Manhattan Skyline Oct 30th, 2012
I'm not really sure where to begin writing here my loves?! Exactly one week ago I sat at my computer describing the eeriness of the impending Hurricane Sandy. I thought foolishly that a day or two off from work would provide me with some much needed rest and time to paint. I had no idea that my forthcoming week would be spent in darkness. I was both literally and figuratively powerless.
Before I continue, I would like to acknowledge that there are thousands of people along the East Coast who continue to suffer much greater losses than I ever could have conceived of. People lost their lives, their homes in Sandy. I know my ignorance in not having lived through massive weather or war related devastation. But I do think that as minor or major as my story may be, it is worth telling.
I have lived in Manhattan, New York now for over three years. I have weathered first hand the isolation, loneliness, defeat, exhaustion, success, competition, extreme entitlement, and extravagance that can only be experienced in a city like New York. To see the center of power without power was...mind-blowing. I woke up Tuesday Oct 30th to find lower Manhattan silenced by Sandy.
My roommate and I walked to the Hudson River and uptown to 27th and 7th to find food and power. This is when things really started to get interesting. The city was literally divided between dark and light; the new neighborhood was coined SoPo for South of Power. Suddenly "too busy to breathe" Manhattanites were forced to interact with one another in a way we are so unaccustomed to.
I had to rely on my friends for showers and power and heat. For the first time in months I communicated with my roommates apart from the cordial "hello" and "have a nice day". We caught up on life, exchanged immense frustration and laughter over candlelight, and one gorgeous bottle of riesling. Friends from across the world reached out to ensure my safety and my office became my safe haven.
On our last night of no light my roommates and I ventured to our local Italian restaurant Grano who had opened its doors and kitchen for a candlelit dinner. We set out onto the streets, flashlights in tow, and shared glass after glass of merlot. We were joined by our neighbor Alex and relished this truly rare occasion; eating in a silenced corner of the city against a pitch black skyline.
Early Saturday morning our power returned and with it my appreciation for everything I've ever had here in New York. Sometimes it takes a hurricane to make you realize just HOW lucky you really are. To be honest, Sandy gave me a new lease on life. I know now what and who matters most in my world. But sadly my heart aches for the thousands of others that continue to suffer in Sandy's wake.
If you would like to help, please visit here for a list of organizations you can contribute to. If you live in New York, do your part, and help those in need. Eat and shop downtown to help those businesses recover from the lost week. But most important of all, recognize in this moment what and who matters most to you. Appreciate everything you have because life, after all, is a blessing.
Sending so much love your way!!