Well, I survived Sandy. My air conditioner flew out of my wall, but that’s about it. I lost power and hot water for 5 days, but luckily a nice family with a generator took me in. I didn’t fill up my bathtub as directed, but the irony is that my bathtub hardly drains, I procrastinated on buying Draino, so I actually had water in my tub. I always have water in my tub. Here I thought it was a sign of gross ( literally) procrastination, yet as it turns out, I’m always prepared. 😉
The morning before Sandy, I drove from the East River to the Hudson and photographed the grey ominous looking rivers. Seriously, they were so grey and depressing, they looked like West Point would look if it was liquidated. I crawled under the yellow-colored, CAUTION Police tape and got a few pictures of the rivers, before I was asked to leave by the authorities. I supppose I wasn’t supposed to be anywhere near the river, and if the response, “But Officer, I was taking these photos for my Facebook page,” could get me arrested, it would have. A Rescue-type in a bright “Can’t Miss Me” rain jacket asked me to leave and said, “I was making his job harder since he had to watch me.” The response in my head, since I was too chicken to say it out loud: “Really? You signed up to be a Rescue Person. Where the Hell else would you be on the eve before one of the greatest natural disasters hits NYC? Out Bowling?” Still, Mayor Bloomberg
evacuated Zone A, and since I was disaster site-seeing in Zone A, it made sense to be yelled at and told to leave. Zone A. Before Sandy, I didn’t even know we lived in zones. I didn’t evacuate, because I was waiting for Bloomberg to order the Twilight Zone to leave.
The morning after Sandy, I walked around Grammercy Park in search for displays of death and destruction that I could photograph, post to my Facebook page and get more “likes.” There were two trees, yanked from the sidewalk by Sandy’s winds, defeated and sideways on the ground . I’m sure they killed a car or two on landing.
Next, I started asking people where I could get a cup of coffee. No electricity meant no coffee. There was ONE shop open on Park Ave. that was selling coffee. I sprinted there, only to see people lined up outside the darkened shop with no electricity, JUST for a cup of coffee. So I joined my fellow caffeine junkies, stood in line, talked about the hurricane ( duh) with strangers, and eventually purchased three large coffees for four dollars each. In cash, since it was mandatory. Yes, four dollars in cash for each coffee, and yes they were marked up. What? A tiny cafe taking advantage of caffeine-junkified New Yorkers in the aftermath of a huge natural disaster that knocked out water and electricity? Why you…………….geniuses.
As I was marching home while steadying my coffee tray in one hand and zapping more destruction photos for Facebook with the other, strangers rushed up to me, voraciously eying my Joes like hungry lemurs. “Where, WHERE DID YOU GET THOSE??!??? Like a Good Samaritan I carefully gave directions to the lone coffee distributors, while protectively hugging my own tray closer to my chest. Some of the strangers looked like thieves. Coffee thieves. I had to protect my loot. For a moment, it felt like the apocalypse for caffeine addicts.
But seriously…, WHAT A STORM! My heart goes out to those who lost homes, possessions, pets, friends and family members. And since I always try to spin stuff positively, mostly via humor but in this case, perspective: Be happy and grateful that you didn’t lose your life. Everything else is replaceable, and no matter how devastated you are over losing your “great” possessions, you still have your “greatest”: You. 🙂 And if you prefer humor as a coping mechanism but are having a rough time laughing, remember this quote: “When there’s nothing to laugh about, laugh.” If you don’t feel better, you might have to “Phone home, E.T.,” because you ain’t human then. 😉
Back to Bloomberg who has to deal with the whole mess. He impulsively endorsed Obama in the aftermath of Sandy after claiming Obama was the president who will promote climate change awareness and create policies that address global warming. No matter what side of the climate change battle you support, I think Bloomberg’s decision was abrupt and painfully unscientific. In other words, his attention to climate change in the aftermath of a big storm made me cringe. To put it in perspective, pretend a boy was killed by an angry wolf. Does that mean all wolves are angry and deserving of eradication? No. There’s no proof, just like there is no proof Sandy is a result of global warming. That said, there are scientific organizations actively collecting data on Carbon Dioxide emission rates, temperatures at the earth’s core, and the melting rate of the polar ice caps. NASA and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA) are two. They maintain several computer models which predict the longterm effects of global warming, including floods, wildfires and droughts. There’s data predicting that the number of deaths due to heat waves will double by 2020. There’s NOAA which recently announced the preceeding 12 months were the hottest documented since record-keeping began and that the Artic Ice is melting at its fastest rate ever. This past summer marked the worst drought the US experienced in 50 years and Colorado Springs saw its worst wildfire in state history. There’s also the data Infectious Disease Docs. and public health practioners collect in regard to global warming. Those guys and gals predict more floods will bring the usual infectious disease agents, like cholera. Molds come with floods which produce mycotoxins, substances implicated in cardiovascular disorders, mental diseases and autoimmune diseases. More wildfires will destroy crops, create food shortages and increase air pollution, and droughts will lead to food and water shortages. But that’s just for humans. If I have any mosquitoes who read my blog ( Hey, I don’t discriminate)I’m happy to tell you guys that you will thrive. Your ideal breeding grounds of hot temperatures and still waters will expand, and you’ll be able to infect us humans with Yellow Fever, Encephalitis and West Nile. Data already shows you guys claiming real estate in higher elevations, that were once too cold for you, but now have higher temperatures. It’s safe to say you are movin’ on up! 😉 Of course, that is the scenario for those who believe in global warming. If you don’t believe in global warming, then that isn’t the scenario. What do I care? We’re all friends here. 😉
My last bit on Sandy will be about rodents, because who doesn’t love rodents? My sister posted me a Facebook comment that NYC was worried the rats would be flooded from the subways and on to the streets. I talked to a Spokesrat who had a message for the world. Ready? It’s “Been there, Done that!” Apologies if this is a newsflash, but rats are already on the streets. Just walk around the city at night- you’ll see rats everywhere, even on dates at the movies. I also heard Sandy flooded one of NYU’s research labs and killed all the lab mice. That’s sad, since a lot of good research was taking place in the lab, but I have a solution!!! My parents have a “no kill” policy when it comes to mice. Hence, there are plenty of field mice in Trucksville, PA ( where my parents happily coexist with the mice) and I would be more than happy ( Borderline ecstatic) to donate them in the name of science. Please…. I want to go home for Christmas, and it would be nice to discover that Santa didn’t leave Hanta Virus in my stocking.
Peace and Love,
P.S. If anyone needs a place to sleep/shower/meditate after the storm, I have an available couch. Truly. 🙂