spring street subway-1

Non-Fiction

November 2, 2012

New York – Time To Give

Let's Vote Obama Four More Years, It Is The Least We Can Do For Ourselves – Vote On Tuesday

Donate at REDCROSS.COM as soon as you can.

When Kelly and I first moved to New York in 1990 we lived on 79th street. We switched subway stations depending on which way the wind was blowing that particular day. Some days we would walk down to the 77th street station and sometimes up to the 86th street station which was the choice for taking the express train. Kelly took the train down to 47th street everyday and me, I went all the way down to Spring Street and LaFayette Street in SoHo.

Like everyone else, I’ve been watching the destruction Hurricane Sandy has caused on the East Coast. It is pretty dramatic seeing the images coming from New York and New Jersey. The photo in this post is of the 86th street subway station semi-flooded. I can only imagine the millions of dollars in damage.

I hope this is a beginning for those on the right of the political spectrum who don’t believe in climate change. We are now seeing these “storms of the century” every couple of years. I don’t think the anti-climate people are going to believe the climate is changing until one of these storms bites them on their collective asses. Many of my friends are very vocal politically. They post on Facebook and Twitter all the time, expressing their views and posting memes and snarky comments. I generally stay away from that kind of commentary – it’s not good for business, so to speak. But… the hurricane has put me over the top. Seeing a city that I love and my friends that still live there in danger tugs at my heart and I had to write my opinion.

This isn’t just a couple of sentences saying, “keep the faith,” “I know you’ll be back,” “man, that was a bitch of a storm.” Sandy should put into focus any further fuzziness of what is as stake on Tuesday – the election of the next president. I watch the polls like everyone else. I’ve seen every debate – not just the last four, I watched every primary debate as well (over 20 of them). I have watched and wondered quietly how anyone that has listened to these candidates for more than 1 minute could make any other choice than Barack Obama. The choice has always looked crystal clear to me. And even though I think the election is rigged by super-pacs, big donors, the electoral college, and every rich-person-society and club in the U.S. and abroad, I feel it is important that people come together and choose the best person – Barack Obama. I urge you to read his op-ed at today’s CNN page. For the record there is an op-ed by Mitt Romney on the site as well.

The mayor of New York, a former Republican, Bloomberg has come out in support of Obama. His tipping point has been the hurricane. Obama is our only choice if we want a leader that even believes there is an issue when it comes to the climate of the planet.  Shouldn’t this matter to us. Romney is fond of saying how unfair it is to our children and grand-children to leave them with debt. I don’t think that’s going to matter if they can’t breathe, drink clean water, have food and live without losing their houses (due to weather, foreclosure, bad loans by banks, poor salaries to keep the rich richer and so on). Anyone that thinks we’re not in the midst of class warfare isn’t paying attention. If you want a few dozen arguments why Obama is the right man to lead us for the next four years then email or twitter me – I’ll fill you up.

I visit New York every couple of years. I can’t help it – I love the city. I love everything about it. I even love the subway. That first year I lived in New York I’d walk down into the subway and my eyes couldn’t open wide enough to take it all in. The people and the mini-dramas I was witness to were fascinating. I still remember my first experience when it rained for my first time as a New Yorker. People were pressing the automatic release buttons on their umbrellas faster than I could see that morning. I thought I would make it to 86th street and then downtown without such an extravagance as an umbrella, but as soon as I saw a street vendor selling black umbrellas on the corner I pulled out my $4 and handed it over. I soon learned that umbrellas don’t last much beyond 24 hours in New York. They are very expendable.

Once I had made it to the subway platform I figured I was home-free. Then I saw that every New Yorker was down there with me. I was underground with 6 million people getting in a steal tube. A couple of trains came and went with people pushing their way into the cars as fast and tightly as sardines in a can. The smell was a million people’s underarms and a cave full of rats. I was polite then and didn’t want to push and I couldn’t make it inside a train. Then my eye caught people jumping between the cars. I saw people prying open the safety gates that connect the subway cars and they would jump onto the tiny platforms between cars. I had never seen that before, not even in the movies. I had to try it just to say I’d done it. I’m like that I guess.

I made my way to the edge and when the next train pulled up and stopped, I reached out and pried open the metal gates, took a deep breath of sweaty air and jumped about four feet onto the edge of the car. There were other people there who I did not count on not wanting me there. They pushed me backwards and I lost my balance. I grasped the gate and was then followed by a heavy-set man (someone who should not be trying this adventurous daredevil act). The man stepped on me and I groaned. He threw his weight into me and I knew I was going to fall. As my leg went down between the cars the train pulled off. I grabbed the big man’s coat and pulled myself up. He gave me the shittiest New York look he could muster and yanked his coat from my hand. I was safe and made it to work at Spring Street.

It was a great thrill and I really felt like a New Yorker. It was fuckin’ awesome.

I’m sure I’ll be visiting New York again very soon. Kelly has been watching airfares and we’ll be taking our both our kids this time around. Hopefully we’ll be visiting under an Obama presidency. We need his political agenda in the White House, we can’t afford a guy that would be happy to bankrupt all the departments we need in government and then sell off the pieces to the highest bidder which seems to be Romney’s only talent (aside from being the Silly-Puddy candidate). Aside from government help the East Coast needs our donations. I think the best suggestion I can make is the Red Cross. I have made my donation and I urge you to do the same at the link below which donates to Hurricane Sandy relief specifically. Rock on, New York!!

Donate at REDCROSS.COM as soon as you can to help with Hurricane Sandy relief.

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