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New York City… You Novice.

What a week this has been for the New York City area! First we felt the shock of a 5.8 magnitude earthquake that took place in Virgina… and now we’re facing Hurricane Irene! The Universe doesn’t seem to like NYC this week! (That’s what you get for being a douchebag. I kid, I kid.)

What these natural events exposes is just how much of a novice New York City really is. As avant garde as this multicultural city is, we still have no real concept of how to deal with Mother Nature itself. Truly, this city is completely out of touch with nature! My people from the Caribbean can attest to the power of hurricanes, REAL hurricanes that can cause devastation on a massive scale. In its arrogance, New York City has obliviously built itself up not taking into account the potential damage the storm surge can do to low-lying areas. In fact, they have plans on how to deal with the problems, but you would think that construction efforts would reflect some of these concerns. Nope. What is even more astonishing is the reaction of the general populace: fearful acceptance. People emptying shelves, buying out all the milk and bread… all I can really do is just shake my head at the whole thing.

As for the earthquake, well, I can understand the shock of most people that have never experienced an earthquake in their lives. If you’re a long-time New Yorker, you would NEVER expect to feel that guy. An earthquake? What’s THAT? But again, that reflects the limited experience of many New Yorkers that have never been to the many places in the world that experience earthquakes on a regular basis: Japan, California, Mexico, Peru, Oceania, Chile, Alaska, etc etc. The list goes on and on. I remember the first time I felt an earthquake: it was in Tokyo. It was only a 4.3M earthquake, but it was very weird recognizing it. It was early in the morning, maybe 7 or so. I felt the movement, recognized it, briefly wondered “is this an earthquake?”, then went back to sleep. Yes, I felt that kind of shaking in my old apartment in front of the passing Metro-North train in Manhattan. Actually, much worse. The whole damn place used to shake. After that first quake, it wasn’t that big a deal anymore.

Does this qualify me as a veteran? No. Experienced? Yes. If I were to feel the kind of quake that took place in March in Sendai, I would have surely pissed myself.

But for all the sophistication of New York City.. I can only say one thing: NYC, you novice. Step it up.

On that note, don’t overreact to this super-hype on Hurricane Irene coming later this evening to the area. Be sensible, but calm. Have what you need at hand and just hunker down for the wind and rain.