A Sandy Perspective

A Sandy Perspective

Not too long ago meteorologists said Sandy would be the largest storm ever to hit the U.S. mainland, and cost more damage than Hurricane Katrina. This massive, what seemed to be “perfect storm,” impacted up to 50 million people from the Carolinas to Boston. Bill McKibben of 350.org said that, “it’s really important that everybody, even … Read more

Not too long ago meteorologists said Sandy would be the largest storm ever to hit the U.S. mainland, and cost more damage than Hurricane Katrina. This massive, what seemed to be “perfect storm,” impacted up to 50 million people from the Carolinas to Boston. Bill McKibben of 350.org said that, “it’s really important that everybody, even those who aren’t in the kind of path of this storm, reflect about what it means that in the warmest year in U.S. history, … in a year when we saw, essentially, summer sea ice in the Arctic just vanish before our eyes, what it means that we’re now seeing storms of this unprecedented magnitude.” I thought I would give you a timeline of how I followed the news via Twitter, and a first hand perspective of my brother living in downtown Manhattan.

To start off…my first retweet was of an amazing vantage point overlooking downtown and the Empire State Building with two cameras set up, probably ready to catch incredible time lapse footage.

10:40 PM – 28 Oct 12 – “@huang_apiaries: On 51. Our hurricane #Sandy cameras.http://instagr.am/p/RWcBF4i1vM/ ” Stay safe @basuhar!

2:28 PM – 29 Oct 12 – On Hurricane #Sandy and climate change: “If There Was Ever a Wake-up Call, This Is It” http://bit.ly/S96vL9

I then wondered how this hurricane would affect the presidential election, since surprisingly enough there were no debates on climate change and environmentalism, other than hitting a little bit on energy.

2:40 PM – 29 Oct 12 - What if NYC invested in climate adaptation like it has on terrorism? Wonder how #Sandy will affect #Election2012http://www.treehugger.com/environmental-policy/what-if-new-york-city-invested-climate-adaptation-like-combating-terrorism.html …

Just before 3 p.m. I had been following Wisconsin Surfrider and caught some awesome shots of wave forecasts and overheard there were up to 30-foot waves in the Great Lakes!

2:51 PM – 29 Oct 12 - RT [Watch] Animation of #GreatLakes wave height during Hurricane #Sandy, thanks to NOAA Forecasting System. A must see! http://www.glerl.noaa.gov/res/glcfs/anim.php?lake=l&param=wv&type=f …

8:19 PM – 29 Oct 12 – RT @WISurfrider: Great Lakes getting HUGE swells from #HurricaneSandy! surfrider #SandyPics #GreatLakesSurfer http://instagr.am/p/RYyCL6h5tL/

Now, Sandy gets worse. People are without power. I hear news of the NYU Hospital’s backup generator failing, and staff needing to rush tons of patients down the staircases, into emergency vehicle fleets, and back to safety and care at another hospital. Scary. I saw more images of my friends beach house in Bethany, Delaware and other east coast boardwalks completely destroyed.

8:50 PM – 29 Oct 12 – “RT @pourmecoffee: Empire State Building shines in the dark like a boss. http://instagram.com/p/RYxLr7uhF4/ “ #Epic.

9:14 AM – 30 Oct 12 - RT The earth recycles as our body, its waters are our circulation, its air our breath, its trees our lungs. What we do to it,we do to ourselves

My weather forecast in Alliance, said 45 degrees and rain all week…

3:15 PM – 30 Oct 12 – Drowning leaves from #Sandy at @mountunion http://instagr.am/p/Ra2PUgxh7c/

I check back the tweet of the cameras set up with the vantage point, and sure enough there was a must watch time lapse video of Hurricane Sandy taking over New York City.

10:10 AM – 31 Oct 12 – Amazing time lapse of Hurricane #Sandy…thanks @huang_apiaries and @nytimes. Watch: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/10/28/nyregion/nyt-webcam.html …

The aftermath…crazy.

