Good afternoon from New York.
As the sun sets on Election Day eve, I want to again thank you all for your kind comments regarding Hurricane Sandy's effect on our City. I so appreciated hearing from you, and a week after Sandy's arrival, I am even more aware of how personally fortunate I have been.
For much of the past week, I remained in my immediate neighborhood, since public transportation was still in recovery mode, and my place of employment was closed due to lack of electricity.
On Tuesday, the day after the storm, I ventured out to see what the streets and sidewalks looked like. The following two photos show tables with plastic sheeting protecting the inventories of used books and magazines that are normally sold by independent vendors along these blocks of Broadway. Most vendors' wares did seem to have escaped being converted to papier mache.
Some of the trees lining the sidewalk lost some very large branches, but I did not notice much other damage.
My hope during this walk was that I might see that some businesses might be reopening. This would be a good sign. Indeed, I was happy that one of my favorite two food sources, the Fairway, was open although obviously the stock was very depleted. I was able to find a loaf of bread and to chat with some of my favorite Fairway employees. I was amazed at how many of those folks had been able to get to work.
In the ensuing days, television and Internet served to let me know how the City and surrounding areas were coping. Some areas like the New York borough of Staten Island and the shore areas of Queens, Long Island and New Jersey are still in very bad shape. Many homes were destroyed. Many folks lost their lives.
This is an important political season, and Hurricane Sandy has definitely played a part in the follies. It's been a time for good leadership, and we have seen such leadership from various politicians and elected officials.
Our Mayor had to bow to very strong public criticism and rescind his original decision to let the NYC Marathon go forward on Sunday.
On Friday night, power was restored to the SoHo area where I work, and so it was possible for us to return to work on Saturday. Public transport was still a bit weak, and so I allowed plenty of extra time for my trip to work. I was able to take a subway train to 34th Street, and then walked the rest of the way (about a mile and a half.) I am in reasonably good health and wore comfy shoes, and actually am glad to have had the opportunity to experience the early hours of the City returning to normal.
I was even more glad that some long-scheduled vacation time began for me when I left work on Saturday evening!
On Sunday afternoon, I took some buses and walked some, in order to have a bit of exercise and see Sandy's effect on other parts of the City.
The following photos shows Sunday's clear blue sky and also a distant view of the crane that was damaged by Sandy.
This additional view gives some idea of the wide area that was still closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic. I definitely had no wish to get any closer!
Returning to my Westside neighborhood I'd decided to see if the regular Sunday farmers market would be operating along its usual sidewalk site just behind the Museum of Natural History. Well, the market was there and I found some wonderful little apples. I also was very sad to see what was left of a very large tree that had been uprooted on the nearby grounds of the Museum. Most the tree had already been chopped up and removed.
The temporary wooden slat fence made a flimsy replacement for the iron fence that had been knocked over by the falling tree. Perhaps you can just see some of the mangled metal fence in the lower right hand corner of the next photo?
Here's just one more photo of the remains a beautiful tree that had graced the neighborhood for many, many years.
This morning, I had arranged to meet my delightful friend Elizabeth, who writes several wonderful blogs, including About New York. Our plan was to meet near the large Union Square farmers market, to have a bite to eat, chat about our usual vast variety of topics, and explore what fruit, veg or plants might be available at the farmers' stands.
Well, the area usually devoted to the Market was filled with various vehicles and machinery from our local Con Edison electric utility company and from other utility companies from as far away as Arkansas and Illinois. Our City is being helped by many dedicated, hard working folks.
I liked the look of the chalked sidewalk directions to the relocated Market site.
It is possible that by next week all the hard work will allow the Farmers to return to their usual location.
Elizabeth and I elected to stop for our late morning refreshments in a cafe located within the magical environment that is the large ABC Carpet & Home shop. To reach the charming cafe with its scrubbed wooden tables, comfy chairs and delicious food, we needed to thread our way amongst many tempting merchandise displays including these quaint and recently probably quite useful oil lamps.
Even though we have just gotten past Halloween (without our usual giant, wacky, free form Halloween Parade...Sandy's trick) ABC was already getting into a Yule time mood.
This sort of frivolous display was a good antidote to the challenging times that have recently faced so many. Even better was to sit down and have a wonderful catch up with a dear friend. Elizabeth may indeed post a photo of the cafe.
And yes, we did eventually make our way to the relocated Market. I found beautifully fresh broccoli and Elizabeth found splendid apples and a massive butternut squash. The sun was lovely and the air was brisk. There was a good spirit in the air.
I hope that there will be a huge voter turnout tomorrow. I rather expect that I might be staying up late tomorrow night and posting another blog pretty soon.
Best wishes to you all.