Where to begin.
Late Friday afternoon, as the light and the heat sputtered on hesitantly in our neighborhood, I found myself breathless, racing down First Avenue, unable to hail a cab or a spot on the overcrowded bus. Two laptops, an extension cord, a box of Wheat Thins, a bottle of shampoo and a hairbrush bounced heavy in my backpack, the same pack I toted around all week, from outpost to outpost, seeking power and Internet and hot water. But now I raced toward home and the light.
There is still tremendous loss, just a few miles outside of Manhattan. Staten Island and the Rockaways and coastal New Jersey are in great need and are counting on us to be good neighbors and support them. Let’s not fail them. Let’s be community to them. Here’s one way, here’s another.
Community is the only thing that got me, and probably you, through this week. In that spirit, the community who supported me, and to whom I owe a debt of gratitude:
– Luke and Arushi. You guys probably didn’t realize that when you stored your gas grill at Lost Weekend, it would one day be used to serve the only hot coffee in Lower Manhattan for 4 days. (I tried texting you to ask if we could use it, but I assumed you’d approve). You made cold, weary folks extremely happy, and gave us a place to gather to check in with each other. That grill created community.
– Laura and Alan. Thanks for being a power and shower outpost for me in Williamsburg on Day #2. Grateful.
– Caitlin, Lindsey, Bridin, the good people at eBay and at the Westin Grand Central. Thanks for being power and shower outpost #3. It was so luxurious to lay in a hotel bed and watch CNN for a few hours. Grateful.
– Friends and family around the country. You were diligent in checking in with loving texts, emails, and sending thoughts and prayers our way. Keep sending them. You are my extended community. Grateful, always.
– Abby, Paul, Adam, Kiki, and the rest of the staff at ForgtMeNot. Thanks for staying open and giving us community (and hot food) in the darkness.
– NYPD crossing guards. You tirelessly manned every intersection and directed pedestrians/cyclists/cars. Safety first. Gratitude.
– Phoebe. Thanks for laughing and drinking and sharing a little gossip. The community of girls finds each other in every circumstance. Grateful for you.
– Michael and Bella. Cold dark nights were less cold and less dark with you as my cuddlers. Eternally grateful!
– Brad, Lindsay, Walkers, Regina, Amanda, Debbie and Bill, and everyone else who offered us a place to stay if we needed it. Amazing generosity, never forgotten. Gratitude.
What about you, New Yorkers? Want to declare your gratitude and do a community shout out? Leave your gratitude in the comments and let’s spread some warm fuzzies! xx