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Trip report-Hurricane Sandy

Montreal
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Trip report-Hurricane Sandy

I was in town during Hurricane Sandy....I am writing a trip report but I have difficulty putting into words what I saw on television during my stay there.

I had come in on Friday October 26th after my work day. I flew in around dinner time and was so happy to be in town. I went out for a walk after dinner at the Blue ribbon sushi bar and grill, which is located in my hotel 6 Columbus. The weather was incredible! They were talking on television about Sandy but maybe I was not paying full attention since I was on a vacation.

I had fun on Saturday and Sunday....I shopped for shoes at DSW and Michael Kors and went to the newly opened Essie store on the Upper west side. I had a great dinner at Picholine.

On Sunday, the weather started changing and restaurants and shops started closing around 3 o'clock. Subways and buses also started shutting down and I have to say that New York's contingency plan worked extremely well. This plan took people off the streeets and back home where they should have been.

I was lucky to be in a part of town where we did not lose electricity and could just watch helplessly on television the damage being caused by the weather! I ate around the hotel at the only place that was open, Jean-Georges-Nougatine in the Trump tower. I had 2 lunches and a breakfast there. I feel guilty saying that I ate there because I was watching on television what was happening and here I was eating in an incredible restaurant.

This is where the guilt and anger comes in. Restaurants and shops started reopening 48 hours later on Tuesday and people went as if nothing happened!! I was stuck in town since all the airports were closed. I was supposed to fly out Tuesday but got a flight on Thursday. I was not able to shop and act as if nothing had happened.

I went to eat to restaurants because I did not have a choice but I was seeing parties of people laughing out loud and acting as if nothing was happening. People downtown did not have any electricity, people had died, parts of New Jersey had been obliterated but uptown people were partying. I understand that you have to go on but I thought that many people were being insensitive.

Like I said, I am having difficulty putting into words what I experienced in New York. It must be my Catholic education but I felt guilt at seeing people shopping their lives away on Wednesday when other people were living through probably the most difficult part of their lives. I think that is what people were experiencing when talking about the marathon. You take away ressources from people that need them downtown and other parts.

Some people said that it was like 9-11, that the best way to get over it is to go on with your life but a grieving period is also a matter of respect for the people going through this difficult period. When I go back to New York next time, I will have fun like I always do but the 2 days I spent there after Sandy were not the happiest for me because I could not help thinking about what the people were going through. I wish everyone well......

New York City, New...
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1. Re: Trip report-Hurricane Sandy

Well, honestly, the money spent by those "partying" I am sure was very welcome to the businesses that were open. I live here and don't mind that they went out and spent money. Even if some of those folks had wanted to do something worthwhile elsewhere, transportation wasn't running so it wasn't like they could get out to the hard hit areas to help/volunteer.

I don't think it is a realistic expectation that a city of 8 million people is going to simply come to a stand still except for the necessities of life.

There are as always, varying degrees of sensitivity and insensitivity and I've seen behavior that is unseemly to me but people out eating and shopping when they could do so is not one of them - to me, anyway.

Mesa, Arizona
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2. Re: Trip report-Hurricane Sandy

Despite how some people may feel about the situation, life goes on. I totally understand why New Yorkers and visitors what to get back to "normal" as soon as possible.

As a former NY'er (I've been in AZ just over a year)....I feel helpless that I cant do more than donate to REd Cross. I have a friend in Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn who I havent been able to get in touch with, nor have I been able to get in touch with her sister in Westbury (on Long Island).

New York City, New...
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3. Re: Trip report-Hurricane Sandy

There is constantly people dying all over the world from hunger, disasters, wars, etc.

Happy you were not affected and that you at least got a few good days in before the storm hit.

San Francisco...
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4. Re: Trip report-Hurricane Sandy

I completely understand how you're feeling and how could those thoughts not be a part of your trip report?...... that was your trip.

We stayed 3 blocks from where you were exactly a month before Sandy hit and watched in shock, seeing the same places we'd walked through in perfect weather --- either destroyed or under water. And the island we took the free ferry to, being so dramatically affected. All this while we have family back there who got lucky and were not as affected.

