Last week I was trying to shop for produce to feed my family and was utterly disappointed at the prices I had to endure. I mean, $4 for some cauliflower just didn't seem right! And don't even get me started on the price of tomatoes and cucumbers; just appalling!
Color me stupid, however, when I was sent a link to a video about a couple of farms Upstate that had been completely ruined by Hurricane Irene. I had heard that it was bad up there but I was not aware how bad until I saw the videos.
This all tied in to my planned visit Upstate this past weekend; Celia had already warned me that it might take longer to get to her house because the usual roads were gone. GONE. As in the flooding was so bad that it just up and stole the goddamn roads away. Of course you hear stuff like that and your eyes widen with shock and you say things like "Wow!" or "Oh my god that's terrible!" but it isn't real to you, because all that happened on your block during that storm was that a few branches fell on your stairs. OH, THE HUMANITY!
But then you read stories like this and you realize this is a motherfucking DISASTER the likes you've never had to experience. Except now you're experiencing because this is your home state and those farms help feed your lazy, City ass but now they're gone.
Then it all get really real when you drive through Prattsville and you see this:
When I think back to the storm weekend, and how much people complained about the City being shut down and how Bloomberg overreacted and how it was all for nothing I couldn't believe it- did you want something bad to happen? You're mad because our elected officials were trying to avoid a repeat of Snowmaggedon 2010?? And now I want to say to those same people, how dare you moan and whine and complain when that hurricane devastated many whole towns! I saw those uprooted homes with my own eyes. I saw the residents of that town drinking their troubles away at a local bar, and Celia overheard one of them say they plan to rebuild in six months- completely impossible but who's about to squash this man's hopes and dreams? Really, once this all becomes real it's hard to unsee and unhear about the tragedies.
When I think of how lucky we were in the City to not have suffered that fate... and how tragic the situation has become for these small, impoverished towns of Upstate New York, it really put things in perspective. I shop for food with only my wallet in mind, and sometimes, when you live paycheck-to-paycheck like I do you have to shop like that. But I never stop to think where my cauliflower and tomatoes come from, and how hard those farmers work to yield a big enough crop to feed us City folk, who then turn around and complain about the price of tomatoes as we sit upon our fancy digs. I don't think about the people they employ, the animals they have to feed and the myriad of bureaucratic red tape they have to deal with in order to keep their family businesses afloat.
I wish I could do more than donate money to help them out, but if that's the only weapon at my disposal right now, so be it. I'm not the pushy money-asking type, but if it at all moves you, maybe you can donate some money, too?
UPDATE: Just read a post on the Green In BKLYN website that gives you more ways to donate money or food, diapers and other basic necessities to the families who need it. So if you don't have money but you stocked up on non-perishables prior to the storm that you're not using, consider dropping them off at one of the green markets around the City. I'll be your best friend if you do!
*smooches...wishing these families all the best*
if I made even 1% more people aware of this situation and that 1% tells another 1%...