Sunday, August 28, 2011

Irene, and post-Irene

Others will say more, and better, about Hurricane Irene and its impact.  I can only speak to my little world of the Upper West Side of Manhattan, especially since the subways have been shut down since yesterday and are likely to stay that way for at least another 24 hours.  Perhaps if the winds that are still whipping die down by tomorrow, I will do my moving about as a bike commuter to travel to other parts of town.

But, first yesterday.  Much was closed, including Joe, my regular coffee source on Columbus.  It seemed a good time to try MUD, which opened up right across the street from Joe, and perhaps would have been a Caffeinated Weekends post, which I am behind on.  It was not to be.  I got in this line, and then a sweet smiling young lady informed me that they were going to close and that the man in front of me was going to be the final customer.  Who can argue with hurricane-panic logic?
So I took a walk over to Riverside Park to see how the Hudson River was doing.  I did a double-take to see a cruise ship pulling out of its midtown pier to start an Atlantic Ocean cruise.  Wait, what?!?  My stomach was churning at the thought of being on that ship, tossing my way into the hurricane.  Wonder how that worked out.
After that, one more trip to the supermarket somehow seemed in order, heeding all media advice and marching in the steps of the other Manhattan lemmings.  I found that the beer aisle had been hit hard.

 So, too, the meat case.
However, herring was plentiful.  (I'm surprised Bloomberg didn't remind us all to stock up on pickled fish, too.)
On the way home, I noticed a number of picture-takers in front of Town Shop.  Again, I wondered?  I'd already gotten my photo op yesterday, I thought.  But, no!  A new sign had been added, echoing the sentiment most Manhattan residents wish their neighborhood cafés, restaurants and bars had also felt. 
Because, man, were we bored yesterday, just wandering up and down Broadway with that glazed look in our eyes.  What would be next?  Were we really ready?  Or was this just busy work for the main event over which we knew we had absolutely no control?

Today, after Irene passed through us, there was more walking, and again, today I was back at Riverside Park, to see what nature can do, as a result of my first hurricane in New York City.  Here is a bit of what I saw:
A watery visitor far from home
A youthful, yet succinct, viewpoint shared by most
Hudson River with actual waves
Dramatic tree damage
Those in other parts of New York City and within the rest of the path of Irene did not fare as well as we did here on the Upper West Side.  And, even so, it was a scary night, filled with pounding rain, loud winds and frightening televised warnings.  I'm grateful for the relative calm of a more typical Sunday evening.

Quelle experience!

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