As journalists, we at Architectural Record are by nature outside observers–writers and editors who consider the content of the magazine as objectively as possible. But a month ago, all of us who work here in New York City were caught up in the enormous and disturbing story of Hurricane Sandy. Awaiting the storm on a Monday, with offices and schools shut, and the transit system–the lifeblood of the city–closed, we each hunkered down at home, staying connected through the Internet, posting on our website, and working on the issue of the magazine you're now reading. When Sandy hit, many of us watched the same terrifying television footage everyone saw around the globe: rising waters, cars floating in the streets like bath toys, surging rivers rushing into the tunnels that link the island of Manhattan to the rest of the world–a great city brought to its knees by nature.
The aftermath left us shaken, as the death toll rose (more than 85 lives lost in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) and the damage was assessed (upwards of $50 billion). We returned to record's Midtown Manhattan office, some of us traveling hours by car or bus for what is ordinarily a short commute–and some of us leaving at night for a home without light or heat. But we are fortunate. Tens of thousands were still without power weeks later, and thousands more were left homeless.