Sally Around the Bay

Visit with Sandy

It has been one week since I returned from New York. We planned this trip months ago to visit our daughter in college and watch her play Volleyball.

What we did not plan was to experience a hurricane. Instead of a visit with our daughter it turned in to a visit with Sandy, also known as Frankenstorm.

My heart goes out to all of those who have suffered because of Hurricane Sandy. Please take time to donate to the RedCross for Hurricane Sandy relief. Text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Thanks!

I was fortunate, the only thing that happened to me was a mild inconvenience. I felt blessed to be there for our daughter (although she really didn’t need us). It’s still nice to be near family when things like this happen.

The last post I wrote here was about my commitment to not complain for 30 days. I picked a fine time to stop complaining but in the end I was grateful for my intention of not complaining.

Really, what possible good would have come out of me complaining about the hurricane? People were and are living through real tragedies. I could have gotten on Twitter and Facebook and done a whole lot of whining about my hotel losing power, my vacation being ruined, losing most of our clothing at the laundry mat, having to stock up on 7-11 survival food and just general inconvenience but what is the point? In reality, we were very blessed on this trip. The day of Hurricane Sandy we ran in to an old friend who let us camp out in her hotel room, a hotel which had power during the hurricane. The day after the hurricane, despite lack of power, internet, land and cell phone reception we were lucky enough to find our daughter walking down the street in NYC! Her friend’s family offered the girls a place to stay in Manhattan until their power was back.

One of the strangest things I have ever heard is a silent New York City. The silence was deafening.

The explosions of light I saw on the other side of the Hudson River were scary and the darkness was intense.

I did not sleep that night.

Video of Hurricane Sandy on bikes:

Video spotted on Twitter via my friend @Ctygrl99

The hurricane was a bit of a wake up call for me:

We are all very dependent on electricity, the internet and cell phone reception. Amazing how much our lives change without it.

I am not prepared for an emergency if one happens here.

I spend too much time on the internet.

Because of the realizations above I plan to take some action. I already got a tiny purple address book from the office supply store and I am in the process of handwriting everyone’s contact info. I plan to keep this tiny address book in my purse. Thanks to “smart” phones I no longer have any phone number memorized. Do you? The only phone numbers still floating around in my head are ones from before the invention of mobile phones.

Next, I will complete my emergency kit at home and work, you know the usual: water, flashlights, canned food, and everything else on the list my super organized wonderful neighbor wrote up.

The thing about spending too much time on the internet… the night of and the day after the hurricane when we were all sitting around the hotel lobby with nothing to do because pretty much the WHOLE city (Manhattan) was shut down, we started talking to people. Real life, face to face communication with strangers. I think nowadays it is more difficult to meet new people because most people, including myself are looking down at our phones and not looking out at the world. I enjoyed talking to strangers and meeting new people. It was a very in the moment kind of experience. I haven’t decided yet how I am going to change my internet use but ideas are peculating. More than completely cutting it out of my life, I am working on finding more balance. More to come on that topic later. Below are some photos from my trip. I didn’t take too many pictures because it felt sad to take pictures.

Watching out the window during the hurricane, looking down on 11th Ave in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. Completely empty street.

Around 9pm when the Hudson just started flooding in to the street.

The morning after the hurricane.
Walking through East Village on way back to original hotel to pick up our stuff in the dark. iPhone came in handy as flashlight going up and down the emergency stairs in the very dark hotel when we gathered our stuff. We couldn’t even check out because the front desk person couldn’t do anything but write our name and room number down on a piece of paper using a flashlight to see.

Here is the dangling crane you probably heard about in the news.

Thursday, November 1, 2012 after Hurricane Sandy. My last night in NYC when I was hoping to get some sleep this Taxi line to get gas due to the gas shortage in Manhattan wrapped all the away around the block. They honked ALL night!!!

4 thoughts on “Visit with Sandy

  1. maria

    What an experience this must have been, but I am glad you were able to be there for your daughter – and I am sure she was happy to have you both around! You are so right about how we get lost in our electronic gadgets and disjointed conversations on the Internet, all the while taking technology for granted. You have inspired me to think about new ways to prepare for emergencies, not just with provisions, but also “pro” visions for making sure that friends and family can connect without our gadgets. :)

  2. Heather in SF

    What an experience you had, it kind of reminds me of after the Loma Prieta earthquake. I really like your idea about less time on the Internet and carrying an address book, I’m going to work on those too.

  3. Patti

    We lived in the bay area for 30+ years and I always kept an emergency kit, including a tent and cash. I still remember the Loma Prieta earthquake as if it was yesterday. Fortunately, I never had to use our emergency supplies but it always brought me comfort knowing it was there. I’ve thought the same thing about addresses so I always carry a printed sheet of the most important contacts. Always better to be safe than sorry!

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