I’ve been living in New York for many years now and I’ve seen this city going through several moments that put her down on its knees. I’ve seen New York getting up and moving slowly initially after being wounded, then picking up the pace and finally going full speed becoming again my New York, the frenzied and vital one, the one that, not matter what, has a will and pride that makes it a city like no others in the world. I’ve seen the phoenix born again from her ashes after September 11th attacks, I’ve seen this city and its people organizing the biggest picnic in the world during the blackout just a year later, when the people, mindful of the recent events, showed their solidarity and humanity towards others.
Then there was the earthquake, when the city buildings trembled for few seconds and after that the disastrous forecast regarding Irene and the damages this hurricane was going to do. New York was prepared; the news kept talking about this huge storm that, if it arrived directly from the ocean, would have swept the entire city. People literally assaulted the grocery and hardware stores, emptying the shelves and buying everything they thought they made need, from first necessity staples (and not!) such as food, candles, batteries and generators. Irene arrived in New York after touching land in the southern states and lost her power, so that from a hurricane it was downgraded to a tropical storm. There were damages, especially along the coast but luckily nothing was as tragic as it was initially expected.
Then it was Sandy and as much as I can recall, it was never compared to Irene initially but at the end, it was the worst natural disaster that has ever hit the United States. Entire towns have been destroyed by the force of the water and the wind, and in some cases the fire too. The coastal areas of New York and the neighboring New Jersey were the most affected by the storm and even today, after so many months, some areas are still trying to recover from it.
Last time I was in Coney Island was not too long before the storm. It was a gorgeous day of the beginning of fall, the temperature was pleasant and the sun high in the sky. It takes less than one hour on the subway from my house to get to this part of Brooklyn, famous among the other things, for being home of Nathan’s who is believed to be the inventor of hotdogs, for its roller coaster (among the oldest in the world), for its boardwalk of what it’s considered the “New Yorker’s beach” and for its aquarium.
I’m not sure what the situation there is right now; I’ve not been there since Sandy’s event. I’ve heard on the news that most of the beaches are reopened to the public and knowing my city, knowing the people that live here, I’m sure that, even if a lot of works still needs to be done, everything is going to go back to normal, if not better.
Because this is New York!