Just 48 hours ago, there was a mandatory evacuation in sections of New York City. For the first time in years, the “city that never sleeps,”involuntarily took a weekend nap. The MTA shut down all mass transit Saturday at noon. Businesses closed and boarded up their doors and windows. New Yorkers made a mad dash to collect items for hurricane survival kits. Others took refuge far outside the Big Apple. This was just two days ago. Eerie.
The storm was not as evil as predicted, but nonetheless, it still did quite a bit of damage and will cost the East Coast an estimated several billion in repairs. The karma was right for New York this time around. Irene turned out to be a rather gentle lion.
The authorities took every necessary precaution. They also had a plan for the aftermath. In a city of this size and magnitude, a city that the world looks to for leadership in finance and business, arts and entertainment, diversity and culture, there is no dress rehearsal. Irene could have destroyed us.
Today, without entering the city parks, any outsider would never know that there was a natural disaster just one day ago. Both buses and subways are back up and running, almost at full capacity. More people seemed to be on the streets than other Mondays; the mood was positive and the energy was as unstoppable as ever.
|Business as Usual in Midtown West|
Dozens of children on their bikes with training wheels were rolling down the promenade in Riverside Park. Outdoor cafes were packed over lunch. Tourists were scurrying about as their double-decker buses dropped them off to see the sights. Life had rebounded from what could have been one of the most severe storms to ever hit New York City. Not too surprising. All-or-nothing New Yorkers were more than ready to move full speed ahead with the recovery. Life as we know it was better than before.
As I walked through midtown Manhattan on this glorious day, I felt prouder than ever to be a New Yorker. The sun was bright, but there was a slight chill in the air; sporting a sweater for the first time in months only added to my already good mood. Perhaps it was the cabin fever. No one likes to be told not to go out, especially in New York City. We live much of our lives in the streets here by choice and as a necessity to thrive.
|Louis Vuitton Window at Saks|
Today, I felt the life and vitality that I love so much in this town. After a dark, uncertain few days, I couldn’t help but smile all the way home.
My New York is back.