News / USA

After Sandy, New Yorkers Give Holiday Thanks

Like many New Yorkers, Rashawn Austin feels renewed gratitude for family, shelter and other blessings this Thanksgiving in the wake of Hurricane Sandy's devastation. (VOA/A. Phillips)
Like many New Yorkers, Rashawn Austin feels renewed gratitude for family, shelter and other blessings this Thanksgiving in the wake of Hurricane Sandy's devastation. (VOA/A. Phillips)
Adam Phillips
This year's Thanksgiving holiday falls just three weeks after Hurricane Sandy battered New York City, leaving thousands homeless or displaced.

Rashawn Austin’s neighborhood was relatively unscathed but loved ones elsewhere in the city weren’t so lucky. For her, the awareness of insecurity and blessing are paired this year. 

“A friend of mine sent me a photo of a spot where we used to sit at Long Beach maybe three months ago. The spot is completely gone," Austin says. "I think this year a lot of people are probably looking at the fact … that I am actually sitting with my family and we are all healthy and everything is good…. You know, in spite of everything… it’s a positive thing.”

Among the travelers packing the city's bustling Pennsylvania Station is Sandra, an out-of-towner on her way to catch a train home. She and three women friends came to the city without careful planning. She's thankful they survived some unexpected adventures getting here. 

Preparing to board their train home, out-of-towners Sandy (second from right) and her friends are grateful they survived their unexpected adventures in New York. (VOA/A. Phillips)Preparing to board their train home, out-of-towners Sandy (second from right) and her friends are grateful they survived their unexpected adventures in New York. (VOA/A. Phillips)
x
Preparing to board their train home, out-of-towners Sandy (second from right) and her friends are grateful they survived their unexpected adventures in New York. (VOA/A. Phillips)
Preparing to board their train home, out-of-towners Sandy (second from right) and her friends are grateful they survived their unexpected adventures in New York. (VOA/A. Phillips)
"We rode in on Amtrak and we got dumped out in the middle of nowhere. Had no idea what we were doing," Sandra says. "We had never ridden the train and we were just looking around trying to follow the herd with all of our luggage. But we made it out of the train tracks, went out and got a taxi, rolled to our hotel, and once we got our bearings, we just rocked this city."

Up in Central Park, Jeff is having a ball listening to an ad hoc drum circle. He is thankful to be back in his hometown after 20 years out west.      

“And this Thanksgiving I am grateful for my beautiful healthy family that I am here traveling in New York City with," Jeff says. "We’ve been in Los Angeles 20 years, and we’re excited to show the kids the city and the fall and we’re having a great time.”

Jeff’s 10-year-old daughter has things she's thankful for as well.

"My family, because they keep me safe," she says, "and they make me feel special."
After Sandy, New Yorkers Give Holiday Thanks
After Sandy, New Yorkers Give Holiday Thanksi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

At a popular sidewalk café uptown, New Yorker Jeff Ellenberger expresses similar feelings.   

“I am very grateful for friends who have put out helping hands in times of stress.  I came in here and was in a very dark mood and in 10 minutes this guy had me going again.”

“This guy” is Bob Mills, who is thankful he left a dangerous drinking habit behind.  

“I am grateful this year to be sober," Mills says. "I am sober 26 years and to have redeemed my life through 12 step programs and fellowship. The people I love. The love I can give. My health.”
After brushes with the law, street cleaner Rafael Romero is grateful to have a new start in life. (VOA/A. Phillips)After brushes with the law, street cleaner Rafael Romero is grateful to have a new start in life. (VOA/A. Phillips)
x
After brushes with the law, street cleaner Rafael Romero is grateful to have a new start in life. (VOA/A. Phillips)
After brushes with the law, street cleaner Rafael Romero is grateful to have a new start in life. (VOA/A. Phillips)

It is new-found freedom, following a prison term for selling illegal drugs, that has Rafael Romero feeling grateful this Thanksgiving. He's now a street cleaner proudly working for an honest wage.

“I am grateful for just being home and being able to start a new life. Being happy and not having to look over my shoulder," Romero says. "I am happy that I am being a different person, changed, and I am just looking for a new beginning."

Liburna Deva came to New York from Kosovo to pursue a graduate degree. She also hopes for success in life, and, like many, is grateful to America for giving her a shot at her dreams. 

“It’s unbelievable that I am here for only three years and I can call this place home," Deva says. "That’s what America does to you and I am grateful for that. A lot. Yes, it’s going to a good Thanksgiving, a lot to be thankful for.”

Some of the thoughts of gratitude that Americans will be digesting, along with their turkey and trimmings, this Thursday, Nov. 22, Thanksgiving 2012.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violencei
X
Lenny Ruvaga
November 27, 2014 7:05 PM
The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid