Monday, November 5, 2012

New York New York: Life Lines

I. CITY IN CRISIS
Like yours, my heart goes out to the folks who were struck by so much hardship and loss from the storm.

I thought this was a very telling quote from today's NY Times:

"The offices of The Jewish Daily Forward occupy the eighth floor. Samuel Norich, the publisher, said he was allowed    into
the building for about a half-hour on Friday to retrieve servers and hard drives. He said that there were water marks on the lobby’s white marble walls that reached two to three feet above the floor line. Building management, he said, told him that some eight million gallons had been pumped out of the basement.


“We had prepared for an emergency,” Mr. Norich said. “The emergency we had prepared for was an act of terrorism, not this.”

Given the very large number of people seeking to volunteer and make donations of supplies, and now that the government and NGO organizations are on-site and in action, dispensing emergency and corporate donations, volunteers are being turned away, and recommendations made that financial contributions be made instead to suitable organizations. Details here

The following agencies are among those accepting contributions to assist people affected by Hurricane Sandy:

N.Y. Times area services update here

II. LOCAL COLOR

Despite the tragedies faced by those impacted first hand by the storm, the rest of us are fortunate that the inconveniences experienced by some, of no power, no phones, no cable, no internet, and for most in the region, no gas, are worrysome but hopefully beginning to abate.

After the fairly long hike from Fiske Terrace to alternative subway options, it was really convenient having the Q back up and running. Early this morning, it was a smooth, fast ride.

We were conserving fuel and doing errands on foot for the last couple of days. The lines at filling stations were of course overwhelming. Since I am a subway commuter, I was more than willing to leave the car until the gas situation resolved itself, hopefully in a few days. However, My Better Half, who works in Bushwick/East New York, once again proved remarkably resourceful in overcoming gas line adversity and strategically getting a fill up so that she could make it to work at her school. A projected two-hour bus ride plus walk, with limited ability to shlep supplies for her students, wasn't going to cut it. Early this morning, she checked out www.Gasbuddy.com to narrow available fuel options and then made a few phone calls to stations to assess the status, and then headed out for a roughly one hour wait to get fuel and head to work with her students.

Hopefully in the days ahead, just as the critical needs of many thousands of survivors of the storm hit the hardest, for food, shelter and other resources, will be met, so too the other disruptions, power outages, phone problems, gas shortages, etc. also will begin to ease, and NY-ers not immediately and seriously impacted will return to some sense of non-crisis, so that the focus can remain on assisting those who are most in need.

-Anthony Napoli, Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn


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