on Hurricanes, Hiroshima and Nagasaki

By | August 9, 2020

I cannot believe we’re just a few weeks from the fifteenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Still remember sitting in my friend Helen’s carΒ  in Adelaide waiting outside an electronic repair facility for her to pick up her VCR/DVR when the radio was talking about the impending landfall. I started Douglas Brinkley’s The Great Deluge on Saturday because it’s 700+ pages (nothing like a little light reading!) and I wanted to have it done in time to think about the anniversary. I realize how little I knew about the Mississippi Coast regions I drove through until I saw the Katrina memorial in Biloxi my last morning.

This week marked the anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and they kind of snuck up on me unlike 2017. Surprising given it is the 75th anniversary. Here is a repost of my 2006 Hiroshima blog. I visited Hiroshima four times-the most powerful was on Veteran’s Day just two months after 9/11. It was chilling, but I believe a place that every American who visits Japan has a duty to see and learn from. Hiroshima is easily accessed from Osaka. Nagasaki took some work, but it was well worth it. I still remember thinking that if I was sleeping in 1945 where the hostel I stayed in 2016, I wouldn’t be here. Frightening.

mom’s street, NYC suburbs. (c) Mom.

This week also brought Tropical Storm Isaias to town. It wasn’t a direct hit, and Manhattan was mostly spared apart from some massive tree damage in the parks. That wasn’t true in all of Con Ed’s services areas, where more than 130K were without power, second only to Sandy. Some were still out Friday morning when a random non storm-related blackout hit parts of the city. The northern suburbs and Connecticut were hit pretty hard. Luckily the tree that took out mom’s power, cable was kind enough to fall between their house and the river, rather than the main road which made things very interesting last storm. She got a generator after Sandy, so the power outage was more nuisance than an actual issue.

the man-made and the nature-made roadblocks. Carl Schurz Park, Tuesday afternoon

When I went for a walk after work to scope out the damage it reminded me a lot of Hurricane Irene. Looking back at that album, amazing how much more greenery there was back then. So many mature trees, just gone. Gives Gone with the wind a whole new meaning.

saw this on one of the social channels. So fitting

The week was good, but felt very disorganized. It was fitting that this showed up in my feed. Ads reading my mind? Wouldn’t surprise me given Bob & I were speaking about an author I thought he might like, and a day later a $5 off coupon for books by that author was in my inbox . Not usually a conspiracy theorist, but that was weird.

Weekly run down with Kim and Deborah:

hi random sunflowers!

  • never miss a Monday: went for a walk before work, and then a Target run after work. You could definitely feel the humidity building ahead of the storm. Not as exciting as the corn on the Upper West Side, but nice to see these flowers randomly in a street bed.

already flooded.

  • Tuesday: this run was up in the air due to the storm forecast. I woke at 5:30 with the fan blowing random raindrops on me, and decided to try again at 6:30. There was a window, and I went out for four miles, which somehow were negative splits too. Yay! I would absolutely run in the rain, I will not run by the river in a (relatively) low lying area during a tropical storm. I wasn’t running in Central Park because I was worried about the trees even early. By mid-afternoon, the sun was out. Weather is so weird.

yes, yes it is

poor tree, completely split

  • Wednesday: I was right to be worried about Central Park as the tree damage was devastating. In the middle of this, the Conservancy has launched a fundraising appeal. I particularly liked that sign.

do you believe in magic?

  • Thursday: I knew I was running after work, and that led to a weird start in the morning. I didn’t even make it out for coffee as my bed was very comfy. I met my colleague and we ran together for the first time since the Frozen Penguin. I saw him into March, but we were both gimpy and not feeling winter running. This was a beautiful ~6 mile run for each of us from our own starting points. Saw many, many trees down, which was just heartbreaking. This was my first time doing the lower loop or going south of 72nd since I ran home the week the world shut down. Kind of weird to be down there, but not at all uncomfortably crowded.

my bathroom is ready for winter

  • Friday: another slow start, but I went out for a quick walk to loosen up my hips. Not pain, just stiff after an evening run. Motion is lotion as someone (likely here?) says, and it helped. I stiffened up after a workday despite rolling during a non-video meeting, so I took a walk to Target and Jack Rabbit and I was feeling fine. My new shower curtain came – and can I tell you life’s too short to be boring? The new mat, which I picked before I tossed my old curtain kinda sorta maybe matches. I just love that it dries, which was the issue with the other one.

