Comment ca va ton famille en New York??

This is a question that I’ve received a lot this past week, or some variation of this question. It pretty much means “How is your family in New York?” or “Are things going ok with your family in New York?”

As everyone knows Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast pretty hard this past week. New York and New Jersey got slammed and unfortunately there was a severe amount of damage done. A lot of people had significant damage to their homes or lost their homes altogether. Moreover, there were people who lost their lives and plenty of people who lost loved ones. I’m not sure I even know what to say about this kind of thing.

So many people were affected by this Hurricane in one way or another. It still is kind of crazy for me to fathom that this happened in New York. When I hear hurricane I think about Florida, New Orleans, or other areas down south. Sure, we’ve had hurricanes in New York, but by the time it got there it was more like a Tropical Storm. Either way, it’s still crazy to me what happened and being out of New York makes it even harder for me to fully grasp what has gone on and is currently going on.

Here is a photo my friend Tomer took of Manhattan. You can see everything to the right of the Empire State Building had zero power. New York City was completely dark and effectively became a ghost town which is eerily scary in and of itself.
Now, the reason I titled this post as I did, is because it is very comforting to have so many people here who care about me and my family. I have only been in Toulouse for two months, yet I’ve met so many amazing, friendly people. Not only have I known a lot of these people for a short time, but I’ve had limited conversations with them as I’m still very much in the process of learning French. Nonetheless, everyone has expressed genuine concern for my family which has truly meant a lot to me. Fortunately I have been able to respond that my family is ok.

I also saw this photo today on facebook which is another sign of good people in the world today during difficult times.
I know it seems so simple but a gesture like this, in my mind, goes a long way and says something about those people.

I’m not entirely sure that I have a direct point about this post, but if I can make one it would be to ask people not to complain about the minute inconveniences they may experience in their everyday life. Right now there are people in New York and New Jersey who literally just lost everything. One section in particular, Breezy Point, NY got it really bad, as there was a fire that added to the hurricane. Breezy Point is a nice area of New York and was a neighborhood ultimately established by Irish immigrants and to this day remains a very Irish area with plenty of cops and firemen. Which means that there are a lot of already selfless people living there who lost their homes.
(Photo from NBC News)
So I ask you to consider these people before you want to go and bitch and moan about something that really isn’t that big a deal. An argument like this can be made everyday for people who may be less fortunate in other areas of the world, I understand that. But I’m saying this now because this one hit home and instantly changed the lives of so many.

Please keep all these people and their families in your thoughts and prayers.

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