Hurricane Sandy Brings Out Our Best

Sandy brings out our best

“We have power. Please feel free to charge your phone.”

I’ve been looking for a story Lisa told me yesterday about a woman who cooked for the strangers she opened her little apartment to after they were stranded by hurricane Sandy.

Lisa thought she saw it on HuffPost, so I started looking there for it.

I never did find that good news story, but I found plenty of others about what Sandy did to us (click to read each story):

Here’s an excerpt from Alona that well represents the love, support, compassion and connection that Sandy brought out in us:

Workers from the bars, restaurants, and rental car places chose to come from all over the state and even New Jersey to work instead of staying home with their families. When I asked one why they came to work, they said, “Why should I stay home when I can be at work helping people?”

New York, I love you more than ever. How is that even possible?

I know it isn’t all good news from the experience of Sandy, but in the midst of the trauma and upset and the ongoing recovery, it’s worth remembering there’s much to celebrate.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the stories of Sandy:

  • “… patiently waiting in long lines …”
  • “Everywhere people were friendly.”
  • “Firefighters and rescue workers have saved thousands of lives over the last two days …”
  • “People really do help out.”
  • “New Yorkers have hearts of gold.”
  • “… revelers spilled out of a bar, strangers stopped in the street, and broke into song led by an accordionist.”
  • “The conversations, like most campfires, were intimate, free flowing, and without agenda …”
  • “… we’re all in this together.”
  • “requires us to think about how we can make life better for everyone, not just for the members of our tribe.”

God bless us all.  And thank you, east coasters, for showing us our true nature under pressure.

  • November 1, 2012
  • Sweet! Reminds me of what happens after major EQs, too. Nice to know that humanity is alive and well even in major cities! 😀
    Many blessings,

  • When I first moved to NYC in 1987, I was living in Brooklyn on the A train.
    That was the last subway line to get upgraded cars. Very often the train I would take home from work would stop, lose power, and sit for a while.
    Because those trains didn’t have backup systems (like the new ones did), all the power would go out (which meant the lights and the fans — these were so old that they had no A/C).
    And, then, Wow!
    Those were some very magical moments when that would happen.
    People would suddenly start talking to each other and swapping stories and telling jokes. We would all of a sudden be connected to each other.
    Then, as soon as the power came back and we grinded into the next station, that would all stop. The invisible walls would come back into place and people would go back to their books, or Walkman, or magazines, or just staring at the floor.
    I still very much treasure those moments because, to me, they revealed the true heart of New York City. It’s very sweet, and very tough, but always there. Whenever you get a glimpse of it (which isn’t often), it takes your breath away in all of its magnificence.
    Thank you for posting all those stories Jeannette (and Laura!). It’s such a delightful reminder of what those hearty folks are really like.

  • Thanks for the link, Laura.
    And Janette, your story makes me realize it’s one thing to hear about these stories of connection and support – quite another to be in it!!
    Thanks for posting, everyone. 🙂

  • Janette says:

    I love these stories! What my Mum’s generation call the spirit of the blitz (she wasn’t actually in London at the time but it was a constant in her world). There is something about shared adversity which creates opportunities in ways that don’t seem possible otherwise.
    Some years ago our state’s only natural gas plant, which supplied the entire state, exploded in a massive industrial accident. It took many weeks to re-establish supply, and in the meantime people were the same – creative, collaborative, wonderful.
    You’d be in a queue at a grocery store and complete strangers would be comparing notes on how they were solving the day to day problems such as not being able to have a shower. We tend not to share those intimate details in “normal” life. Perhaps we should!
    My favourite story from the gas crisis was the suburban fish and chip takeaway place which doubled its trade overnight because it was one of the few local food places still running thanks to its electric fryers. In order to manage the extra traffic, they hired the baker who owned the shop next door – which enabled him to earn a decent living while his gas ovens were out of action. A perfect solution all round!
    We had no hot water but our boss at the time let us use the (electric hot water) shower at his home, which was fabulous. The state was full of stories like ours – people still talk about it to this day.

  • Check out this list of other things….this kind of stuff makes me cry. The generosity and compassion that I really believe is inherent in all human beings that is given a chance to surface during disasters.

  • Sophie says:

    Now what is it going to take to keep all of this going regardless of the times being after a natural disaster or not?
    Your very own badass….. 🙂

  • Parul says:

    Beautiful! 🙂

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