Damn my Internet is slow.
That’s about the extent of how Hurricane Sandy has affected me. Well, add to that the fact that the parks are all still closed, (so the dog has a mad case of cabin fever so he requires at least three times the amount of attention) but aside from that, really slow internet access with intermittent failures is about the only inconvenience we’ve suffered up here in Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Out on the street, 10 year old kids with French accents and better clothes than I’ve ever owned run around in gangs, reveling in the freedom that is school cancellations. Apart from some trash and fallen branches, the UES has gone relatively unscathed. You’d almost never know there was a hurricane up here. Friends in the East Village tell me they’re still without power, heat, water, even cell reception. They may not be back up and running for at least five days. Since my internet is too slow to stream videos I found myself going to the local video store to rent some DVDs. Did you know they still have video stores? It’s nuts! I have to bring these things back to the store on Saturday so someone else can rent them! It’s like when we were young!
I can’t write anything about any Youtube videos, since most videos get about half-loaded and then quit. That’s a bummer. All I can do is think about how much better my Internet would be if we could get rid of FEMA and privatize disaster relief. Like, then we wouldn’t have to waste any money trying to restore service in the gross poor neighborhoods, and that money could be used to restore what’s lacking in our Internet infrastructure up here where normal people live. God damn hippies and their hardship. “Oh, my apartment is flooded. My house burned down. The power went out in my hospital. I died.” Boo hoo. I’m sitting here trying to watch my goddamn cat videos and they’re not working.
Seriously though, it’s weird being the beneficiary of this kind of gross rich people privilege. Like, I walk down the street and elderly women clutch their pearls thinking the neighborhood has gone to shit because apparently my beard or long hair make me look like a hooligan or something. Maybe it’s the pit bull. Maybe it’s because my pit bull’s sweater doesn’t quite match my sweater enough. Maybe I need to buy boat shoes. God damn I wouldn’t know how to blend in up here if I spent the rest of my life here. Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way complaining about having been spared the hardships many others are still dealing with. I’ve never been the kind who craved living in a slum because it’s “more authentic.” I wasn’t rich enough for that. So when it turned out that the UES was actually one of the most affordable parts of NYC, well, I wasn’t afraid of people thinking I was a yuppie. The yuppies still don’t buy that I’m one of them. I’m not fooling anybody. But I’ll take the classist weirdness in exchange for the convenience and comfort of being in the part of the city that never lost power. Hopefully they don’t kick me out for being a commie.