Friday, November 2, 2012

After Sandy. . . continues

As the days go on post-Sandy, I often feel that I'm living in this world, but not.  Our neighborhood looks the same, except that nothing is open; streets are often completely empty.  The friendly tailor, Lumi, who seems to always be in his shop, is absent.  I miss his wave as I walk by, his gesture to come in and have a cup of espresso or a piece of candy.  But he has no power for his sewing machine, just as Starbucks around the corner has no power for its coffee machine, just as we still have no power for the 76 floors of our building.  The generator comes and goes, depending on whether it gets refilled with diesel, a much sought-after commodity through the five boroughs of New York.
It will be "going" again today at 3:00 p.m., taking elevator service, water and gas along with it. . . until further notice.

However, Drew and I are beginning to catch glimpses of the familiar, cropping up in this alternate world of cold showers, warm refrigerator, and candlelit dinners-out-of-a-can.  Yesterday a Starbucks opened in a pocket of power, close to the tip of Lower Manhattan, the same pocket that now provides electricity to Léman Manhattan's upper school. Drew sipped his first cup of coffee in three days, and we can now charge our phones, computers and have internet service!

In search of an open post office this morning, I unexpectedly discovered that the Whole Foods four blocks from our apartment building has reopened, via what must be a mega generator.  The timing was perfect as I had just emptied the last morsels from our refrigerator and was wondering where I might find a powered-up grocery store.  Smiling employees were grilling hamburgers and handing them out  to passersby for free.

I passed them by, determined to mail the absentee ballot that was burning a hole in my tote bag.

 In this alternate world, post offices don't follow the creed that "neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep a postman from his appointed rounds."  All three of the post offices in Lower Manhattan remain closed, the closest one with power is Farley Station, 3 miles away.  It never occurred to me to say, "To heck with this" and head back for a burger.  Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony (earlier blog posting) would never forgive me for turning my back on their lifetime commitments to women's suffrage.  As I entered New York City's largest post office an hour later, the lights, the lines of customers, and 9 windows of clerks energized me.  Life as we knew it was only (many) blocks away.


As we deal with our inconveniences, we realize that there are many people in the area facing much more challenging circumstances.  We continue to think of them, as we know you do.  In the meantime, know that we continue to be well, enjoying evenings of Scrabble by flashlight.


  1. Glad to see you both smiling and safe--and to hear that you now have POWER! (Well done getting that ballot in the mail.)

  2. Now, if I could just win one game of Scrabble, I'd be happy. :-)


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