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Trip Report Staycation in NYC - 116 Hours in the East Village post-Sandy

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Electricity returned to my block in the East Village about two hours ago. A friend phoned to let me know. I was in midtown, recharging my cellphone, getting a little work done on my laptop. As I walked south, south of 29th Street there were still plenty of darkened buildings east of Fifth Avenue, still people in the dark. At Union Square, I could see the glowing lights in the stores on the south side of 14th Street, though buildings to the north were still dark.

At home, as I waited for the elevator with a neighbor, we grinned at the old fashioned elevator's distinctive rattle. The door opened and we shared more smiles with the elevator operator. He had come each day to work his shift, even without electricity, to sit in the lobby and keep us safe. A smooth ride to the ninth floor, a well-lit hallway, unlock the door. I'm home. A quick flick of a switch and there is light. The next priority: Attend to the plumbing that has not worked since Monday evening.

The inconvenience I experienced during almost four days without electricity is minor compared to many. No electricity—but I have a gas stove. No working toilet—but oddly the water, albeit cold, continued to flow from the faucet. No elevator—but my building's stairwells have windows, so I did not have to climb nine flights in the dark. And my office has a branch uptown that offered a place for us to recharge our devices and work if you could get there.

I'm thinking of all the people who are still in the dark and whose lives have been devastated.

I'll return later with some observations, but right now I want to take a hot shower. I hope others will share their experiences as well.

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