A Warning to Myself
I live in an epicenter of superlatives, where the benefits stopped outweighing the drawbacks eons ago. New York, New York, the city so nice they named it twice.
That was a warning. One day I decided to prepare, survive, and live.
New York, NY [Pop. 1.6 million] which turns out to a fairly packed 69,771 people per sq. mi. of natives. This figure balloons to over 170,000 / sq. mi every day. When you stack all kinds of daily working migrants and picture-taking tourists pouring money down attractions which can barely be called attractions.
- Over than 400,000 Inter-state workers come flooding in from New Jersey (that includes me)
- More than 1,000,000 Intra-city workers (seven in 10 people employed in Manhattan commute from another county)
- Over 40 million Americans visit a year
- Over 10 million international tourists visit a year
Most come in through the three major airports and four minor airports in the area.
The New York City metropolitan area (The U.S. Office of Management and Budget places where I live, the New York–Jersey City-White Plains, NY–NJ Metropolitan Division [Pop. over 11,000,000], in the New York-Newark-Bridgeport, NY-NJ-PA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) [Pop. over 19,000,000], which in turn is in the New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical Area (CSA) [Pop. over 23,000,000] the most populous area in the US). You would think this is warning enough.
Over twenty-five highways, freeways and major county roads crisscross the area. These highways move hundreds of thousands of vehicles every day. Some of these roads filter through dozens of bridges, 16 in and out of Manhattan alone (excluding PATH Commuter rail tunnels)
Imagine if this engorged Manhattan population of 4 million get stuck in the small island or even NYC as a whole on any given day of the week. This, needless to say, can be a problem of incredible proportions.
Since 2000 New York City has had a few situations that could have turned out worse than what they did (I was there for a couple of them): The attacks on September 11th, 2001, The North American Blizzard of 2003, The Northeast Blackout of 2003, and Hurricane Sandy December 2012.
These situations did not send the area into a collapse of any kind. Public services were not interrupted in the major populated areas for very long, groceries were open through all but the worse of weather. In Sandy’s case, gas rationing was instituted quick enough to prevent any major issues.
The marketing was good, as soon as power is restored to Manhattan officials and news outlets eased off calling the emergency an emergency, shameful I know.
This is nice and short and sweet. I am a dad now and the need to find a safer place has surfaced again, I am heeding the warning. This time for my whole family.
July 4th 2019, New York, NY