08 November 2012


We sure live in interesting times.

A week ago, with the D subway line running again, partially, I finally ventured further from my neighborhood.  I was scheduled to take a training course at the Brooklyn office of the Board of Election the day Hurricane Sandy arrived.  Naturally, I could not make it, then the subway did not run for a few days.  When the D resumed running, it was only from Bay Parkway to the new Barclay Center.  Being a runner, I did not mind the walk from Barclay to Downtown Brooklyn.  As a matter of fact, after taking the training class, I went over the Manhattan Bridge to get into Manhattan, then headed north along the Hudson River to get to the Javits Center to pick up the NYC Marathon package.  Remember, it was Thursday, the day before the decision to cancel the event was made.  I already spent $216 to enter the race, some other amount to secure the spot, and many hours of training, might as well as finish it, as long as it was going to be held.  It was not a good thing to walk so much, over 20 km as a matter of fact (almost a half-marathon), but I love walking and hate waiting in long line for the bus at Barclay.
Commuters heading home in Brooklyn via the Manhattan Bridge.  There was no subway service into lower Manhattan because of Hurricane Sandy.

A rare sight of Mott Street, looking north to Little Italy.  No pedestrian traffic, no vehicular traffic!
Of course, the next day, Friday, November 2, the NYC Marathon was cancelled.  So be it.  Deep down I hope that I will get some money back but I would not be surprised if I won't.  Maybe NYRR will somehow donate part of the profit from the $216+, multiplied by 40,000, to the recovery effort.  My family already donated money to the Red Cross, some more cannot hurt.

The next day, Saturday, November 3, I finally had my first run since the hurricane hit.  Earlier I already signed up to volunteer for "A Walk For Prospect Park", a 5K run/walk event to raise money for the Prospect Park Alliance.  Normally, I could take the subway to Prospect Park, but it was the perfect time to run and save a little money, from just north of Coney Island to Prospect Park.  I ran mostly along Ocean Parkway and in the beginning, around Avenue T, there were some uprooted trees blocking the pedestrian path on the east side of the parkway.  The sun was not up yet at 5 AM and I ran without my near-sight glasses, so progress was slow, but I made it to Prospect Park just in time to help with the setup.  Being one of the few races available since the hurricane, plus since the cancellation of the NYCM, the 5K run was overwhelmed with runners signing up on the day.  Race-day registration is always higher than early registration, but people were gladly paying for it, as it was for a good cause, given the destruction Prospect Park suffered in the storm.  If you ran in that race, look for your photos at


I started snapping photos some time after the first few runners finished, so the photos don't have those fast runners, but otherwise many runners were captured in the list.

Without NYC Marathon, was November 6, 2012 still considered Sunday Marathon?  For some, it was. In many places, runners ran anyway, NYCM or not.  Most prominent was the RunAnyway event in Central Park.  Four big loops of the inside of Central Park and voila, marathon distance!  It was a fat-ass run, the equivalent of BYOB at parties, but I understand some people came with drinks and such to provide support for the runners.  Likewise, runners brought donations to be collected for victims of the hurricane.  I wish I could attend the event but I found temporary work, for the day.  I also worked the next day, Monday, November 5, the first Monday after the hurricane.  Subway still did not resume normal operations but many people went back to work so the trains were extremely crowded.  On the way back, I purposely avoided boarding the train at Barclay and walked to 36th Street, both to avoid the crowd and get some exercise out of the day.  Along the way, I saw many gas lines snaking around the block.  I saw them before, but as a driver whizzing by.  It is a tad different when you have to walk by them.  Anyway, in the subway, I made the mistake of wearing sandals, the train was so crowded I could feel my bunion of steel being fondled.  I felt so violated... Just kidding, the train was super-crowded, that's all.  I did have to shout over people's head to tell them to let people out first.  Some people just do not think.  If a bunch of people are trying to leave the train-car, if you let them out first then there would be room for you to get in.  No one out, then there would be no room.  They only think of themselves, as long as they can squeeze in, the people who wanted to get out could just stay in and those behind them on the platform would just have to stay out.  Doh!

Election Day!  Tuesday, November 6, was the first day I get up at 3:30 in the morning for a job.  The poll opened at 6 AM but us poll workers needed to be there at 5 to get things up and running.  I signed up for the job late and did not get to be assigned to the poll site near home, but the one over at P.S. 194 was not too bad.  I had a great time working as Chinese interpreter but also helped out a few Vietnamese voters.  It was very nice to see people of all ages and physical abilities exercising their civic duty by making it to the poll site to vote.  I look forward to working for the Board of Election again.  The hours were long, I did not get home until 11 at night, but it was a worthwhile experience.

Whew, interesting times, indeed!  Long walk in Manhattan, no Marathon, volunteer work for Prospect Park, serving NYC as a poll worker (long hours!), now this snowy northeaster.  Time to have another go at shoveling the sidewalk!

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