Laura, Dave (her fiance), and I made it safely from DC to Philly in some rain showers. We stopped at a rest stop for food as I was starving still from my race. WOAH! Northeast rest stops are fancy! They’re like mall food courts. Four or five food options, lots of seating, and clean bathrooms. If you’ve never been to a southern rest stop they consist of dirty bathrooms and vending machines behind jail bars. I treated myself to nuggets, fries, and a chocolate frosty for dipping! Laura and Dave laughed when I got out of the car and could barely bend my knees and walk 🙂 Once home I received word my train back to NYC was indeed canceled. I was pretty excited as Laura and I spent most of our childhood storms together! I somehow pulled myself upstairs and slept hard as a rock.
The next morning Laura and I bundled up (it got cold and was raining, I was not prepared for this in packing!) and headed to Whole Foods. They were staying open until noon and the store was crowded with people rushing to grab non-perishables. The shelves were pretty empty… Laura and I got snacks and some fruit and headed home. Dave returned to the store before noon and bought the fixings for some delicious chili. We lived off this for a couple days. Laura and I also made these cookies sans eggs. That’s the one thing we forgot to buy.
Yup, Starbucks was closed. We watched A LOT of tv through all of the storm. We were prepared with flashlights, candles, chili, and all charged up on our phones. I got word that power went out at home around 8 Monday night from my roommates. The Weather Channel covered much of the storm from Manhattan. It eventually stared really scaring me. I was worried about all of my friends here and my city. NYC holds a special place in most peoples’ hearts as a resemblance of America I think, and it’s a whole new feeling to me now that I actually live here. I hated seeing where I did so many training runs along the rivers get destroyed, I was freaked out by the wind blowing a whole side of a building off in Chelsea, and the image of half of Manhattan in darkness was all out creepy and terrifying. I finally forced myself to sleep not knowing what the morning would bring. The wind whipped and whirled outside all night and somehow we never even lost power.
Tuesday morning was spent around the TV again watching footage of Battery Park and the boardwalks of New Jersey that are no more. The subways and tunnels were flooded, homes were destroyed, power was no where near being restored, and in Philly we were safe and sound. Eventually TV became too much and we wandered around downtown Philly. There were some limbs down but nothing too bad. This is when we went to NYPD pizza. It almost felt like home… the rest of the day was spent in ultra-lazy mode. There wasn’t much to do but eat more chili and watch more TV. Even though the circumstances weren’t the best, it was great spending time with Laura and Dave. I had booked a Bolt Bus ticket home for Wednesday morning and it was canceled Tuesday afternoon. Dave reminded me of Megabus and thankfully it appeared to be running!
Wednesday morning Laura and Dave headed back to work and I packed up all my stuff to finally head home. I finally broke down in tears while on the phone with my dad- I just wanted to get home. I feared what I would see, but I still really wanted to be here.
What an adventure the bus was! I immediately approached the driver asking, “Ok it says New York on the bus, you’re taking me to Manhattan right?” He laughed and assured me we would get there but, “From the bus stop I don’t know how you’ll get anywhere.” It was a pretty pleasant ride. I kept my phone shut off as I knew there would be no power once I got home. I was planning to go by my apartment and grab more (warm) clothes and head up to my friend Molly’s in Harlem. You can imagine how excited I was when I spotted the Manhattan from a distance. HOME! It took us about two hours to get from Philly to 7th ave and 28th street. Once there I decided the best idea would be to walk home and then I spotted a city bus. I’d never used one before but it said “East Village” on it so I thought it sounded safe. It was crowded (see bottom picture above) and I somehow managed to squeeze myself and two large bags on the bus. Sure enough it dropped me off not too far from home. What a ghost town. The stairwell up was very dark and it was chilly inside. I dropped one bag, packed another, grabbed a heavier coat and headed back into the quiet but wild streets. There were police officers everywhere and they told me there was a bus that would take me up to 125th street in Harlem (I was headed about 10 blocks further). As I waiting with the rest of the world for the bus a cab pulled up. Myself and two others who were trying to get a gym and shower shared a cab uptown and so more adventures began…
**Being in Philly most of the news coverage focused on Jersey instead of New York. I never saw storm coverage of Staten Island, Long Island, or Hoboken until 6 days after the storm once power was restored. Here are ways you can help the people of New Jersey recover from Hurricane Sandy.
Of course the Red Cross
Thursday, Nov 15th the Jersey Shore Cast will be life from NYC raising money for Seaside Heights Hurricane Recovery.
And few more: https://sandynjrelieffund.org/index.html