Sandy – Day 2: A Tale of Two Cities


I’m still very much freaked out by the pictures I see coming into our newsroom and on the Internet of the devastation Sandy has left in its wake and I am thanking God for sparing me. It’s hard to remain “stoic” during all of this when it’s in your own back yard.

Avenue C – East Village, NYC
(courtesy of @jesseandgreg)

I didn’t sleep so well again last night. Went to bed with a splitting headache. I think I worked with a clenched jaw most of the day and night.

20 newborn babies clinging to life in the neonatal intensive care unit survive, after being evacuated from an NYU hospital without power:

My coworkers are getting tired. The party-like atmosphere at work is rapidly changing as fatigue is setting in. Many have suffered damage to their property and have issues with transportation and child care. Our crews are stretched to the max, working very long hours. Those of us inside the Broadcast Center are being treated well, we have hot meals and the camaraderie of each other. The crews out in the field are working under lesser conditions in devastated areas but they’re hanging in and doing great work for us.

I talked to my uncle Tim tonight and learned he and his family are hanging in there, out in Rockaway Beach. I tried all day yesterday to get through to him. Cellular service in the region is spotty as many of the cell towers were either taken out by Sandy or are working on generator power.

When I called Tim, I left a message only to learn later he’s out of battery power.  When I called Ivy, I was given the message that “circuits are overloaded, please try again later.” I waited to hear from Tim and he did call me to let me know the family is intact, there’s no heat or electricity, but that they have gas for cooking and running water. I worry about them because the forecast calls for temps tonight in the 30s and 40s. But they’re stuck because the bridges into and out of Rockaway are closed and the trains are not running. Tim assures me they are okay and hanging in. I’ve updated his Facebook page because a lot of people are worried.

What’s left of Rockaway Beach
(Photo by Yug Sriven)

I wonder about my friend, photographer Joel Graham, who nobody’s heard from since before the storm. He’s an excellent photographer and I’m hoping he’s out snapping pictures. He lives on Staten Island and is likely without electricity. But it’s worrisome not to know how he’s doing, especially since he’s sort of a “McGyver” photographer — if you google some of his work you’ll know why I call him this.

I feel as if I’m living “A Tale of Two Cities.” On the one hand, there are parts of Manhattan, like where I live in Hell’s Kitchen, where you’d never know anything ever happened. Then just blocks south it’s as if the Apocalypse struck. It’s a heartbreaking juxtaposition and hard for one to put their arms around.

Halloween 2012 in New York City: total darkness below 34th Street. Park Avenue South, Manhattan.

Part of my job at work today was just finding out stuff to help out my coworkers. I learned where some showers are in the building; I let them know. I was keeping an eye out for the commuters, letting them know any info I could regarding getting into work, then back home, besides producing generic live shots with Vinita Nair in lower Manhattan and Wendy Gillette in Atlantic City.

I’ve been watching news coverage as much as I can, absolutely fascinated and awed by what I’m seeing. The magnitude of the devastation. The magnificent coverage. And again, I know I am one of the lucky ones.

I don’t forget that for a minute.


About nycnewsproducer

I am a network news producer in New York City. I'm living my lifelong dream in the greatest city in the world and I'm fascinated and inspired every day in the Big Apple. Check out the Facebook page:
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57 Responses to Sandy – Day 2: A Tale of Two Cities

  1. We here on the west coast just get general news, nothing specific, a few soundbites of reporters interviewing distraught people who’ve lost everything. And then, of course, the election pretty much “blew” Sandy off the air. Hope the second storm is not as bad as the first, but of course it will affect people’s lives. You have a great blog platform for showing people the “behind the scenes” of this event. Thanks, cheers, and thanks for stopping by my blog. – Cheryl

  2. diarydilemma says:

    Beautifully written, thoughts are out there for everyone suffering through this devestation. I hope the best for you in the near future, Keep optimistic, everything will come together with time.

  3. lsurrett2 says:

    Great perspective on the situation

  4. marcys says:

    I now live in California but grew up in NY, and I’m heartbroken by what’s happened to Rockaway. I spent many childhood summers there, staying in the bungalows, in the days when there were bungalows, with relatives. The happiest times of my life in fact. I watched some of it burn online the other night, and am following the news on the place. It tears at my guts and I feel for the people there. I so love New York!

  5. Tom Wasinger says:

    Amazing photos, story, and thanks for taking the time to share it. I can sure understand how you must feel. I live in Colorado and we recently lived through the wildfires. Luckily, our house wasn’t affected but it was overwhelming to see all the destruction and lives changed because of the loss of their homes.
    Keep strong and keep up the blogging.

  6. ophelia says:

    so sorry you all have to go through this. thank you for posting. our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  7. At Home With Cat says:

    This…this is a great post! You are a light in the darkness – that is for sure!

  8. jimceastman says:

    Thanks for sharing..It’s so sad how Sandy destroys everything. We’ll just pray to God for our safety.

  9. journeyman1977 says:

    appreciate your post!

  10. Thank you for the post, my prayers go out to them all!

  11. Joe Owens says:

    You are not alone is being mesmerized by the reporting of this disaster. The thing I hope does not happen is that this fades to the back of our minds before the total recovery can be effected. New Yorkers are strong, but everyone has a limit to their ability to stand back up without aid.

