|Photo Credit: NY Magazine|
Once we ventured outside and headed north on foot, we found that there was life, power and cell service above 39th Street. When we first hit the powered up part of the city, it was sort of surreal to see. People were sprawled out in ATM lobbies, crowded around surge strips. The first open Starbucks was packed with people glued to their iPhones and laptops. For a few days, it was kind of fun adapting to the new lifestyle, which included sleeping until noon at home, showering and drying our hair at Equinox uptown, going to dinners at midtown restaurants, checking out typical Upper East Side nightlife staples (Dorian's, anyone?) before finally coming back to the blacked out side of the city and going straight to bed. On Halloween, day 3 of no power downtown, some of our friends saw the humor in the situation and dressed as power outlets.
But a few days into it, I was over the candelight living and decamped to my aunt's in Battery Park (which ironically never lost power). On Friday night, I bought an air bed (that I had to go to three other stores to find D batteries to blow up) and was packing a bag in the dark to go stay with a friend for the weekend when my power suddenly, miraculously returned. After days in the dark, I can't even describe how happy I was to finally have lights again and be able to take a warm shower and sleep in my own bed and wake up and make coffee the next morning. Not having power, hot water and heat for days (or a home) really reminded me to not take anything for granted. Despite the daily grind and life's trials and tribulations, we are all pretty lucky.
That's why on Sunday, I felt compelled to head to Staten Island with a group of friends to volunteer for hurricane relief efforts there. We spent the day cleaning out flooded basements and houses, digging and clearing remainders of people's histories and lives.
|Courtesy Katie Thiele|
|Photos courtesy Dan Fredinburg / #operationsandcastle|
And speaking of another kind of power, we had an election last night. No matter what your political affiliation or beliefs, the outcome is now decided. We've got four more years with Obama, so let's all come together and try to support our nation's leader, shall we? Forward...together.
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