Dear New Yorkers,
I understand you are annoyed. I get that things are difficult. I am with you that its inconvenient, but a little perspective please.
Early last week, mother nature ripped through NY and NJ in a fit of rage leaving a trail of destruction. The subways were switched off, the city went dark, and the coast line demolished. People lost their homes. Their dignity. Their lives. Things will never be the same for many, but many of us will go back to our lives. We will rise to the sound of the alarm clock, suds up in a hot shower, commute to our jobs, work, arrive back home, have a delicious dinner (maybe a glass of wine) and cuddle up under the blankets for a warm dreamy slumber, but many are not as fortunate.
Gas lines are miles long, subways are beyond crowded, maybe your train is not running, maybe it takes forever to get to work, but you get there. The subways are not a given right, they are a privilege. Gas is not a need, its a luxury.
I was one of the lucky ones. My apartment in Brooklyn unscathed. My electricity stayed on. The spider that lives outside unharmed (we named him Herman and tried to shoot him with water guns- he is resilient!). It will get below 30˚F overnight and I don't have to worry about freezing, but many do. Today I am thankful for the comfy chair I sit in a I write this. The warm water in my pipes. My friends and family being safe. My heart goes out to those not as fortunate.
Long Beach, Long Island was hit hard. The beautiful beach I have spent a many summer afternoons working on 'mah tan rose into the streets like an angry ex-girlfriend. My brother, the best guy around, lost his house. His belongings, but not his life. After he watched the water rise and take everything he has worked for, his couch floating around the living room & after he put out fires sparking from the outlets while standing in knee deep water & after he slept in his cold attic with wife and dog & after he threw away everything Sandy decided she wanted, he told me he was just glad he had friends and family and somewhere to go...
and you... yes you are complaining the L isn't running or that your subway isn't back on schedule. Flabbergasted that theres no gas for your car. Floored that the electricity isn't on yet. You're not alone, millions were without electricity, thousand are in the same boat as you now, but for some, that boat is in their house. Everyone is doing the best they can. The president declared this a "major disaster" and another storm is coming through to kick us while we're down. Things cannot be fixed overnight. Have a little patience.
Gala Darling taught me to smile while writing, but as I write this, my eyes fill with tears. I felt, and still feel helpless. I am fine. My things are fine. The bars were open, people inside laughing, having a great time. The neighborhood was bustling. Kids were trick-or-treating. I could do whatever I wanted, except what I really wanted to do, help. No trains. No cars. I was trapped.
But every little bit helps.
I went through my closet and pulled some winter clothes I knew could keep someone else warm. I took the money I would have just pissed away on clothes or shoes or drinks (or or or anything) and I bought a cart of items that were needed by those tossed out onto the street by the Frankenstorm. I found a donation site. I walked, yes, in the cold, because you know what?... there are thousands out there that will be cold for days, weeks, months... and they need our help. Toothbrushes. Dry socks. Food. Things that we take for granted.
There are soooo many people that need our help, and instead, we are complaining that we have to walk a few blocks further for a train & wait a few nights longer for the lights & drive a little bit less to save gas.
So, My Dear New Yorkers, a little perspective please. Let us not fight over getting fuel, argue over making a train, loot from the abandoned homes, we are New Yorkers, we will get through this, but only by being there for one another. We have seen the good, the bad and the ugly in the aftermath of the storm, I just ask that you try to be the good.
So what can you do? Not wait on a line for a new ipad for starters. Beyonce (yes, I said Beyonce) put together a short list including simply sending a text to donate (type "REDCROSS" TO 90999). NY1 has a more extensive list. Donate through itunes. Visit rockawayhelp.com or Long Beach, NY Hurricane Information on Facebook. How about you just go out to eat at the right place?
You don't have to live in NY/NJ to lend a hand. If the misplaced marathoners can run supplies through Staten Island, you can pitch in too.
Here are some other ideas that would only take a few clicks of a mouse (and you could get yourself some swag too):
• Grab a special edition print of Blue Marble at 20x200, all proceeds will benefit the American Red Cross’s efforts to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy.
• Shop at Amazon and have it sent right to the Occupy Sandy donation center.
• Wear your NY Pride with this t-shirt Sebastian Errazuriz, 100% of proceeds go to Sandy Relief Programs.
I still love you NY. Even though the cabbies bitch about taking me over the bridge, the homeless guy out my window plays that damn penny-whistle for hours (and not well I may add) and you never call me on my birthday, you're just the best... and New Yorkers you're pretty awesome too.
xo / JS