Good morning, All, and happy to see that you weathered the storm!
Last year, Hurricane Irene hit the Eastern Seaboard. New York dodged a bullet on that one, but it was a wake-up call. When Sandy plunged downtown Manhattan into darkness, Goldman Sachs, located at the epicenter of the maelstrom, was fully lit up and functional. They’d obviously heeded the lessons of Irene (actually, they were prepared even before that), while our Mayor Bloomberg, a huge advocate of global warming, turned his attention to – pressing hard for a ban on oversized softdrinks. The New York Times did a piece in September criticizing the mayor for moving too slowly in addressing potential flooding and worse: New York Is Lagging as Seas and Risks Rise, Critics Warn: http://nyti.ms/SIYNbA. “Planning to be flooded” is no replacement for investing in protection. Consequently, lives were lost: let’s not forget that NY is second only to New Orleans in the number of people living less than four feet above high tide. New York was a Tale of Two Cities: uptown, which was not affected by the storm at all, and downtown/the outer boroughs/low lying areas, which were in the dark and parts of which - and still do - looked like downtown Beirut. Moreover, it was a Tale of Two Realities: what we were told by our elected officials, and the reality of the situation/news that was streaming through social media, more specifically, via Facebook and twitter (Disconnect Between What We're Told And Aid People Are Receiving: http://youtu.be/65hk_PoWMwc, while a friend posted: PLEASE HELP AND MAKE CALLS. Island Park was devastated this week. FEMA and the Red Cross have relocated to where there is MEDIA COVERAGE). Most people were turning to social media for help and or/information. Variations on a line from ‘Alien,’ and take note, elected officials: in cyberspace, everyone can hear you scream.
In the midst of all of this, Mayor Bloomberg announced that the NYC Marathon would not be cancelled. After all, we are a resilient bunch, and power was restored to much of Manhattan (note: the race goes through all five boroughs). New York was back to normal, in Mayor Mike's reality. (In New York’s Public Housing, Fear Creeps In With the Dark: http://nyti.ms/X8DXXV; Queens residents arm themselves in the post-storm blackout from looters: Residents feel isolated and some use guns, baseball bats, booby traps — even a bow and arrow — to defend themselves. http://nydn.us/VLkpns). The reality was: the city that never sleeps had become the city that would only sleep with one eye opened.