August 27, 2011

The Calm Before the Hurricane

Columbus Avenue Facing South

Hello from New York City where citizens are bracing for the arrival of a rather unwanted guest - Hurricane Irene - the first hurricane predicted to hit the area since Hurricane Gloria in 1985. Officials are taking this storm VERY seriously with Mayor Bloomberg taking the unprecedented step of shutting down all public transportation effective at noon on Saturday and ordering the evacuation of people living in low lying areas along the waterfront.

I must admit that I did not pay the impending storm much attention until yesterday when I thought it was time to stock up my fridge and larder and was confronted with long lines and some empty shelves at the market. Then came the news reports of gas stations running out of gas and the airports planning to shut down at noon today and the threat became much more real.

This morning broke cloudy and quite humid and I thought it would be a good idea to head out and pick up a few more supplies before the storm hit. My neighborhood, usually teeming with activity on a Saturday morning was like a ghost town! All the shops and restaurants were either closed or getting ready to shut for the next two days and sand bags and plastic sheeting was the order of the day. Even the fancy new Apple Store, a magnificent glass structure, was sealed up tight not to open until Monday at 9.

Of course, supermarkets, convenience stores and wine shops were doing land office business with lines extending out the doors! I quickly accomplished my errands, took a few photos and made it home just as the first deluge hit at 11 AM.

Now I am tucked up in my apartment with a full refrigerator, lots of candles and a flashlight and a few indoor projects to work on - providing we still have power! I am watching the news flashes from coastal North Carolina where Hurricane Irene has come ashore and looks like she is heading directly up to Manhattan. It is an eerie feeling to be waiting for the onslaught of wind and rain but a bit of an adventure as well. Let's keep our fingers crossed that there is a minimum of damage and I will report back soon.

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