I'm glad you want to come back soon. So do I. And, the next time I do, we'll even have a better time than we did recently, with -- again -- an enhanced level of appreciation of the city and its people, such as we had after 911.

It is truly amazing, as you so clearly point out, how different people can experience the same event in so many different ways. (I guess that's why it's difficult to give information on Tripadvisor sometimes ---- so many variables and expectations). Took me back to the old TV show: "There are 8 million stories in the Naked City, and this is one of them." All the stories are different.

Also, as Karen mentioned, it is frustrating that the only thing some of us can really do is to send in our Red Cross donations. I hope they are pouring in and that some entity is managing them well so they get to those in the most need.

Thank you for your report. It means a lot to me as I never wrote one after our trip.

New York City, New...
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5. Re: Trip report-Hurricane Sandy

Cricri, I know it's hard not to feel guilty when so many are suffering and you're not. But I consider your frequent visits to NYC as your contribution to the city and the fact that you post reports and often give courage to other solo travelers who are worried about coming alone a great service. Stay safe, be well and come back soon.

Montreal
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6. Re: Trip report-Hurricane Sandy

Thanks whiz......I will be back as scheduled during the Christmas vacation, even though this one turned out to be way more expensive than intended!! Two nights at the hotel plus expenses was not part of the original budget but at least I am safe even though many people weren't.

I know that life must go on. I got totally that families were tick or treating with their kids on Wednesday night but the 10 and + groups of people partying was totally weird for me.

New York City, New...
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7. Re: Trip report-Hurricane Sandy

We all have to stay alive and functioning as best we can. On its own, feeling guilty helps no one. If there is some action you can take that's great. If you come to visit NYC that's great and you should enjoy it. Maybe donating a small portion of your trip budget will help, Then c'mon in and see all of NY. That;s what I think.

New York City, New...
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8. Re: Trip report-Hurricane Sandy

Also, with my own Catholic background, I can relate. The problem is, those people who are oblivious and self-involves are oblivious and self-involved all they time, not just now. They were out and about during 9/11, too. They are also a segment of NYC and you learn to ignore them and then focus on what you feel can do.

Small point, I was in Central Park today during the "people's marathon" and an older runner fell down. Some people went to get a medic and give him water, and some people took out cameras (!) to get a "slice of life" photo while he was sweating on the ground. I "lost" it and yelled at these "photographers" and then I realized I was only making it worse. (My self-righteous Irish Catholic side).

Its intense now in NYC but everyone (except self-involved photographers...) and invited. Again, staying away out of guilt helps no one.

San Francisco...
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9. Re: Trip report-Hurricane Sandy

People can feel however they want and I really felt for the OP. This is what I did, as I felt some guilt last Wednesday as my team was celebrating their World Series win with a massive parade a few miles from my house.

I knew it would be uncomfortable to get there (along with 1.2Million others) and there wouldn't be enough porta potties and who could go celebrate when I was just in New York and the Giants came from there, when I knew what was going on in New York? Plus my family was suffering also (in the East, but not New York). I couldn't make myself go.

So, I calculated how much it would have cost me to get to the World Series parade and spend the day in San Francisco and then I went down to my bank and sent that money (not a small chunk of change, for me) to the Red Cross, "for the benefit of the victims of Hurricane Sandy, from a SF Giants fan."

Made me feel much less guilt, plus I could watch the entire parade (not just a part of it) and a regular bathroom was a few feet away.

If everyone going out to buy shoes would donate the cost of one pair to the RC, might help --- either guilt or action-wise?

Montreal
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10. Re: Trip report-Hurricane Sandy

If I had to stay longer, I would have gone to see how I could have helped. I do some volunteer work in my hometown so I know full well that guilt does not do anything, only action can. I was not staying long enough to do it.

I know that guilt may be a useless emotion but I thought that people were being oblivious to what was going on. A bit like NYNM said....a person falls down and people only think about taking a picture. My feeling is to help the person immediately not take their picture. I would probably also yelled at the people taking the pictures!!! It is your Irish side NYNM, for me it is my French heritage:)