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Voting Against Sandy

November 6, 2012

This blog was supposed to be telling you about our trip to Europe. This was my first time there, and we just got back Saturday.

But there’s so much happening back here right now that this feels like the wrong time to do so.

It was so strange to be away from the city during a major disaster! I mean, I’ve made it my business once I became an adult to be in town for every blackout, garbage strike, transit strike, crime spike, health and hard drug epidemic, financial meltdown and terrorist attack since 1969.

But I was never that far away. In Paris, everyone seemed aware of what was happening here. When a waiter or anyone else learned where we were from, they were like, “Ah – Sandy! Maybe you don’t go home?”

Sure I was relieved to not have to be dealing with this one. But a part of me felt somehow disloyal, like I belonged back here with my fellow New Yorkers.

Reading the Times every day, I felt proud of how my city was responding. Hearing about people pitching in like that gave me a September 12th kind of feeling. 

Oh I have much to say about Europe, although I’m not quite sure yet what Europe is saying to me. All my experiences in Italy and France are still sort of brewing in my belly, and have yet to reach the articulation lobe of my brain.

I want to tell you about – and show you – Venice and its remarkable palace. And about what Shelley saw there that made her weep…


Shelley in Venice


And of course all about Paris and about my personal encounter there with the French healthcare system. Mostly, though, I long to tell you about Florence.

Maybe next week. Right now, instead of Venice and Paris, there’s Red Hook and The Rockaways and Long Beach and the Battery to deal with. My men’s community throws an annual feast for itself every year at this time. Instead, this Wednesday night we’ll be taking that food and feeding people in Coney Island who are still reeling from what happened.

And to read in the Times about New Jersey’s Chris Christy, who I have no love for, and how he gave the President his due, gave me some new respect for the guy. (Though Chris, I must tell you, one thing we noticed in Italy and France — not too many people there looked like you.)

But the best words were spoken by Mayor Soda Cup himself, when he decided last week to endorse Obama:

“Our climate is changing,” he said. “And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it may be – given the devastation it is wreaking – should be enough to compel all elected officials to take immediate action.”

Right now, my jets are still lagging, so I’m gonna get some sleep. ‘Cause come the morning —  and speaking of taking immediate action — there’s a hurricane I am going to go out and vote against. That, and for a man who wants to abolish global warming instead of FEMA. 

And if Obama wins today, it may partially be due to Mother Nature finally getting her chance to do to Republicans what they have been doing to her for quite a while now.


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