2:53 PM – 31 Oct 12 - 1 billion + gallons of water may need pumped from NYC’s underwater subways – A look inside their transit here: http://www.fastcoexist.com/1680828/a-look-inside-new-yorks-underwater-subways?utm_source=facebook#1 …

Lastly, my brother Blake recently moved out to Manhattan with his girlfriend, and it was reassuring to know that he was in Zone C of flooding, his lights only flickered, and he was luckily able to avoid much of the chaos of Hurricane Sandy…

Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 11:35 AM - Sara and I are safe in our apartment. The weather is not so bad around us right now, just light rain and winds picking up, but we are prepared for power outages if they indeed happen. I’ve attached a picture of our evacuation zones if we need to, and as you can see we are in Zone C, which is least likely to have to evacuate in the case of flooding. If we need to, the high school 2 blocks away is a hurricane shelter, and we would head there.

Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 8:50 PM - Hey everyone! Sara and I are safe and sound inside our apartment. That crane is still hanging in the sky, and the rain has died down but the winds have picked up. Right now the big worry is the surge and flooding from all bodies of water surrounding Manhattan. Luckily, looking out our front windows, our street is protected from high winds and there is no flooding. We still have power and i will keep you posted if anything changes.

Concrete jungle where dreams are made of…

Concrete jungle where dreams are made of…

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New York was amazing!

I returned from my fall break trip to New York with a heavy heart. It has only been a few months since I had left my hometown of Penang, and being a city boy, I loved every bit of New York City; the traffic, the buildings, the noise and even the rude people.

Yes I realized that I am a city boy after all. Even though it may be more stressful, I somehow like being in the fray.

It was a really short trip. We (a group of 25 international students) managed to cover quite a few sites in our brief visit to the Big Apple. We saw the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, Ground Zero and the Empire State Building… all in one day.

It was my second trip to the city that never sleeps. I was pretty indifferent when the bus approached Manhattan. But what I loved about arriving at New York City was watching the reactions of my peers who were about to visit arguably the most famous city in the world for the first time. Some were ecstatic, others speechless and one started playing Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind” from her iPhone. Priceless.

The one thing that really caught my attention this time around was the diversity of NYC. Everywhere I went, I heard different languages being spoken by different people. Even in Chinatown, where one would assume the common language to be Mandarin Chinese, I heard at least five different dialects of Chinese. All of which I have never heard of. That is strange for me…because I know three dialects. It is amazing how these people come from all over the world to make a living and could all coexist in one big city. Not to be stereotypical, but I also noticed a pattern in how certain groups of people have certain jobs; especially in the Times Square area. I will not, however, specify the groups and match them to the particular jobs that I’ve taken notice of.

I felt pretty sad when we left New York. But I made a promise to myself that one day I will return to New York. It wouldn’t even matter what the reason is for my return. In the meantime, it is back to Alliance for me, but hey, Alliance is a nice place too.

Till next time, New York.

Goodbye. Adiós. 再见. Selamat Tinggal.

Off to Nueva York!

Off to Nueva York!

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There’s just something about New York that really draws me to it.

I’ve been to New York before. A short trip before I came to Mount Union. I figured, since I was going to transit at JFK International Airport, I might as well spend a few days at the Big Apple.

Don’t get me wrong, Alliance is pretty cool. Alliance is laid back and quiet; peaceful if I may say so myself. There’s just something about New York City that I really love. I mean, who doesn’t love New York, right?

Maybe it’s the skyscrapers. Maybe it’s just how modern the entire city is.

Every fall break, the Center for Global Education at Mount Union plans a trip to the city that never sleeps for the international students of Mount Union. This year is no different.

I have never been on one of these trips myself. Since coming to America, most of my trips to famous American cities were by myself. I enjoyed travelling by myself. I control everything.

I do realize that travelling with a big group of friends could be fun as well. That’s why this time around, I took up the offer as soon as I heard about it. So yes, New York, here I come!

This trip, I plan to cover as many landmarks as I can. Armed with my ever faithful Nikon, my goal for Fall break is to take about 500 (yes, 500) pictures. It shouldn’t be too hard, I’ve once taken 2,000 pictures when I went to Xi’an, China for a week. New York should be a lot easier.

This can only mean that my upcoming blog post(s) will feature pictures from my New York trip. Hopefully, I can capture the moments instead of just the scenery. I prefer moments. They mean so much more than just plain pictures.

The buildings. The traffic. The fast-paced lifestyle. So New York.

Maybe, just maybe, I’m just meant to be a big city boy after all.