How Has Hurricane Sandy Affected Travel In New York City?
When I was typing the first sentence of this post, the New York City Marathon was on. I was going to raise the question as to whether or not our readers thought that decision was a good call considering the controversy that was erupting over the mayor’s decision to proceed with it. New York City sets its watch fast. Studies have even shown that New Yorkers even walk faster than most people on the planet. “This city is a city where we have to go on,” Mayor Bloomberg said on Wednesday. He saw the Marathon as the vehicle to show New Yorkers that things were normalizing. That and the $300 million it brings in would have been a nice booster to an economy that’s taken some gut punches from Sandy.
One newscaster said on a local Brooklyn newscast that “[h]olding the Marathon now would be like having a rowing competition in New Orleans right after New Orleans.”
But now the marathon is off. Canceled Sorry about Sandy, come again next year. No matter what the decision was going to be, the result was bound to anger some. Laura Schwecherl, a Brooklyner who was planning to run the race this weekend, voiced frustration that many other runners are likely feeling. “I think it’s the right decision, but they should have figured their shit out earlier.”
A statement today from the mayor’s office, which stills maintains that city resources would not have been directed to the marathon, summed up their decision by arguing, essentially, that it simply would have been in bad taste. “We do not want a cloud hanging over the marathon and the runners so we decided to cancel it.”
This is going to cause many people who had planned to travel to New York to refrain from doing so. This is good in the short term, but bad in the long term recovery of New York’s economy.
A hotel manager in the East Village I spoke with, who wanted to remain anonymous because she was “not sure if [she] was allowed to talk to reporters”, said that they’ve received a steady stream of cancellations due to the cancellation of the race, but that many of those rooms are being claimed by people currently displaced from her home.
“With power out in a lot of Manhattan,” she said, “it would be strange for anyone who doesn’t have to be here to come.”
Though you can expect New York City to recovery with the speed that it does everything else, travelers and tourists will likely begin to start to start trickling back in over the coming weeks when New Yorkers resume their quick pace and walk away from all things Sandy.
About the Author
After setting out to hitchhike from Chile to Alaska, Luke Maguire Armstrong stopped in Guatemala where he spent four years directing the social service programs of the charity Nuestros Ahijados. He is the author of, iPoems for the Dolphins to Click Home About (available for sale on Amazon.com) which is especially enjoyed by people “who don’t read poetry.” (Follow Luke on Twitter: @lukespartacus). His new book, How We Are Human, was recently released.