|National Guard in Hoboken|
As Simons was dispatched on recovery efforts that also included organizing supplies for an emergency shelter in Hoboken's Wallace Primary School No. 6, she was acutely aware of Wall Street's negative reputation, and even for criticisms levied against Goldman Sachs ( GS) in the wake of Sandy, after lights remained on at the bank's Lower Manhattan headquarters amid blackouts across the area and a power crisis at downtown hospitals NYU and Bellevue. On a bus of volunteers to help in door-to-door recovery efforts, Simons said she heard "ridiculous comments" about Goldman's energy situation and the industry generally -- on Tuesday the bank took to Twitter to offer its emergency power to Lower Manhattan residents -- and thought, "little did they know here I am volunteering with them." She saw little distinction between what's known as Wall Street and Greater New York, referring to the financial sector as lifeblood for the local economy. Like Hell's Kitchen, the Upper East Side and other parts of New York, Hoboken, with its easy access to Midtown and Wall Street, is considered a hamlet for up-and-coming bankers and traders like Simons. Simons said a Hoboken friend working at real estate investment specialist Cohen & Steers ( CNS) had put up 10 residents in his apartment as of Wednesday, and was offering cell phone power charges and Internet to residents without electricity. She was also aware of people with finance jobs at the likes of Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ), who were lending Hoboken a helping hand on Wednesday.
In the New York area, Hurricane Sandy has split those with basic services like power and water from those who remain mostly in the dark. On Thursday, Simons says she will try to press those at Barclays' U.S. headquarters in Midtown who, like her, are in good shape to volunteer time or resources to Hoboken's recovery. "You go to Hoboken and there are army trucks. It's totally different," Simons said of the difference a commute across the Hudson River makes.