Clearly this storm has been a disaster for many who badly need assistance and prayers. Here at Cinch HQ in NYC we can only be grateful not to have lost power or suffered any other significant damage. Were it not for seeing it on the news, we wouldn’t even know it had been such a damaging storm. Would that everyone could say the same thing.
In terms of New York City at large, it seems the damage to the subway system is the biggest single issue hanging over the recovery effort. Shutting down the system was meant to avoid serious flooding by salt water, but it occurred anyway, and that’s a very big deal which will impact service for quite some time and cost plenty to fix. Continue reading Sandy: aftermath of the tempest→
You would think that even a tourist from Bangladesh would understand that it’s against the law to whip out a can of spray-paint and start coloring things in the NYC subway (despite some people’s nostalgia for how things were in the 70s and 80s) but a journalist living in New York named Mona Eltahawy was arrested for doing so, and persecuted the poor arresting officers with strident demands to know what she was being arrested for. Well, “duh,” as they say. Watch below, if you have the gumption. Her attempt to deface an advertisement with which she did not agree was vigorously opposed by a blogger named Pamela Hall.
There’s so much to say on this subject that it’s hard to know where to begin and where to end.
If the goal of the ads was to cause controversy and provoke debate, they have succeeded to the nth degree.
The ads state:
IN ANY WAR
BETWEEN THE CIVILIZED MAN
AND THE SAVAGE
These ads were designed by Pamela Geller, in response to anti-Israel ads that ran in September of 2011 in the MTA system. Due to legal challenges, Geller’s ads did not run until now (as it happens in the wake of the recent anti-YouTube riots throughout the “Muslim world”).
I strongly support the sentiment behind the ads, but I wouldn’t have written them this way. I think that when the word “savage” is invoked, versus the “civilized man,” the first thought by the average liberal New Yorker would be of Native Americans victimized by white Europeans. Their education, from high school, college and popular culture (right up to James Cameron’s “Avatar”), kicks in very strongly at the concept of “savages.” If there are any savages, they must be noble ones. It is the so-called “civilized man” who is to be suspected, if not loathed outright.
So, if you label anyone as a savage, you have awarded them with an advantage, in terms of public relations.
I simply would have worded the ads this way:
IN ANY WAR
In the end, that’s what this is about. Still, Pamela Geller has provoked debate about all of these issues, and perhaps some of those who are asleep will be woken up by the ruckus. That would be a very good thing.
I’ve lived in New York City (Manhattan) through 9/11, through blizzards, one major blackout, innumerable other storms and kerfuffles, but I’ve never seen anything like what I saw today. A line of people snaking down the block outside of a Dunkin’ Donuts.
What the heck is going on here?
As was the point of my post yesterday, the truly unprecedented thing which New Yorkers are having to deal with is the system-wide shutdown of all public transportation, which was announced yesterday by the mayor and governor and which began at 12 noon today. It will presumably last at least until Monday morning.
Closed and no batteries
The knock-on effects of this are massive. I thought the stores were crazy yesterday afternoon, but today Mrs. C. tried to get a modest few items at a local supermarket and witnessed madness and stripped shelves on a far more frightening scale. The issue, in my view, is not so much that people were running out to get things because there’s some rain and wind coming, but that they were running out to get things because—with employees unable to get to and fro work, due to the transport shutdown—they know the stores will be closing, and will remain closed until Monday morning. Continue reading New York City the day before Hurricane Irene→
New York City, to those who love it, is very often beautiful, but only very rarely pretty.
There’s the strange beauty of an overcast day, with a low-hanging grayness shrouding the Empire State Building and the other clustered midtown skyscrapers. There’s the unique beauty of a subway car crammed with a motley herd of travelers — every race, creed, style of dress or undress, almost every economic class — sitting, standing, jostling, and (honestly more often than not) avoiding coming to blows. There’s the olfactory beauty of the varying and mixed up aromas of cooking that one encounters while charging down the street — the pizza places, the falafel stands, the donut shops and even the dirty-water hot dog carts (I don’t eat ’em anymore but I do like to smell ’em). Continue reading Spring in New York City→