TAP - there's no gas or electricity in many parts still. Yet they're closing all the bridges for the marathon while people die. Conditions in New York are far worse than they are appear from media reports.
I’ve been trying to hit every shelter on Staten Island to do what I can, just to make people smile. A lot of people know me and know I’m from here. My flight has been changed six times now. Finally, I got a flight for Sunday. Then, the city decides they are going ahead with the New York City Marathon. The bridges will be closed, so I can’t get to the airport. How are they doing a marathon when most people don’t have power?
On top of it, the hotels in Manhattan have been nice enough to put up people who have no homes. They are charging them $200 as opposed to $700 a night. But now they are throwing these people out because they’ve got people from all over the world coming to run the marathon. They are throwing out the survivors!
So I call Jet Blue and say I can’t fly Sunday because I can’t get from Staten Island to JFK Airport. And they said ‘Okay Theo.’ They know me know because I’ve been calling them every 15 minutes. They say, ‘Theo, we can get you on a flight Friday.’ I say book it! I call up the car service, and they say, ‘We can’t pick you up, we have no gas.’ All my friends on Staten Island say, ‘How are we going to get you there? We have no gas.’ And the people who do have gas, don’t want to waste it going to JFK. So I’ve got to call and change my flight again. Now I’m leaving Monday. Everybody says if we don’t have gas in our cars by Monday, if the roads aren’t clear by Monday, that’s it … we’re throwing in the towel.
Bloomberg announced Wednesday that the marathon would move forward as scheduled, taking place less than a week after Hurricane Sandy made landfall. As the course map shows, the race will begin on Staten Island — that means more than 40,000 runners, support staff and spectators will gather on the island — which has the borough’s president James Molinaro outraged. Staten Island Live reported Molinaro saying that he had assumed the marathon would be canceled.
“My God. What we have here is terrible, a disaster,” Molinaro said. “If they want to race, let them race with themselves. This is no time for a parade. A marathon is a parade. Now is the time to put your shoulder to the wheel. If they want to prepare for something, let them prepare for the election, not a marathon.”
Molinaro isn’t the only one expressing discontent that during a vulnerable time for the city, the marathon is still being held. Legendary WFAN radio host Mike Francesa said (via Business Insider) on his show, ”They’re still going door to door in Staten Island trying to find out if there are dead bodies in the houses, and you’re holding a marathon?” Francesa goes on to note that while some in New Jersey are desperate for water, marathon runners will take a sip on the course and then cast cups to the side of the road.