Today was pretty awesome, a nice mix of work and fun (happy hour, bike ride and She & Him at Summerstage in Central Park).
But here’s what is on my mind at the end of the day:
After a nice refreshing afternoon beer at Ulysses on Stone Street with my usual happy hour girls, we walked over to feel the river breeze near South Street Seaport. Among our many topics of conversation, our last revolved around the CitiBike program and biking/bike riders, etc. So as our conversation was wrapping up and we were getting ready to part, I decided to bike home along one of the city’s Greenways from downtown to my Turtle Bay street. (Thanks Kristen for showing me the map otherwise I may have ended up on the highway a couple of times!)
The three of us bode our farewells then I walked over to get a bike from the dock at Wall Street Ferry Terminal. About 5 minutes into my ride I get onto a nice stretch of Greenway nearing the Williamsburg Bridge. I passed a few runners and bikers, sections with benches for viewing the river, nice little garden areas, basketball courts and soccer areas, and all the apartments that line the other side of the FDR. I reach for my phone to snap a shot of the bridge to capture a piece of beauty. It’s then that I realize that only 9 short months ago, this entire area was under water.
I suddenly felt guilty. Here I am, riding along, enjoying myself in this section of the city that had been engulfed by storm surge during Hurricane Sandy. So many people displaced and stranded, without power and normal life for days. As I kept riding, I was envisioning the enormity of the area that had been taken over by water. Four of the five miles I rode were flooded areas. I still cannot even imagine seeing the water that high, taking over the streets of Manhattan as if no one lived there. I felt guilty that I haven’t participated in some sort of Sandy rebuilding project. These areas of Manhattan have been functioning for months but there are so many areas in Brooklyn, Staten Island and New Jersey that are not. Yes I donated items as a part of a school collection, and yes I am running in the MLB Run for Sandy this weekend at Prospect Park…. but shouldn’t I do something else? Are my small contributions enough?
My CitiBike ride turned out to be more important than exercise today.