sidewalk sushi

  • Saturday: I didn’t really have a plan, but as I dilly dallied I knew it would be a mask run in either of the usual haunts, and I wasn’t feeling it. I’d been thinking about doing Randall’s Island as I run past the bridge most days, and I decided why not. There’s a ton of storm damage over there, but the paths were clear and I had a solid if sticky 5 miles. I scoped out the path to Queens and some longer routes for the fall. The only down side of random mid-week long runs is I don’t want to do a second during the week coming off injury, and “only” five miles on Saturday felt weird and short. Our bodies and minds are weird. Still ran 22.65 miles this week. Whoa. Hip, knee feel good and I’ve been doubling down on Marcia’s IT Band stretches as well as the resources Deborah has shared.
  • Sunday: summer is coming back. Thinking a rest day in the park, but maybe a short walk.


20 thoughts on “on Hurricanes, Hiroshima and Nagasaki

  1. Katie

    I read The Great Deluge years ago and got to speak to Douglas Brinkley and get my book signed. I asked him how he wrote it so quickly after the storm, and he said “very little sleep”. πŸ™‚ Makes sense!

    1. cari Post author

      I couldn’t believe it when I saw in the forward that he completed it by May. Amazing effort and so far into it, amazing writing. Imagine that was an interesting conversation! Thanks for your note

  2. Coco

    We had visited friends in New Orleans before Katrina, and then after my daughter did her first year of college at Loyola β€” after being inspired by a post-Katrina service trip there. The impact β€” and unjustice of the disparate impact β€” is still hard to comprehend. I was surprised by the lack of news around Hiroshima. There have been a few stories on NPR, but not much. It’s like we all want to sweep it under the rug instead of facing it β€” why does that sound familiar?

    In lighter news, I love your shower curtain. I’m sure it sparks joy!

    1. cari Post author

      It totally sparks joy! And goes oh so well with the random ducks and other things that make me smile in the shower.
      I went to New Orleans in 2001 for grandma’s birthday and never had much interest in going back, but really enjoyed the conference last year and I learned so much. This book is amazing if you haven’t read it. Dense though too!
      Gee, discrepancy and inequalities. We learned a lot from Katrina to prevent that from happening again, didn’t we? :/ I think I heard the same NPR piece, but that was it. My internal calendar usually alerts to the anniversary. Blaming the hellscape that is 2020 for that

  3. Deborah Brooks

    The walks do help to loosen me up as well. You all got way more damage from the storm than we did this time. When I was in New Orleans in February we toured and learned a lot about Katrina. Cannot believe it’s been that long. They told us that the aftermath of the storm actually helped to rebuild the city back stronger and it is much safer and well run than it was then. Have a great week and happy running thanks for linking up

    1. cari Post author

      Oops, missed this one. I definitely felt some of the stronger flood protections when I was there last year as well. Although it had been a spring of heavy rain, the flooding wasn’t horrific. All about the walks, and need to get back to them. I”m tight again and I know why

  4. Kim G

    I cannot believe that Hurricane Katrina was almost 15 years ago – wow!

    Sounds like some parts of NYC experienced what we did in CT. I know a few people out in Long Island that still don’t have power.

  5. Wendy

    It’s crazy because here in the Midwest, we didn’t hear much about Isaias at all! I’m sure that the COVID and Trump news pretty much overshadowed any other story. I’m glad you were spared most of the damage. Crazy how much havoc a cat 1 storm can still cause!

  6. Chocolaterunsjudy

    My mom’s power was out until Thursday, I think, and they didn’t get phone & internet back until Friday. I know they take good care of her, but it was frustrating not being able to check up on her.

    Our first visit to NOLA was pre-Katrina. Actually, before that I’d actually been invited to speak at a conference (can you imagine?), and a hurricane hit that weekend. I cancelled at the very last minute, and of course the hurricane veered off.

    Then I did my race there 4 years ago? 5? We had a great time both times we visited.

    I’ve never been to Japan. Mr. Judy went quite a few times for work, but I never managed a trip with him. Actually, about 15 years ago I could have — but just Hawaii again instead. πŸ™‚ Some day, maybe. Maybe not.

    Sounds like a really solid week for you, Cari! Yay to the knee holding up to higher mileage! Now I want some sushi . . .

