Saturday, November 3, 2012

Running on Hope -- Return to Central Park in Search of Nature's Survival

(Photo:  Wiggly when last seen. But, will she be found today?)

Return to ???

Central Park has finally reopened after a shut down of five days due to the damages of hurricane Sandy.

I have not been to the park yet, but am more than a little nervous as to what will be found -- or perhaps more accurately, not found.

Did Wiggly, Honker and Little Brad survive at Harlem Mere?  Did Jack and Jill make it through the storm at the Boat Lake?

While reasonably confident that the Canada geese and healthy wild mallards would survive most of what nature has to dish out, one is a little less optimistic regarding the domestic ducks left to their own devices by well meaning park visitors -- or any waterfowl compromised by injury (such as Little Brad).

Apparently more than 500 trees in Central Park were either damaged or destroyed by the fierce hurricane that stands as one of the worst natural disasters in New York history. 

If the storm was able to bring down mighty trees standing for more than a century, one has to wonder about small animals, most weighing just a few pounds?

In all my years of living in New York City, I have never known Central Park to be closed for more than a day due to dangerous condition.

I can make no predictions or assumptions of anything.

One can only pray that God or luck or something was looking out for our animal friends. 

Not sure whether I am actually looking forward or with dread to returning to Central Park.

But, for sure, questions that have persisted all week, will finally find answer.

That only that answer will be, "By miracle, we have made it!"

Running on Empty and Running on Hope

The New York City marathon which was scheduled to be run tomorrow was finally canceled yesterday.

I and thousands of other New Yorkers pressured city officials to do the right thing and shut this sporting event down in the light of so much human suffering, loss and casualty in the wake of hurricane Sandy.

It would have been like holding a party at a murder scene.

Unfortunately, Mayor Bloomberg and the Road Runners Club was "out to lunch" on what should have been obvious and responsible decision made immediately following the ravages of hurricane Sandy.

Because the decision was made so late, there are now thousands of "devastated" runners who, having made long trips to NYC for the event, are left holding their running shoes.

One wonders if some of these runners understand the actual meaning of the term, "devastated?"  One presumes most still have roofs over their heads.

Yesterday, photos of power generators and porta potties at Central Park's finishing line for the marathon appeared in the New York Post with the front page headline, "Abuse of Power."    This was apparently enough to spark the public outrage that was necessary to finally put a halt to the incredible political insensitivity and denial.

Even so, Mayor Bloomberg incredibly proclaimed at a press conference yesterday afternoon that the marathon would more forward because, "People can grieve, cry and laugh at the same time."

It made one wonder if the mayor dances on gravestones?

This sentence along with Bloomberg's  proclamation two years ago, that gassed geese "go to sleep and have nice dreams" demonstrate our mayor's mind boggling detachment from that which is tragic and unjustifiable.  (Both, Bloomberg and Senator Gillibrand are embarrassments to the great state of New York.)

Nevertheless, some cooler heads finally prevailed on our myopic Mayor and by 6 PM yesterday, the running party had run on empty.

Perhaps now some of those generators, porta potties and thousands of bottles of water and Gatoraide can be distributed to those thousands of New Yorkers sitting in the ruin and rubble of what used to be their lives and their homes.

And our severely stretched  police, sanitation workers and first responders can attend to the taxing challenges at hand -- those of actually helping to save human lives.

Nature too, needs time to heal from the ravages of the past week.

I am grateful to and proud all those thousands of New Yorkers who stood up and demanded to do what was right.

Sometimes, the voice of the people actually finds power and ear.  

Now to quite literally, "run on hope" back to Central Park.  -- PCA

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