From the opening chapter of The Ark, Dee takes Apollo out for a walk after Hurricane Sandy:
I took Apollo out toward Broadway. A threatening row of generators, inert grey metal boxes the size of trucks, lined the streets, steel bars and locks, red electric bolts along the rusted edges, thick cables and tubes clumped out across the sidewalk, into doorways, droning fierce metal on metal. A misery came into me, a weighty nothing, the tininess in my head gone. I was worthless. I knew that. It wasn’t just death, the meaningless of that, my stupid realization of my impending deterioration, but the clear pathetic thud of utter meaninglessness. It was this street, this fleeting attempt against the waters taking everything back, the cables and machines, the buildings and walls, huddled in the sharp early light, waiting for the inevitable next. Apollo pulled hard to the garbage truck and pissed.
Some 25 trees were knocked down by Hurricane Sandy near our house. Three months later, with a little help from my friends, I’ve managed to finally fell, cut, split and pile it – a full five cords – for the winter.
I look forward to the many fires to come.
Downtown Manhattan is a noisy neighbourhood, making it hard finding a place to think. For example, while there is a park around the corner….
John Street Methodist Church Park
It is claustrophobic, more akin to a prison yard than a park. City Hall Park offers a beautiful fountain, festively decorated during the winter, for contemplation… But the traffic, on Park Row and Broadway, is a never-ending story. The East River Esplanade looks like it might have moments of quiet…
If not for the fact that the traffic on FDR Drive Overpass is worse.
The World Trade Memorial has potential as a place of solace…
Once the security checkpoints are gone and the construction is complete.
World Trade One projected completion date: 2014
Until then, I will have to accept that the only time silence comes anywhere around here is when a hurricane comes to town. But then the power is gone too…unless I get a generator. And there’s no quiet in that.
The television cameras recently returned to the pier at the foot of Maiden Lane in Manhattan. This wasn’t for news on Hurricane Sandy, but a ferry accident in which 90 people were injured. It has now been over ten weeks since Hurricane Sandy, and this part of Manhattan, around Maiden Lane, remains much the same. The external generators and boilers are still in the streets. Many of the businesses remain closed. Yes, the Toyota Prius was removed, but it was just replaced by another external generator.
December 8, 2012
January 10, 2013
Now I am keeping watch on a pair of delivery bicycles which have been chained to the same spot since the storm.
November 15, 2012
January 10, 2013
It will be odd when all of these things are finally removed…by thieves or the city.
NRA Spokesman Wayne LaPierre stated that we should take this horrifying moment of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting as an opportunity to get at the real issues. He is right. There is little doubt that we need to reflect on our true natures, who we are, what we have done, who we have loved and cared for, who we have shunned and hurt. We need to recognize that it starts in all of us and, only after genuine, tough reflection, can we offer what we have learned to others. I intended to go out to the Rockaways today, to help distribute gifts and food. And I didn’t. I have many excuses to myself for this – I’m not really needed, I’m tired, I can’t be late for Christmas Eve dinner, I’ll do it later – and I do believe some of them, or at least I say I do. But the truth is that I am lying to myself. I am selfish and lazy. I’m pretending to be a good kind-hearted individual when I’d rather sit here and indulge myself. I’m faux good. (Good intentions do in fact pave the road to hell.) One thing that did hearten me during the Hurricane Sandy aftermath was that this false nature in us wasn’t nearly so apparent. I saw many sharp words exchanged because things had to get done. They weren’t pretending. They were being direct. People expressed themselves intensely and honestly, in anger, in sorrow, in devastation, in thankfulness. There was so much of that. New Yorkers can be quite good at this, speaking their minds – maybe too good – but we must remember that there is much positive in that.
Rockaways Donation Center
Being direct and honest. I think it might be just as simple – and hard – as that. I think back over the past couple of years to a most unpleasant situation at my workplace. The problem was never the difference of opinion – what could there be possibly wrong with that? – but because those who disagreed with me have whispered, plotted and attacked. I knew of this but was not concerned. Truth will out. That’s what I’ve always believed. But the bystanders didn’t do anything for fear they might be subject to the same attack. In other words, the misery wasn’t in what was said but because this cabal manipulated so many – even themselves – into believing that the monstrous shadow in the room wasn’t real. It was something else…which brings me back to LaPierre: “There are monsters out there every day, and we need to do something to stop them.” Indeed we do.These wild things live in us. These are terrifying things. We can’t hammer one another to concede. This isn’t about intimidation. This isn’t about winning an argument. This is about what is true in us. It is about being honest. It is about reflecting on how our actions affect others and making an examples of ourselves so that this world might be a safer, kinder place. Or do we want to pretend that we need a “good guy with a gun” to do that for us? Not me. I need to do something. I really do.