Rediscovering Normal, Feeling Powerful Post-Sandy

BY  |  Monday, Nov 12, 2012 9:47am  |  COMMENTS (13)

Today feels like the first real normal day. Officials are telling us that everyone’s power should be restored by now (please, please say that it’s true) and it’s the first full week of school. Even though commuting is still a nightmare, the good news is Morris & Essex lines, including Midtown Direct, Bergen and Port Jervis are operating, and Montclair-Boonton may begin limited service by end of this week according to NJ Transit executive director Jim Weinstein, the Star Ledger reports.

First night without power, never dreaming how long it would be dark.

As we move away from our Hurricane Sandy coverage, Baristanet wants to thank you — our readers — for coming to the site in record numbers and staying in touch with us during Hurricane Sandy with emails, tweets and input on Facebook. Your photos, your tips and your feedback during the storm were invaluable. Every time we heard of power being restored to different streets all over Baristaville, we celebrated with you and knew we were one step closer to getting life back to normal.

We also want to give a big thanks to all the local officials, councilors, police, fire and emergency personnel, and town employees (many who also lost power) in Montclair, Glen Ridge and Bloomfield, who worked daily with PSE&G, with residents, with churches to create warming stations, with tree removal companies, and much more. A big hug to the out of state crews who came to unfamiliar territory, bringing hope, and then power. We also can’t forget all the local businesses who served the powerless and offered their showers, their electricity and a warm place to stop and refuel.

As rough as it was for so many in our area, getting power back and seeing the serious devastation elsewhere is sobering. Tell us in comments how many days you were without power, how you managed and what you are still dealing with still. And take our poll…


  1. POSTED BY Tara Williams  |  November 12, 2012 @ 10:01 am

    A big Thank You to the Montclair Public Library, its team of administrators and employees from me and my nine year-old son. Like many powerless folks, we found heat and comfort (books) there during this challenging time.

  2. POSTED BY profwilliams  |  November 12, 2012 @ 10:56 am

    GREAT job Baristanet!! I know many of the Barista’s went through this with us, and to still manage to get the site not just going, but have it be part of the solution is commendable.

    I applaud your effort!!

    I was saddened though, by how many revealed here their true selves here (yes you, walleroo). As I wrote a few times (too many for some, it seems) considering the devastation and emergency circumstances many in the area faced, not having power, while a pain, was really just a big ‘ol inconvenience.

    Liz writes, “Today feels like the first real normal day…” This is true. For us. But for many, this won’t be true ever again.

    I only ever wanted to put our “suffering” in perspective, but for many here, I was embarrassed for them by their tone of entitlement, unreasonableness and failure to realize having one’s family safe is enough to make you smile through a power failure.

    It was for me.

  3. POSTED BY oliver  |  November 12, 2012 @ 11:05 am

    I agree with Tara! This year, as I did during last year’s Halloween week, I spent a lot of time at the library getting warm and charging up. Last year I wrote a check to the Montclair Public Library Foundation as a thank you, and I will be doing so again.

  4. POSTED BY oliver  |  November 12, 2012 @ 11:09 am

    I want to add a thank you to Baristanet for keeping me informed for the 12 days I was without power, and I reserve my fondest feelings for whichever wonderful out-of-town power crew brought my house back onto the grid!

  5. POSTED BY raeven  |  November 12, 2012 @ 11:22 am

    Another thanks to the library as well as to the local government for having the municipal charging stations and for having daily PSE&G calls. Of course, a big thanks to Baristanet for keeping us informed throughout.
    Thanks to the local restaurants for letting me linger longer than usual and charge up (Corso, Cuban Pete’s, HLS, to name a few).

    And prof, as someone who admitted he had a generator during this storm, you really shouldn’t be judging those who did not. No one on here ever claimed being without power was as bad as or worse than losing one’s home or loved one. But being without heat for over a week is trying, and there is nothing wrong with expressing frustration over that.

  6. POSTED BY profwilliams  |  November 12, 2012 @ 12:06 pm

    @ raeven, Forgive me, but I spend a week last year, and another the year before during the microburst without power. Also, my Estate rests in a part of UPPER Montclair that for about the first 12 years we lived here lost power at least 12 hours every 4 or 5 months.

    So when the storm hit, and PSE&G told us it would be about 2 weeks, rather than hope and wait, I got a generator. If you, or any others did something else, well, that’s on you.

    I also managed planned ahead for my family’s gas needs.

    But don’t give me this- you had a generator, you can’t “judge” stuff- folks were unreasonable and showed themselves– this was not, as your charitable characterization of the postings here, folks “expressing frustration,” at times, they were an angry mob. And angry entitled mob.

    Go re-read some of the posts. In the “normal” light of this day, perhaps you’ll see the mood of the folks.

    Read those posts, then watch 60 Minutes from last night.

  7. POSTED BY raeven  |  November 12, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

    @ prof, one thing you are forgetting is there is a large percentage of residents in this town who rent (as well as some who live in condos) and who therefore have no control over getting a generator. Not that I’m saying all the frustrated posters were renters as opposed to owners b/c many are clearly owners.

  8. POSTED BY jerseygurl  |  November 12, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

    Thanks to everyone who kept us informed (Baristnet!)and offered power and places to get warm. It only took me 4 hours to get to work today (including an hour and half wait for the no show bus and a hitched ride with strangers) but at least I took a hot shower today.

  9. POSTED BY Mrs Martta  |  November 12, 2012 @ 1:03 pm

    Ditto what everyone else says. I always checked this page when our power was out. Jerseygurl, just be glad you were not on a DeCamp bus into the city today. I got on the bus at 7:20 from West Orange and did not arrive in Port Authority until 10:50! Two accidents this morning.

  10. POSTED BY lucinda  |  November 12, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

    I’ve been lucky (and extremely thankful) throughout the hurricane and these past 2 weeks, but it’s the DeCamp commute to and from NYC that’s going to kill me!

  11. POSTED BY jerseygurl  |  November 12, 2012 @ 1:24 pm

    The DeCamp situation is unbearable. EIther DeCamp should dispatch some buses to Upper Montclair (they are already full and continue to the city well before they get there) or NJT should pick up people at the train stations and take them to the park and ride or the Bay Street station for the ferry. Most of the 30 people on line with me this morning only have one car in the family and need a walkable site for pick up.

  12. POSTED BY paolo  |  November 12, 2012 @ 2:38 pm

    >>or NJT should pick up people at the train stations and take them to the park and ride or the Bay Street station for the ferry.<<

    That's an excellent suggestion, and I hope the town adds it to the "lessons learned" from this extended situation.

    NJ Transit delivered some innovative alternatives like the bus to the Weehawken ferry. That's new, and maybe something worth continuing as a rush hour service. Perhaps with additional stops along the way.

  13. POSTED BY abishag  |  November 12, 2012 @ 6:04 pm

    It was the first normal day when I went to the Shoprite in Brookdale and found it fully stocked on Friday Nov 9. I got my power in GR on the 8th. I read that 550k commuters ride NJ Transit trains each week day into NYC. I can’t imagine there are enough buses in NJ to make up for that. Also I doubt NJ transit trains will run by end of week…Too much damage.

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