  7. Marcia

    It felt crazy to sit here in Chicago and enjoy beautiful, calm weather while Isaisas wreaked havoc up the coast. I wish we’d have had more time when in Tokyo to see more. Truly me must return one of these years. Thing 1 was a couple of months old when 9/11 happened and Thing 2 was the same age when Katrina hit. Crazy memories. Love the fun new shower curtain!

  8. Jessie

    I have a woman on my team in NJ who was out of power for 3-4 days. Tough! Glad you were okay.

    I visited Hiroshima when we went to Japan for the Tokyo marathon; the museum was a bit dated, but still very moving.

    Glad you’re running pain-free!

  9. Kimberly Hatting

    Crazy how much damage from one storm. While I’m not craving a storm, we do need rain in Iowa. The ground is cracked and our grass looks like straw. UGH. Glad your body is feeling so good! That’s why I believe in recovery runs, or easy bike rides, or (at the minimum) walks on “recovery” days. Movement is medicinal πŸ˜‰

  10. Debbie @ Deb Runs

    I haven’t heard “motion is lotion,” but it’s so true. Thanks for sharing!

    Did I read it correctly that you have to wear a mask when running? That sounds miserable. Is it because you’re in such close proximity to others because of living in the city or is that a state wide mandate for whenever you’re outside? DC has that and I think MD does as well, but so far VA doesn’t. I think DC and VA have exceptions for when you’re “exercising vigorously.”

    It’s great that you got to run with your friend again after not seeing him for so many months!

    1. cari Post author

      NYC rules on masks are complicated even when it doesn’t apply to exercise. Most indoor locations mandate them, they’re required for ordering, etc. when you’re doing outdoor dining. I don’t think you have to wear them walking down the street although I tend to when I leave the house as I’m always going somewhere.

      Basically, you’re supposed to wear one when you can’t social distance, which is much of Manhattan even though people are away for summer. Central Park it’s generally easy to be six feet clear of people, not so much on the East River which is just a narrow footpath in several spots. I always have mine with me as very often after runs I stop for coffee or an errand and they’re mandated indoors. That’s a long way of saying I don’t know if we have to, but I think we’re supposed to. A mask broke on a run earlier this summer and I asked a cop if he had an extra, but I don’t think he’d have said anything if I Just waved broken mask at him.

      When it’s 80s and humid it is impossible to run in a mask for me. Fall I’ll likely be better about it as I imagine it might provide some protection against cold and flu in the sense of cooties in the air, not virus blocking.

      Running with Bruce was lovely. It was a good tradition that I hope we can return to one day

  11. Darlene S Cardillo

    Sad to see CP with trees down. We had a lot of rain Tuesday but that’s it. A very humid week. And now a hot one.

    It is what it is. I have yet to get in more than 3 miles during the week but that’s ok because my friends drag me through the big one on Sat and then I recupe on the lake Sunday.
    So happy you no longer have knee pain.
    My left foot is so much better but I walked (unexpectedly) in old shoes and now my other foot hurts. Always something.
    Keep posting your pretty pics. <3

  12. Jenn

    It is so bizarre that Isaias gave us a lovely, breezy day, and you all took the hit. I’m glad it wasn’t awful by you, but some other friends really got slammed. Another 2020 phenomenon.

    I love and need that shirt. Badly. BADLY.

    I have never been to Japan, but I love your reflections. I still cannot bring myself to visit the 9/11 memorials. I know I need to, but it’s still so hard. πŸ™

  13. Zenaida Arroyo

    Great week for you with your mileage! Looks like running is going well for you.

    Wow, so much damage caused by the storm. Just today we are having a big storm with some tornado warnings in the Chicago area.

    15 years since Hurricane Katrina?

    That is a cute shower curtain!

  14. Shannon

    Amazing to think Katrina was 15 years ago now. Glad you and your family are okay after the recent storm and your damage wasn’t too bad. Sad about Central Park. We really lucked out here in Florida.
    I’d love to visit Hiroshima one day. Talk about so much history.

  15. Liz Dexter

    I love that flamingo shirt! And sushi, hooray! We’d have to get a scary bus or walk to town or Selly Oak to get sushi. Selly Oak is 3 miles, town is 4. Is sushi worth that? Those trees down look alarming, hope everyone was safe.


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