I may have lived the last decade in sunny Fort Lauderdale, but I spent the bulk of my life in what forever will now be known as Sandy Territory. I grew up in New Jersey, spent many a summer as a kid crabbing off the piers in Seaside Heights, worked and played in the caverns of Manhattan as a young gay man, and lived and worked most of my career on Staten Island, the southernmost borough of the City.
Now the Seaside boardwalk is gone, the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel I took into the City many a Saturday night and South Ferry Subway Terminal I used when I worked in the City and commuted from Staten Island are flooded, and neighborhoods in Staten Island of people I knew and worked with are under water.
Decades of memories, changed forever in one night.
And while we here in Fort Lauderdale sustained some limited flooding and found a part of our beach blown out on to the roadway, we dodged the bullet that blew apart the heart of the most populated part of this country and which just a few short years ago I also called home. Will this mean we nosedive into an instant recession, or will all the rebuilding give the economy a shot in the arm? Time will tell.
My sister and her husband and two of her adult kids, married with kids of their own, all live in Suffolk County, Long Island but were the lucky few not to have lost power. Former work associates on Staten Island weren’t so fortunate; neither was George, my partner, due to come down later this month from our home in rural PA. And when I couldn’t even get him on his cell – I found out later the cell towers were down – visions of the huge Sherwood forest- like trees in back of our property toppling onto the house became my nightmare. I was just about ready to call the state troopers when, Wednesday morning, George got through, and in in uncharacteristically upbeat mood said he and Sammy, his beagle, were “just fine.”
The soothsayers have been making a big deal about the Mayan calendar’s prophecy that the world will end in December of 2012.
Maybe that came two months early. Or, as one buddy put it, maybe this was all just the beginning.
Sunday: My final take on the election.