Sunday, November 4, 2012

Bits and Pieces

Getting back to New York
All day on Wednesday, I obsessively checked Frontier Air's website to see if my flight was still scheduled for Thursday. I called and waited for 10 minutes to talk to a real person twice, just so I could confirm that yes, I would be flying home on Thursday. Since I live more than two hours from the airport and my flight was at 6:15 AM on Thursday, my family drove me down to a hotel by the airport.
rainy last day in Washington
After a fitful four hours of sleep (and a bowl of $20 soup because there was an unlisted $10 delivery fee, what?), I woke up at 4:15 AM to head over to the airport for my flight. I still didn't know if it would take off, or if I'd get stuck on my layover in Denver, since I was flying into LaGuardia and if you saw the pictures of the airport post-Sandy, you know how bad LGA was looking Tuesday morning (it was under several feet of water). But I was extremely lucky, and LGA was open for business on Thursday.

After a looooong taxi ride (they were checking to make sure there were three people in vehicles other than taxis on the RFK Bridge), I was finally home. It was only a week, but being separated during the craziness of Hurricane Sandy made it seem a lot longer, so I was incredibly grateful to be home and see Sourabh and our pets. I missed the warm fuzzies!

I missed this little guy! it's cold enough that he needs his coat now, I swear, I'm not just putting clothes on him for fun 

I am so grateful...
In the wake of Sandy, I have been feeling so grateful for so many things. Grateful for my wonderful family back in Washington State, who I was with during the storm. Grateful for Sourabh and our little "family" here, comprised of silly little critters that brighten our days. Grateful for my health -- posts like this from Abby remind me of how lucky I am to have a strong, (relatively) healthy body.

I am so grateful to live in New York City. I appreciate the city's beauty so much more when I run through it, and being a runner has helped me meet lots of wonderful New Yorkers I'd never have met otherwise. On Friday, I met up with Katherine, who was a downtown refugee staying nearby for a few days, and we went for a run around the perimeter of Central Park (it was still closed then). Then on Saturday, Lynette and I met at Columbus Circle and ran the Central Park loop before enjoying lunch at Le Pain Quotidien.

I feel odd posting about normal, everyday life when so many people's lives have been irrevocably changed by the storm. But I know that me not going back to my regular routine--when there's nothing preventing me from doing so--doesn't really help anyone. In fact, going shopping and tipping well at local places that would have lost business for at least several days if not the entire week is a big help to local businesses for whom losing a week's worth of revenue can be devastating.

With that said...

Ways to help
For those of us who were lucky enough to escape the storm without any harm, or who live outside the storm-affected area, there are a lot of ways to help out.

NYC Service has a lot of information on places to volunteer and where to donate. The Wall Street Journal's Metropolis blog also has a great rundown of ways to help. And of course, you can always donate to the Red Cross for disaster relief or the Mayor's Fund for New York City.

If you want to run and help
The running community has been hit with a lot of controversy over the past week as the NYC Marathon was first announced as going forward, then canceled in the face of heated criticism. Unfortunately, a lot of anger was directed at runners, as opposed to those organizing the race.

Since I was never going to run this marathon, I'm not sure I'm in any position to comment about the marathon, but I would like to say that the New York runners I've met and those who I follow virtually via their blogs and Twitter are active volunteers who are the opposite of solitary, selfish loners. They are people who contribute so much to their communities.

Running may seem selfish to some, who don't understand how there can be a community feeling to something that seems like a solitary activity. But once you join a run club or run a race, you begin to see how runners come together even as each one's effort is their own. The encouragement and solidarity runners have with each other is a really wonderful part of running.
I have been so happy to see how runners have come together in the wake of this crisis. Many met at the Staten Island ferry this morning -- dressed in their marathon colors -- and headed over to help repair the devastation the Island has suffered.

Daily Mile has a great Run for NYC concept, where you donate and then run a distance. I donated $25 and am going to try to get in 26.2 miles over the next week. I'm not sure I'll get it all in, but it's a great goal to reach for and a neat idea! Running in New York has more significance for me than ever as I feel like I've gained a deeper appreciation for the city.

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