New York City: truly a city of Americans

Since the 1800s, New York City has been the essence of the U.S. It was the gateway for millions of immigrants who flooded this nation’s borders over the decades. It represents the U.S. around the world and, even to many Americans, it is known as “The Greatest City on Earth.”

This week, the city encountered quite a bit of adversity with the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, but in true American fashion, the city is picking itself up and dusting itself off. Hurricane Sandy was a unique storm by hurricane standards, as it did not take the usual eastern trajectory but instead took a western trajectory. This atypical path led to Hurricane Sandy’s collision with our Eastern Seaboard.

The storm was a strong one, too; according to economists, it racked up around $50 billion in damage. Sandy was even felt in northeastern Ohio as the surface of Lake Erie became a scene of tumultuous waves on Monday, leading to flooding and power outages in Cleveland and the surrounding areas. As for us here in the Mahoning Valley, the most we experienced were some strong winds and several days of nonstop rain.

Meanwhile, as we wait for the sun to return, New York City does its best to dry off and get back to business as usual. Thus far, the city has done a fine job. This is not to downplay the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, because the storm certainly did a number on the city, but the resiliency the city has shown as it tries to get back on its feet is astounding.

In fact, there was a push for several days after the storm to continue to host the New York City Marathon on Sunday, but as of Friday afternoon, it was decided to cancel the city tradition as cleanup in the five boroughs still had a long way to go. Even though the marathon will not take place as previously planned, the idea that there was for at least a time a contingency plan to uphold the running of the race is a testament to the city’s resiliency.

There has been no shortage of coverage of the damage Hurricane Sandy brought to the city’s shores. The latest death toll in New York City, according to the New York Times, is more than 40. Many still await the return of power throughout the boroughs and, of course, the damage to the cityscape has to be addressed. Nevertheless, life is resuming in the Big Apple, as the city has issued a modified map of the subway system, indicating what lines are up and running again. Officials have said the majority of the city’s 1,700 parks and recreation areas will likely reopen by Saturday, and the majority of schools in the city plan to reopen their doors on Monday. Youngstown natives will be happy to know that a piece of Youngstown also survived Hurricane Sandy: the former Idora Park carousel, which now resides in Brooklyn Bridge Park and emerged mostly undamaged.

I’ve never been in or witnessed a storm of Hurricane Sandy’s magnitude, and I have never dealt in the recovery of a storm either.

However, just from my distant observance, I’d say the quick recovery that New York City has orchestrated is one that should certainly be commended. It is the perseverance and work ethic of the people of that city and its strong-willed nature to continue to resume everyday life as soon as possible that makes New York City the embodiment of America.