I can’t remember a time I felt as scared or alone as I did just seven days ago. Sandy was making her way toward the city I now call home, leaving a destructive path behind her and I didn’t know what to do or how to prepare. After being in denial for most of Halloween weekend, I had only bought a few bottles of water (peer pressured by the mass chaos I witnessed in Whole Foods). I had made another big batch of pumpkin chili to surprise Mike with and roasted up enough veggies to last me a few days, just in case, but that was it. I figured everyone was blowing this whole “Sandy” schtick out of proportion. As the storm got closer, though, the more severe and real things became. Mike’s flight from Denver was cancelled, my office was closed and I began to panic, feeling stranded on this island with no way out. In a high rise with two bedroom walls being floor-to-ceiling windows, I was petrified beyond belief when the winds started to whip. As my roommate, Russ, and I watched lower Manhattan go dark (pictured below), I felt helpless.
In this big city, it’s so easy to feel small and Sandy made me all too aware of that. I ended up being one of the lucky ones with power and my norm was relatively untouched. I felt incredibly spoiled living in a bubble of luxury as I watched the haunting aftermath images on the news. My heart ached (and still does) for those who have lost their lives, loved ones and homes because of the storm. I can’t even begin to tell you how eerie the city has been but in spite of all the sadness and helplessness, these past few days I have witnessed a glimmer or two of hope. The star-studded relief concerts, the support New York City marathoners provided in Staten Island today…it has all been incredible. Yesterday, I had chills standing in the TKTS line with my visiting running pals, Adam and Mandi, as a flash mob of ING runners came barreling through Time Square with smiles on their faces. The cancelled event wasn’t going to slow them down! Tourists lined the streets, cheering on the group for their dedication and hard work. It is with this spirit that New York and all of the Eastern seaboard, for that matter, will get through this devastating time and rebuild for the better.
After a strange week, it was nice to have these familiar faces around for the day. We shopped, ate and saw Mary Poppins, which was absolutely incredible, especially since we scored second row seats! I fell in love with the little Michael Banks (ahem, Bert wasn’t too shabby to look at either…) and suppressed my urge to sing along to the upbeat, whimsical music. Next on my “to see” list: Newsies. In preparation for a long day of venturing, I made nut balls Friday night for my guests. They were a hit as a late afternoon snack and in the wise words of Mandi, “Everything tastes better in ball form.” Couldn’t have said it better myself, doll.
(made 7 medium balls)
1/4 cup whole almonds
1/4 cup shredded coconut
10 large dates, pits removed
Dash of vanilla extract
The nut/dried fruit concept is nothing new (remember my Mocha Coffee Protein Balls and Apricot Almond LARABARs?) but something about this combination just plain rocked. Seriously, I thought I was eating cookie dough batter. In a food processor, pulse everything together until thoroughly chopped and mixed. Roll into balls and refrigerate. That’s it! Sweet, gooey but with a crunch that will keep you energized between meals. Yeah…you need to make these. They will be a staple snack of mine from now on for cubicle munchies!
Pumpkin Turkey Chili recipe to come! Blame it on Mike…he took his Nikon (which he so graciously lets me borrow for blogging purposes) and has been traveling the past two weeks. I swear it’s worth the hype.
Have you witnessed a glimmer of hope after super storm Sandy?
Sprinkled with Love,