Disclaimer: Sorry for not posting in such a long time. So much has happened, and I have been just struggling to keep my head above water recently. I just wanted to say that I’m okay and give a recount of what has happened the past week in NYC. I’ve been thankful enough to find warmth and shelter the past few days but there are still thousands without power that need help and prayers. P.S. This will be a super long post so best prepare yourselves!
The past two weeks have been utter and total chaos – both good and bad. As I’m sure everybody has heard, Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast pretty badly. On Sunday night, after we dominated and destroyed Emory (story to follow), we were told that school on Monday was canceled because of the impending hurricane. To say that we were beyond excited was an understatement. We boarded the bus, giddy with excitement and rode back into the city – proud of our accomplishments and stoked for our extra day off of school and soccer. That night, in typical women’s soccer fashion, we locked ourselves in a room (don’t ask), sang belted out to the tune of Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby” and joked about the Frankenstorm that had made our weekend so much better – man were we wrong.
Closures Left and Right
The following morning (Monday), I woke up and headed out to meet my Dad at one of the few diners that was open in the city. Even though the storm had yet to hit the city, everybody had closed up shop, including Starbucks. I found myself on the corner of 6th and 18th at Hollywood Diner, ready for my day off with my Dad. Though I didn’t have an appetite, I forced down some fruit and toast, knowing that I’d be on my feet all day and I would need energy later in the day. We walked around Manhattan despite the blistering winds and torrential downpour and wound up at McSorley’s – my Mom’s favorite Irish bar (If you’re ever in NYC I highly recommend it).
Dad at McSorleys Before It Closed
The rest of the day was sort of shot, considering we were both exhausted – me from my game, and my Dad from his international travel – we decided to retreat to the hotel. That night was fun, just catching up and chilling out, and we were about to watch some MNF and chow down on some Chinese delivery food when the…. wait for it… POWER WENT OUT. Yes. The power in New York went out. I was besides myself. Though I knew that the storm had the possibility of knocking out the power, I was stupid ignorant and believed that it was highly unlikely. It was one of the most surreal moments in my life. I pulled back the curtain to see the entire skyline blacked out (except for Freedom Tower – minutes later it was out as well). After reassuring my family back home that we were safe, I turned my cell phone off to conserve battery and fell asleep – hoping that this was simply a bad dream and that the power would return once I woke.
The only lights were that of cars
Much to my despair, the power was not on when I awoke on Tuesday. My Dad was unable to fly back to California and the future was looking pretty bleak. After we gathered our things, we decided to make our way to my dorm blocks away to see if they had power. Unfortunately for us, my dorm was without power, water AND sewage. I grabbed some clothes for the day with my Dad and then headed back up to 24th street. We soon found out that everything south of 26th street was without power and would be for a few days so I called my teammate Phebe, told her to pack her things, meet up with us and go explore the city. We walked around for hours, taking in the destruction – it was unreal. Our practice field was ruined, and downtown New York City was flooded beyond belief. It was hard for me to see my beautiful city torn and tattered.
Our Beloved Field
We returned to our hotel hours later, determined to get another room somewhere with power and water. After calling what seemed like 50 hotels, including the very expensive yet enticing Plaza, we were told that everything was full. We decided to make reservations for the following night art a Marriott uptown anyways so we had a back up plan for the 31st. We then trekked up to the hotel in midtown, camped out to charge our cell phones and laptops and continued to harass ask the front desk if there was anything available. By the time I had gone down to the front desk a third time (with my biggest puppy eyes), we had decided to try the nearby Cornell club. After being turned down by them too, we stopped at a final hotel to use the bathroom and ask if they had a room to spare. By this point, I was going delirious, muttering under my breath “I hate Sandy. I hate being homeless” over and over again. While sitting in the hotel lobby of the luxurious Sofitel Hotel, I couldn’t help but notice that a) Phebe and I were scrubbing it hard core in our matching tights and north faces and b) my Dad was taking forever. We both looked at each other, began contemplating the odds that we had gotten a room, and before one of us could utter a single room my Dad returned with two keys held above his head. I swear, I thought he was gonna start dancing Gangnam Style. Our day was turning up.
We waltzed up to our hotel room on the 22nd floor and embraced in the biggest hug ever. We were no longer homeless and without power and water. The hotel was super fancy but what made things that much better was the fact that there was running water (we could finally take a hot shower) and could charge our phones with worrying about saving battery. We snuggled into the oversized twin beds (like who the heck has twin beds in a hotel?) and fell asleep after dinner. Before I closed my eyes to sleep, I thanked God for watching out for all of us and prayed for all of those without power.
On Wednesday morning, we awoke and headed back to Carlyle to get more supplies from our rooms. The night before we were told that school was canceled for the rest of the week, and due to the lack of electricity they were evicting everybody from the dorms. Luckily for us, we had a room at the Marriott Marquis (thanks Dad!) but others were forced to see refuge with friends or family in the area or at Kimmel – a multipurpose building down in Washington Square. Once we checked into the Marquis, we dropped our stuff off and decided to grab some breakfast next door at Juniors. We spent the rest of the day in the hotel, catching up on homework, facebooking and enjoying each others’ company. That night, Pheebz and I decided to unstress by shopping so we went to American Apparel, got some cool scrunchies and some American themed clothing (for my Halloween costume). We decided to meet my Dad at a local Irish place in Hells Kitchen and chowed down on some delicious Irish grub and dessert. Though the Shepard’s Pie did not quite meet my Dad’s standards, it was a great way to end his extended stay in the city.
In Total Disbelief
On Thursday my Dad left us for California. Although I was sad to say goodbye to him, I’m happy he was able to get back to the sanity of California. My other teammate, Leslie, joined Phebe and I soon after he left and we continued to hang out, work out, and contemplate life’s true meaning.
In wake of this terrible storm I’ve reflected on everything I’ve been given and realize how lucky I truly am. Only time will tell at how long this recovery will take but I am just eternally thankful for my friends safety and the kindness of New Yorkers in wake of this terrible disaster.
UPDATE: As I write this post, I’ve been notified that power has been restored in parts of Lower Manhattan (only East Village though).
Stay safe New York 🙂
A Torn and Tattered City