We’re back at NYU after a week-long hiatus due to Hurricane Sandy, and as I made my commute from Bushwick to Washington Square this morning, it looked like New York is getting back on its feet. We’re still out two subway lines, but it seemed like people were eager to get back to their normal routines and back into the city.
While the storm devastated many parts of the East Coast, my bit of Brooklyn remained largely untouched. Strong winds, a dark sky, and long lines at Food Bazaar were the only indication that something was coming our way. My roommate and I passed the time checking for updates from NYU, doing schoolwork, and catching up on news (and Hulu) that we normally miss during the week. We complained about the trains and that we had to line up for a bus that would take us over the Williamsburg Bridge to Manhattan, but as I looked at photos of Breezy Point, Queens, and read about families returning from evacuation centers to find their houses no longer standing, I quickly realized that taking a bus between Brooklyn and Manhattan was nothing to complain about.
I caught up with one of my fellow CLACS classmates, Cara Caponi, who lost power in her Styvestant Town apartment: “So many people in our community lost their homes and their lives. What I experienced was an inconvenience. I don’t have hot water, but I can live with that.” In staying with friends in the Upper West Side and New Haven, she “found people to be really generous in sharing their resources and their space”. Cara also reminded me that it was all about perspective: “Without a doubt, my experience in Latin America prepared me well for Hurricane Sandy…everyone is freaking out about no hot water, electricity, etc., but in Peru I didn’t live with those things. There’s a certain level of adaptability”.
I completely agree with Cara. While Hurricane Sandy did cause inconveniences for many of us, these were just inconveniences. I think Sandy was a lesson and a reminder of perspective, adaptability, and resourcefulness, and I’m glad to see the region slowly but surely getting back towards normalcy. Stay Strong New York (and the entire East Coast)!
Elizabeth Con is an MA Candidate at CLACS at NYU