Sunday, December 2, 2012

I am back, Part I

Mere longevity is a good thing for those who watch life from the sidelines. For those who play the game, an hour may be a year, a single day's work an achievement for eternity."
--Gabriel Heatter,

Cheers All,

Very happy to be back and let you in on what happened to me since my last post. I know it wasn't the smoothest move to drop one "confusing" line after hurricane Sandy and disappear for a month. But once I tell you what happened last month, you'll understand the reason for my MIA.

So remember the post where I mentioned big changes coming my way? I wasn't kidding. The changes exceeded even my own expectations. My whole life took an unexpected turn, and everything changed. Everything. 

It all started in September, when summer was coming to an end, and I started getting restless about approaching winter and not being able to go to the beach on the weekends. What can I say, last summer spent on Long Beach made me truly fall in love with it. After 11 years, I was ready to say good bye to my first love (NYC), and move on to my 2nd.

That's how I decided to move to Long Beach. I'll give you all a few seconds to digest, as I know you'll need it. Yes, leaving New York was shocking to all, even myself...  But I was determined. I was ready to kiss the city good bye and move to the City by the Sea. 

Over the summer, I made quiet a few friends on Long Beach, and finding a perfect place right by the beach was the easiest thing. I was excited, counting days before my move, going out with friends, saying good buy to my New York.

But sometimes life has its own plans for us that we have no control over. My move was on October 28th, the day before Sandy hit the Northeast. Did I hear about a hurricane coming our way? Yes. Did I care about mandatory evacuation? No. I moved to Long Beach. I was happy, sitting on the boardwalk watching surfers catching the biggest waves I'd seen in my life. The most beautiful experience for me. Even when reporters from the Fox 5 news said that we should evacuate as it would be the biggest storm in NY's history, I didn't care. I was home.

The next day, Sandy came. And you know what happened. You saw the news. Well, I was there, I saw it live, I lived it. In fact, I was on the boardwalk, taking pictures and videos, right when the ocean broke through the gate, and made it to the streets. I ran for life, with water up to my knees and rising, and wind blowing so hard I doubted I would make it home. Was I scared? No. I was fascinated by the nature, and its force. How foolish of us to think that we are in charge here on Earth...

Somehow, I made it home. All my neighbors stayed in, and were having a "Sandy" party. But the next 4 hours became my life's Titanic. The water was getting higher and stronger. It made it to our building, it was rising by minutes. In an hour, everyone who lived on the lower level had to evacuate upstairs. Girls were saving some clothes, some things, as the water was streaming thru the doors and windows. 

I saw it approaching my level, and praying for the high tide, which was still 3 hours away. Standing on my balcony was like standing on Titanic, water was everywhere, surfing waves right outside my window and all around. I didn't panic, except for one moment when I called my friend Jonathan to ask to pray for me, and the reception was lost before I could hear him speak, and so was power around the island. We were cut off from the rest of the world. Exactly at 9pm we reached the high tide, and the ocean stood still. I don't remember exactly what happened next, I might have passed out. Just remember waking up the next day at 9am, and being surprised to see that the water receded back to the beach, leaving sand behind. We walked around the sandy streets, taking pictures of the damages Sandy caused. We were in a silent shock. That's how I spent the following two days, with no water, no power, no cell service, in complete oblivion. 

Don't ask me how, but on the 3rd day, I was able to make it back to the city. The shock of my personal experience was overshadowed by what I saw on the news. We were lucky to be alive.

To be continued...