Barbara Hannah Grufferman

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Grateful in New York City

Storm Sandy was a doozy. People in many parts of the Northeast are still without power, water, or food. Homes have been lost, and lives, too.  We’re all still in shock that this even happened. New Yorkers feel invincible most of the time. This week we felt vulnerable.

Slowly, however, we’re starting to feel grateful. Grateful that it’s finally over and life is crawling its way back to normal.

It was with mixed emotions I heard the news that Mayor Bloomberg canceled the NYC Marathon. A few days ago, after the storm, he announced that it would go on as planned, but the outrage was intense. Valuable and necessary resources–food, water, generators, police–would have been diverted to the Marathon. On many levels it didn’t seem right. My daughters were intensely opposed to the marathon, even though they cheered me on last year and the glow of that wonderful memory still lingers with us. I know first hand what it means to train for a marathon over many months. And the excitement about running through the streets of New York City to an always-appreciative crowd along the 26.2 mile route is something every able-bodied person should experience once in a lifetime.  But, in the final analysis, canceling it this year was the right decision. Too many people need too many things right now, and that must be the priority.

Our neighborhood was spared most of Sandy’s wrath, but we still had a few downed trees and bus stop poles.  Here are a few shots I took on Tuesday, after Sandy made her way through New York.

I’m sure there are many lessons we can learn from this experience, including how we can pay closer attention to global warming. But for now, New York, New Jersey and other parts of this region first want to get back to “normal” . . . whatever that now means.

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