Are New Yorkers entirely disconnected from nature as Via Media suggested? My vote is a hearty Ain't No Way, Hon.
Couldn't we argue that New Yorkers are more in touch with nature than folks who never put a foot outside their home, office, cars, or garages? We live in a place where waste, or even roominess, is a luxury few can afford. We know what it takes for our human selves to make it under conditions the rest of the country would find suffocating. Besides, what's the difference in difficulty getting a taxi in the rain than a rural interstate's congestion during a rainfall? Natural disasters hit everyone and we're hardly ever prepared physically or emotionally.
Besides, take a New Yorker outside and you'll get an instant tour guide in love with her surroundings. We observe the changing of leaves, their romantic translucence under streetlights. The drop in temperatures that affects not just our outerwear choices but the loud kick of our old homes' radiators awakening from its seasonal slumber. The crisp smell of an autumn night that invigorates after a long day in the office. People go weak in the knee at the beauty of Central Park and I am not exaggerating.
Sure, there are New Yorkers who don't care about the sunshine. Some that don't enjoy tall rubber boots in the rain, and some detest the taste and smell of the month of August in the city (me, on both accounts).
And what about the nature that New Yorkers genuinely care for -- human nature? The brave fire fighters, the countless volunteers, the generosity of supporting the arts -- these things happen in New York even when there isn't a natural disaster threatening our city's stability. And when the worst hits us, we aren't sipping our lattes, questioning our personal destinies: we're checking on our neighbors and family and friends; we're traveling great distances on foot to carry or retrieve supplies.
The worst thing about this storm is that I keep reading and rereading sites for better news and it still has not come. Our subway (our PULSE) is not running to full capacity, and 'heartbreaking' is too selfish a phrase to describe it. Sure, I want to go into work, I want to see what's happening in Manhattan with my own eyes, but, really, let people run their errands, visit their doctors, check on their family members, go back to their lives! Have you ever seen the morning in Manhattan, where all kinds of people are streaming out of the subway, carrying their bagged lunch or wearing their work clothes (uniform, casual, or ultra-fashionable), all driven by the same sense of purpose? Maybe some hate their job, and maybe some aren't challenged, but they all know that there is a job out there that they can do and do it well, and if their current gig isn't it, then the next one will get them closer -- it's some whiff of an American Dream that keeps us waking up earlier and working harder each and every day.
So in the man-vs-nature debate, it's ridiculous to call New Yorkers more disconnected with nature than the rest of the country. New Yorkers aren't a different kind of human: we're people like everyone else. And we have huge dreams, huge ambitions, and, yes, huge egos and huge mouths. Humans are fragile, but together, we're less so. Natural disasters are hard to plan for and even more challenging to recover from. Give us a break instead of heaping another helping of name-calling, eye-rolling, or an implied sense of an unfounded or directionless life.
I'm on my fifth day at home in Brooklyn, with power, internet, and provisions, and I'm very grateful. But, like everyone else, I'm more than ready for New York to get back on its feet and win the day. I <3 NY.