I have this complex, whereby I associate every word– particularly pronouns– with Billboard 100 songs. And Hurricane Sandy was no exception. A Grease devotee (I’ve seen the movie a whopping 27 times), I quickly broke into, Sandy can’t you see I’m in misery/We made a start now were apart/There’s nothing left for me. And then Sandy happened, and I no longer sought to romanticize the wet and windy beast in musical form.
Because while my friends and family were spared the worst of it, I still find myself displaced. One of the 750,000 downtown Manhattanites without power, I have been forced to relocate to the land of warm water, heat, and electricity– better known as the Upper West Side. And while it has been an ideal quasi-staycation, replete with home-cooked meals, Starbucks Skinny Peppermint Mochas, and multi-story Barnes and Nobles, I can’t help but feel a little lost.
For the first time in a long time, I am the needy one. I need hot showers and electrical outlets and the return of full subway access. I need the old New York, the pre-Sandy New York, which may never ever fully return. As Chris Christie said today, we will rebuild, but it will never be the same again. And in typical Yaffa fashion, I have trouble accepting that, embracing change, and letting go of the past.
But there is a silver lining: after 48 sans-caffeine, I have reunited with every open coffee establishment. My blood is pumping, and I am ready to take on the challenge of rebuilding. I am prepared to return to my apartment this weekend, empty the contents of my soggy freezer, and spend my next pay check buying bags worth of Whole Foods groceries. And rather than resorting to my signature kvetching, I am vowing to take this natural disaster in stride; to embrace the notion that there are fun filled adventures north of 14th Street; and to be the rough and tough New Yorker I aspire to be.
One latte at a time, anyway.