Tag Archives: hurricane sandy

my staten island miracle

i was in a hotel in brooklyn.  wrappers and empty bottles of mini-bar extravagances on the bed and my laptop in front of me.  i was furious at mapquest.

mapquest said that it was impossible to go from 235 meeker avenue to the address on 63 westbrook to see my facebook friend michele piersiak if i used a car.  and yet, when i looked at the map, it looked fairly straightforward to me.  cab it to the manhattan ferry station, take the ferry and take another cab in staten.  somehow mapquest seemed to say with a frisson of nearly gallic contempt:  mais non!  i then asked mapquest about public transportation.

“Non, Non, Non!”  mapquest squealed.  “quel horreur!”

so i said please, mr. mapquest, what if i walked to the staten island ferry station and took the ferry and then walked from there to my friend’s house?

“Four hours seven minutes,” he replied.  “Nine miles.”

“I betcha i can do it in under three,”  i said.

i wasn’t figuring on getting lost, sidewalks closed for construction, my feet hurting, my bag heavy, and then there was the williamsburg bridge:

and after i got across the bridge it was just a matter of asking ten different new yorkers where the ferry station was.  ten different new yorkers, ten different answers.  i was starting to think that mapquest had severely misunderestimated (to use a bushism) the travel time.

however, i got to the ferry station and determined that the ferry is a pleasure never to be missed.  and it’s free!

once on the island, i walked through the downtown, through quiet neighborhoods, through little Sri Lanka, past a muslim day school, a golf course, and a river.  by the time i reached my facebook friend michele piersiak’s house, i had done my time just as mapquest had predicted.

i might have regarded this as a failing.  i had destroyed my feet.  i had been stubborn when i should have known that mr. mapquest is always right.  i should have taken a cab.

but now i don’t regard that as a misadventure.

hurricane sandy has destroyed the ferry station.  island residents have no gas, their homes and businesses are flooded, the power is out, there are buildings that will never be rebuilt.  i was privileged to get to see staten island as it was.  so i look back on a miraculous walk.

although next time maybe a more comfortable pair of shoes.


denzel and sandy take away my flight mojo

i think i’m scared of flying again.  i was scheduled to fly into laguardia this week to meet new facebook friends and reconnect with my son joseph.  then, as the dire predictions rolled in about hurricane sandy, i felt that familiar panic about getting on a plane.  the three days before imagining crashes,bird strikes, fuel starvation, sabotage–to say nothing of panic attacks, homicidal fellow passengers, delirious flight attendants, ebola virus transmission. .. .

i also watched the trailer for the denzel washington movie “flight” and although denzel is the sexiest man on earth, i wouldn’t recommend watching this. even if you’re the most placid of flyers or high on a mixture of ambien and margaritas, just the preview will make you think twice about anything aeronautical.

when i made a commitment to meet all 325 of my facebook friends during 2011 i was a white knuckle flyer.  okay, honestly, i was a three glasses of wine and an ativan before i get on the plane gal.  i probably was in more danger from that combination than anything else.

as the year progressed, as i got on a plane just about every week, i stopped being scared.  stopped thinking about it too much.  drank less.  didn’t even bother with the ativan.  started to feel wonderful as the plane gently or bumpily  lifted me into the air.

still, the hurricane spooked me and it’s been nearly two months since i’ve been on a plane.  i have fallen back into the habit of fear.  i’ve lost my flight mojo!

the airports of new york closed and i will reschedule.  but now i will have to teach myself again to sally forth.  at least i have a credit at delta airlines!

so here’s an experiment.  watch the flight trailer — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhUrWRV1cxs

now think about yourself on a plane.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,227 other followers