Skip to main content

Thank You Human Spirit


Last month the Tri state area was hit by Hurricane Sandy or Superstorm Sandy as others have called it. What ever the name what is certain is that the damage that was cause by this storm was unimaginable to the people in the northeast especially after last years hype over Hurricane Irene. I stayed away from watching much television while the storm was happening because the news loves to give minute by minute updates of the same thing, but once I started to see houses destroyed like they were in a tornado or in the vicinity where a bomb was dropped, I knew this was going to be different. It was difficult to wrap my mind around the idea of neighborhoods in the northeast being destroyed by a hurricane, that just doesn't happen in New York or at least it hasn't in my lifetime. At work we were already given two days off following the storm because of the system wide shutdown of the mta, however, when it was reported that the tunnels were flooded and it could take days to get it out I became affected by this storm although not on the level of hundreds of New Yorkers in Staten Island and Breezy point, Queens. In a matter of hours emerged a Tale of two cities; one city where its inhabitants had power and no damage to their homes and another city where houses were demolished from flood waters, powerful winds or unexpected fires. As options became available to travel to work, the anticipation of chaos, disorganization and stress became a reality once anyone came to the Barclay's center on Atlantic avenue. Lines held together with no barricades zig zagged into a straight line of bunched individuals that seemed to wrap around the stadium. Some people decided to forgo order and head to the front of the line where buses were being filled to its capacity to transport what seemed to be lost souls over the Manhattan bridge into a different looking lower Manhattan highlighted by no lights, gates pulled down on stores and traffic cops at every intersection directing cars and buses uptown to limited train service in midtown. As difficult and stress filled the morning commute was, the realization that the trip home had to be made was anxiety producing. After a work day that was mainly about the unbelievable devastation caused by Sandy, New Yorkers made their way to pick up points throughout the city to catch a shuttle bus back across the bridge into Brooklyn. The long lines were the same only the people were different. Several buses passed filled with people looking at those outside standing on line with little remorse because they were in that same position earlier. As the buses were filled to capacity, those who got seats were the lucky ones avoiding the shoulder to shoulder ride back through the powerless lower Manhattan. Things felt normal once I reached my apartment, I had power my family was safe and so were my friends. School was canceled for me, that coupled with the changes in transportation were the only ways this storm affected me. For thousands of residents in the tri state area, however, their difficulties were just beginning. Moving into shelters, losing loved ones, feelings of loss and abandonment all became a reality for people only a few miles from East New York, my safe haven. Even as I'm writing this blog post families are still trying to figure out their next move. I didn't know what to expect from this storm but I did find out plenty about New York and how we are able to adjust to any hardship thrown our way the same goes for folks across the Hudson. On this Thanksgiving day I am most thankful for the human spirit that provides aid when needed. Whether it be to a telethon or handing out food in Far Rockaway. The human spirit that is in most NYPD officers who interact with thousands of New Yorkers and out of towners looking for guidance in a city that will swallow you whole if you aren't careful. The human spirit that is present in MTA workers, my Dad being one, who deal with being the scapegoats at times for fare increases implemented by executives in tailored suits. These men and women work on holidays like today to bring us to our families throughout the city. The human spirit that is in college students old and young struggling with papers and exams to attain that degree and slice of American pumpkin pie. The human spirit in those who have suffered loss of loved ones and property but still have the resolve to plan a brighter future. And to the rest of the people who envision a better life for themselves I leave you with this; enjoy today, forget yesterday and conquer 2morerow.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Trickiness of White People

In Fenway park on Monday during a game of America's past time, baseball not racism Adam Jones, a Black centerfielder for the Baltimore Orioles was heckled by Boston Red Sox fans,  not for his play on the field but for what some fans thought he was in their eyes…a Nigga and someone to throw peanuts at.  After the story picked up traction in the news, Boston Red Sox president Sam Kennedy condemned the actions of the fans and encouraged fans at the following night's game to give Jones a standing ovation, which they did.  Herein lies the problem I have with this whole situation.  White people somehow are allowed to mask the disgusting acts of one or a few members of their community with a show of emotion, avoiding any attempts to pathologize the act (Elizabeth Hasslebeck crying over the N word), while minorities are left explaining the actions of everyone in their community from rappers to 17 year olds who have been killed for no other reason than them being Black. (What about Bl…

You Better Watch What You Say (or at least who you say it to)

I’m sure by now at least 80 percent of America has heard what Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling had to say on a secretly recorded audio tape, or at least seen Donald Sterling and racist in the same headline, the rest must not have a TV or internet connection. I’m sure 100 percent of sports fans have heard the hateful words of an owner, revealing his feelings about minorities as well as his inner feeling towards women and the space both occupy in the world according to Donald Sterling. As juicy as the details to this story are, especially the fact that the NAACP was about to give Mr.Sterling a second Lifetime Achievement Award, there are so many angles to this story we have to break this one into several parts; Ownership, Culture, Racism.               “Structure” …… “WHITE POWER STRUCTURE”.  What did you feel when you read those words…”WHITE POWER STRUCTURE”, better yet what do you think about when you read the words “BLACK POWER STRUCTURE”. Which one sounds more believable?…

Its What You Are NOT Saying Mr. President

Last week, President Obama attended the Al Smith dinner in midtown Manhattan at the Waldorf Astoria. This annual event, held during the final stretch of a presidential campaign brings together all the political heavyweights from government, media, and religious institutions. Attending this dinner was mayor Micheal Bloomberg, who's proposed soda ban was the subject of a light hearted joke from the president.  What I found not humoring was the inability of this president to even address the violation of rights of thousands of young men in this city at the hands of the NYPD, commissioner Ray Kelly and the aforementioned Micheal Bloomberg . Of course I don't really expect him to make damning statements at this dinner, but perhaps at a local church or playground in NYC. Less amusing is knowing why the president didn't address stop and frisk that night or any other time he has come to New York for a fundraiser; the president does not want to jeopardize his political run in a bl…