From Hoboken, N.J.: Living in the Aftermath of Sandy

What was it like post-Sandy in your neighborhood? Here's one writer's story.
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Members of the SUNY Maritime Academy helping Sandy victims on Wednesday, October 31.

On a personal note, after three days of living without power of any kind, the stench from my fridge reminds me of the scene in Goodfellas when Ray Liotta opens his trunk to discover a rotting “Billy Bats” inside. The dishes are clean, but the smell from the garbage disposal is in need of constant bleach spray. Candle wax is everywhere, and walking the long, dark hallways to toss trash is better than any Haunted Mansion ride at Disney.

The only thing that works is the gas, so, pasta is pretty much the mainstay the past few days, but cooking in candlelight isn’t the easiest thing. Each morning you wake to find stains and bits of crumbs in places you didn’t know were there the night before.

After taking a freezing shower, I tried to dry my hair over the stove and almost set my head ablaze. Since there’s no working washing machines, and we’re constantly being told the puddles and floods that remain are mixed with sewage, you try and dress as if each day is “Laundry Day”; e.g., one red sock, one blue one, etc.

I have to give my folks credit, though. Despite knowing the situation at the airports, despite knowing the 3hr-plus traffic jams across Manhattan, and, despite seeing the condition the entire tri-state area is currently in, they have chosen to leave sunny Florida and come north, anyway. You see, they have their grandchildren’s birthdays to attend. And, nothing can stop a grandparent from seeing their grandchild. Not even a life-taking hurricane. Good for you, mom and dad. You show that storm.

I should take a moment to give credit to the people of Hoboken, as well as they city and state officials. Given the extent of the crisis, the access to water and food trucks parked all over town, the updates on Hoboken411 and on the city’s Facebook page, and the help being offered by neighbors to those who are in real bad shape, makes this unbearable situation a bit more bearable.

As for myself, looking forward to what appears to be many more days of this type of existence, I have to ask one thing of you, Sandy: “Why-ee-eye-eye, oh, Why?”

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