My Sandy Experience

“From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.” ~ Arthur Ashe

So I left you with some warm comforting grain free porridge and with that I was ready to get my blog back on it’s feet. Then, Hurricane Sandy hit and took away all that warm comfort for several days. There are no words for the experience really. I know there are so many out there that had it worse than me too. So as crazy as it was here, I know I am lucky. 

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Cooking pasta on a camping propane stove thing

I live in the lower part of Manhattan that was without power. I work full-time at the NYU Medical center in research as I’m sure most of you saw there we lost quite a lot of research. I won’t get into that too much. There was no power, we lost a lot of materials, and research – it sucks. NYU did not have us come into work all week. 

When I mentioned in my last post that I was trying to cultivate some good in my life – well that has been in many forms. One of those forms has been by starting to work part-time at Pushcart Coffee. I have been enamored with this little business since they opened about a year ago in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. About a month ago they opened a second location just blocks from me. And I knew I had to be involved. Back in August I emailed the owners and quickly realized that this coffee shop is basically all my passions combined in one place – awesome coffee, laid back people, community services and events, local food, a weekly publication. Love it all! 

So the shop opened 3 weeks ago. The hurricane, as awful as it was really gave Pushcart the opportunity to shine. The owners really embody a sense of community and giving back. We had a generator – we had drinks, fresh baked goods, hot coffee, even soup one day. We were serving out of boxes and buckets (all clean though!). It was a hectic and a mess, but it was amazing. I could not imagine being anywhere else. I worked here for 8 hour shifts for 4 days. The energy surrounding the whole situation was so positive. Everyone really came together. The customers and workers alike. We kept smiling despite the 45 minute line, we played some upbeat music, the customers did not hold back on expressing how grateful they were. Which made it that much better. One customer named Jim, told us that he will never forget us and the service we provided. 

We had people charging their phones and laptops via 2 different surge protectors and the extra outlet on the generator. Here is a photo of the line on the first day.

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The line and the waiting list

I finally escaped the city on Wednesday evening having not showered in days. bb let me know how bad I smelled from the coffee shop. I was well aware. This photo is actually Wednesday – day 4 without showering. 

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Me and some of the coffee crew –  Right after this, I was in a cab to Brooklyn.

We had to walk up 20 flights of stairs, in the pitch lack multiple times a day. We couldn’t flush the toilet, trash wasn’t going out, fridges were leaking all over the tiny apartment. At one point bb filled a 5 gallon bucket up with water from an open fire hydrant and carried it up the 20 flights of stairs. We saw people dumpster diving for food. It really was like something out of a zombie movie. 

Then we take a cab over to Williamsburg and kids were Trick or Treating. All our favorite bars and restaurants were hopping and serving. I really had almost forgotten what civilized life was like. We showered  and headed out the non other than the Meatball Shop for dinner. 

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Hello lentil balls, porcini mushroom risotto, and roasted brussel sprouts with apple chutney! 

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The Hayride – reyka vodka, housemade pumpkin simple syrup, heavy cream, and fresh grated cinnamon

God bless you Meatball Shop. 

Forgot to snap pictures of the AMAZING pumpkin ice cream with ginger cookie sandwich. It was housed back at my cousin’s apartment in cozy pi’s and a heating blanket. How quickly life changed. 

I’m so happy to be apart of a community that really cares about what they do and providing whatever they can for their customers and employees. Without Pushcart my hurricane experience would have been much different – and I have a feeling much more miserable. 

So thank you Pushcart and my cousin for being a such a positive force in my life this week :)

I owe you several posts for my lack of internet one being a very important foodie pen pal reveal. Look for that tomorrow! As feel as the other good i’m adding to my life, my first experience with mediation, and loads more of good recipes :)

I hope everyone is safe and sound no matter where they are, and to those in NJ, Brooklyn, and Staten Island – my thoughts are with you!


In happiness and health,



What was the best thing you witnessed this past week??

Do you have a comfort food that would have / did sneak out after the hurricane or hard day(s)?? Ice cream is definitely mine : ) as well as soup. I’ll eat either anytime no matter what the weather. 


  1. I’m so glad you’re ok! And that meal – yum! A well-deserved fall drink, for sure. :)

    • Thanks! It was an amazing meal + the cocktail creativity blew my mind. I thought it would be too heavy and desserty but there was only like an ounce of cream in it – and it was double filtered. It was good.

  2. Glad to hear that you’re okay! What a scary experience. I’m amazed by how many people are just thankful that even without water, without power, without heat, that they feel lucky to be safe and healthy.

    And congrats on the cool new job. Pushcart sounds like a great place to work.

    • Thanks! I know a bunch of people that ended up worse off that me and I feel horrible. But all you can do is acknowledge what you have, what others lost, and do anything you can to help whether its clean up, donations, or warm thoughts/prayers.
      And Pushcart is a great place. I wish it was full time though :)

  3. What a crazy week, but I’m so glad to hear you’re doing fine! It’s also wonderful that you’ve found a community you enjoy working with at Pushcart. Hope we can get together soon!

  4. Oh wow – what an terrible, but encouraging experience. I do love when a bad situation actually brings out the best in people and you can step back and appreciate how blessed we all are. I’m sorry that you had to go through the last week, but glad that you were able to make it through!

    • So many people had it so much worse and although things started to get realy uncomfortable and dirty, I got lucky.

  5. It was a crazy week indeed! We got power back in the East Village Saturday night. I stayed at my apt for a few days (we had water, but no heat) until it got too cold, then headed to brooklyn until power came back.
    So nice to have a supportive work environment on your side!

    My favorite comfort food changes all the time – these days it’s take-out Indian food. I can’t get enough.

    Hope to see you around/at yoga soon!

    • Yay for power! Its so easy to take all these small things for granted.

      We actually got Indian take out one night in brooklyn! I got vindaloo for thr first time – holy spicy!!

      Great seeing you at Strala tues too

  6. What a crazy week… but so happy to hear that you fared ok.. I’ll have to try Pushcart next time I visit NYC!

    • Yes! Its right in your old neighborhood now. We are going to start a runninh group there too. Katherine is going to help lead

  7. I am SO glad you are OK, and that you had positive energy around you in such a crazy time. We kept expecting to lose power and were SO lucky that the storm missed us for the most part. I was listening to updates about NYC on Cosmo Radio every morning and it just sounded like a surreal experience.

    Love to you!

    • I love that you got your news on Cosmo radio. I listened to that a bit back in college when I had satelitte.
      So glad you did not lose power! We cannot have a delay in nutty butter production.

  8. Wow, Ashley- this is amazing! You have such a great outlook. I’m glad that you’re okay and that you found that wonderful job- and that the timing was just right. xoxo

    • Thanks!! i cant imagine being anywhere else during that disaster. I wish it was full time and I could leave the lab but i will take whatever positive energy i can get, you know?

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