing thing? Social media. I’m not sure how people stayed up-to-date without it before. I’ve had the news on around the clock and have been tuning in to Mayor Bloomberg’s reports, but Twitter has been my saving grace. Getting tweets instantaneously from the mayor, MTA, airports and friends has been so resourceful. Not only in finding out what condition our city is in, but to quickly make sure my friends and family are safe, especially when power goes down. Luckily, everyone I know made it through safely without any major damage or losses.
We made it through safely as well. I, fortunately, didn’t experience the brunt of Sandy as I am back upstate. I went home for my best friend’s baby shower, and by the time my bus would have returned, subways were shut down. I’d either be stuck in Port Authority, or gambling to find an expensive cab back to Queens. My mom asked me to stay, so I did. Thanks for asking, mom 🙂
Dustin and Libby were back in our apartment in Astoria and while the winds were unbelievably strong, there was no flooding and power stayed on the entire time. We were lucky, that’s for sure. And to everyone who sent messages or called, thank you. It’s so heart-warming to be reminded how loved we are.
In the meantime, I’ve seen people posting Facebook statuses about the storm being a joke and others incessantly asking about whether or not the New York City Marathon will still take place. To these people, I say one thing: “Really?”
Joking about the storm = not cool. If anything, count your lucky stars that you weren’t affected. So your town was placed in a state of emergency and nothing major happened? GOOD. Better safe than sorry. Everyone has the right to voice their own opinion, but I find it extremely offensive when jokes about a storm like this are made. Remember, people lost their lives. Homes were destroyed. Last time I checked, those weren’t joking matters.
As for the runners who are furious about not knowing the status of the marathon: calm down. I completely understand wanting to know your travel plans and whether or not you’ll lose money. I also can sympathize – if I found out I wasn’t going to be able to run a race that I had been planning for over the last year, I would be upset. But please, take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Yes, hosting the marathon would help the city financially, and if it does happen, it’s going to be one HELL of a celebration of this great city. But if it doesn’t, it’s not the end of the world. There are bigger fish to fry and more important matters to pay attention to, like restoring homes.
And if you have time, money and a sympathetic heart, think about volunteering. Here’s a list of some great organizations lending a helping hand that would welcome your assistance with open arms.