Transit Tuesday: Sandy’s Impact on NYC Subways

While I worked the night of the hurricane, I had it pretty easy. Listening to coverage of the storm, it was clear that the picture outside was much more grim.

Photo: inHabitat.

To hear that all seven subway tunnels were inundated by storm surge was surreal. Of so many horrible stories that night, the loss of our famous and infamous transit system impacted the greatest number of people. We could no longer flow freely between boroughs, between our home neighborhoods, our work neighborhoods, those neighborhoods where we seek fun, or clothing, or food. There was no way to reach points beyond the city as the Hudson, East River, and PATH tunnels were overwhelmed, giving us a taste of how quickly we can become isolated. It also demonstrated that though buses were used to replace the missing trains, the four hour commutes to Brooklyn proved that our trains make NYC work. As the MTA struggles to maintain lines over 100 years old and to build new lines for our city, remember that without them, we have no  New York City.

About Becky Fifield

Becky Fifield is a cultural heritage professional with 25 years experience in institutions large and small. She is currently Head of Collection Management for the Special Collections of the New York Public Library. An advocate for preventive conservation, Ms. Fifield is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation, Chair of the AIC Collection Care Network, and former Chair of Alliance for Response NYC. She is also a scholar of 18th century female unfree labor and dress. There's a bit of pun in the title The Still Room, delineating a quiet space brimming with the ingredients of memory, where consideration, analysis, and wordcraft can take place. Ms. Fifield’s interests include museum practice, dress history, historic preservation, transit, social and women’s history, food, current events, geneaology, roadtrips, and considerations on general sense of place. Becky and her husband, Dr. V, live in the Hudson Valley.