The Resilient Ones

sandy1Darkness has flooded my room. I nervously try to avoid pressing power buttons on any of the number of electronics that surround me. Has the power gone out? Did we buy enough if it did? When will it come back on? I go to plug in my computer and to my dismay, the charge light comes on. Hurricane Sandy has completely spared my apartment building—and for the most part my neighborhood: Bushwick Brooklyn.

And I feel nothing but gratefulness for that—but sadness for all that I am seeing across the East River.

My friends on the Island are without power. Those in the lower east side, and most below 34th street- my fellow New Yorkers are too. The subways have flooded, the tunnels are closed, and homes have been destroyed. Cars are floating down the streets—the Brooklyn Bridge Park Carousel is now a submarin-o-sel, and a hospital was evacuated late in the night.

I am in Bushwick Brooklyn, but from the lack of devastation outside, I could be anywhere—watching the news and following the Twitter updates just the way everyone else is. Though the island is just 5 miles from me, I feel a world apart—even if my heart feels closer than ever.


sandytrashLast night, I updated my Twitter feed, obsessively. And each time I read the word “Safety,” I felt chills run through every part of me. Around 8pm, as the storm surge peaked, and pictures followed.  Tears flooded my face.  “Manhattan is in trouble,” I whispered. “What will happen?” “How will we recover?” “What can I do to help—while I’ve still got electricity?”

The answer at that moment was nothing.

And as I learned this morning, it could be days til people have power again—til the subways run, til people are back in their homes. But I realize, now, that even though I physically can’t help—the same attitude that continuously helps me push forward through the crowded streets of ambitious actors, actresses, lawyers, engineers, business people, accountants, stage hands, producers, directors, law enforcers, health and medical officials, and more—that NEW YORK ATTITUDE—the NEW YORK LOVE—can be helpful..

hurricane-sandy-moves-areaThe truth is New Yorkers are resilient. They’ve seen the lights go out on Broadway. They’ve experienced bombs rumble under ground. They’ve watched their iconic buildings collapsed. And each time they’ve risen to the occasion to come back—to reassemble—to regain their composure—to help a neighbor—or a friend—or the elderly—or a child.

New York is filled with people who fight battles every day to survive metaphorical storms.  And today, with this very real aftermath of a devastating storm—New York is still filled with those people—those same resilient people. And I know we’ll all get through this, together. New York City is our home--and it's not going anywhere--and neither are we.

Warm Wishes to my fellow New Yorkers—and those who felt Sandy’s wrath all up the east coast.

Libs on the Reel


Libby Segal is a New York City based associate producer, writer, and stand up comedian.