  13. figliadiali says:

    Thanks for posting this. Praying for everyone affected by Sandy.

  14. Jay-ar says:

    Reblogged this on iknowbetternow: travels and discoveries and commented:
    😦 I hope everything will be okay….

  15. Jay-ar says:

    It’s so sad to note….:-( one of my friends live there….I’m Glad they’re fine…..

  16. daxkincaid says:

    Thanks for the tale—Whether you know it or not, NYC has always and will always be a “tale of two cities”The city we know and the one that’s out there for everyone else to see and adopt as their own. I hope Mr. graham is safe….

  17. jenfbs says:

    Glad your OK and I do hope you and yours stay safe. I appreciate your very personal view of this storm and the pictures are something else to see.
    I’m originally from Long Beach. My family who remains there were under mandatory evacuation. Like most everywhere else it’s just total devastation there.

  18. reviewsonall says:

    I was there for the hurricane and found it so shocking. I would love to hear some more news about your life – sounds amazing.

  19. J.M. Douglas says:

    Reblogged this on What Doug Says and commented:
    For those interested in the aftermath of Sandy, this blog provides an intense, and insightful view from an individual living in New York. This post, especially, struck me.

  20. deWriterMD says:

    Reblogged this on MetaRead360 Small Press presents and commented:
    NOTE: Life is a matter of perspective…be careful when judging anyone, even yourself!

  21. I really like your blog and would love you to feature on mine, All you have to do is write five suggestions along with a link back to your site. Please check out the blog and see the sort of things people have written about.

  22. Never thought we’d ever see the City That Never Sleeps without power. Prayers out to those who are suffering!

  23. My husband works at the NYT and has been pulling double shifts all week for colleagues who could not get into the newsroom. We are very lucky our apartment north of the city was not damaged and only lost power for five days, only one of which I was home for. It is weird to be covering something as “news” that we are also living in/through ourselves.

  24. frawgsdill says:

    Reblogged this on Frawgsdill and commented:
    Everyone is on our thoughts and prayers.

  25. Thank you for sharing. This must a difficult time for you and your loved ones. I, too, am in awe of the devastation. I can’t imagine what it is like to be in the middle of it. I wish you well.

  26. Shaanthz says:

    I also watched the difference in parts of the city as I went about after the storm and am at a loss to comprehend the devastation – some areas lost power for an hour and others are now freezing in their homes.

  27. segmation says:

    They say that Sandy is worst than Katrina. Glad you are okay.

  28. Margarita says:

    Yes, that’s how I feel. In my Harlem neighborhood, it’s business as usual. A few miles downtown or across the river…not so much. Profoundly grateful!

  29. your heart is truly in this story hope the photographer is ok

  30. The Smile Scavenger says:

    One of my good friends didn’t even lose power. Another’s grandmother lost her home. =/ Wishing all of NYC a fast recovery. Thank you for sharing this.

  31. Great post! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  32. i hope everything is getting better and everyone is safe and well. thanks for the post and the update.

  33. Dagmar says:

    Thanks for this post! This looks really impressive – I hope things take a turn for the better soon!

  34. Reblogged this on Aphrodite Photography and commented:
    Just wanted to share this post on a blog I read. Although we are miles away our thoughts are with those affected by Sandy xx

  35. Reblogged this on bengalistories and commented:
    really painful tragedy….our full sympathy with the victims of cyclone sandy..

  36. Patti Kuche says:

    It is definitely a tale of two cities and hope Joel Graham safe and well. The winds and rain have stopped but the stories keep coming and a lingering sense of disorientation. All best to you all!

  37. Great post, thanks for sharing! Keep up the good work out there. I’m also in broadcast and hoping to head your way soon! Please check out my blog!

  38. How can you “thank God” for sparing you, and not notice that it was the same “God” who brought this havoc over the city?

  39. Thank you for this post!

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  41. Huffygirl says:

    It just seems wrong that a major city in the north should be that affected by a hurricane. We like to think of hurricanes as something tropical. I’m sorry that New Yorkers are going through such hard times.

  42. #CoolBlogPost @DrAnthony

  43. Wonderful post! It’s hard to imagine what it would be like to live there right now, but your post moved me a little closer. The fatigue…the weariness of managing without…you personalized it so well. Good luck! Eventually things will get back to something like normal.

  44. Hello from Western NY – I too was spared and have not forgotten that for one split second. In the hours and days after Sandy’s strike I admit it was difficult to watch the news coming out of your area. It still is. As you said ” The magnitude of devastation ” was astonishing. Knowing that so many are out of power ( heat ) and that the temperatures are dropping makes me feel even more upset and worried for them all. Where ever they are.
    What you do is important work, letting the world know what is happening, on a human level as well as all the others. I wish you strength and resilience to continue to do what you do, keeping us informed and updated. Your work helps keep the story in the news which in turn I hope continues to bring more and more assistance and relief.

  45. lazycoffees says:

    Your personal story has so much more meaning than the more generalized reports we get here in Australia, so thank you.

  46. samh65 says:

    Truly and inspirational story. I hope you can pull through well. If you want to take your mind off things have a read of this and share it with your mates.

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