On Monday, October 29, Hurricane Sandy devastated New York and the surrounding areas. My thoughts today are with those who lost loved ones or their homes in this storm.I decided to stay with my parents in Manhattan rather than in New Jersey where above-ground powerlines would be pulled down by falling trees. This turned out to be a good decision as Upper Manhattan emerged relatively unscathed while New Jersey, including my house, has lost power and bore the brunt of the weather. Monday evening we watched across the Hudson River as bursts of blue light filled the sky (when transformers shorted) and chunk by chunk sections of of New Jersey went entirely black. The lights that have lined the view everynight of my life in this house simply went dark as far as I could see (up to the George Washington Bridge). The wind came from the East, lending an eerie calm to the evening since my parents’ river-facing windows usually scream, howl, moan and shake during storms.
Since that evening, the sidewalks in Upper Manhattan are packed. Restaraunts are open and filled to capacity. The city is suddenly entirely local. Local businesses are the open ones, neighbors are the only people who can visit, and the borders of the city extend only as far as you can walk. Brooklyn may as well be as far as Iowa.
Partial service has been restored to public transportation and today no cars are allowed to enter the city with fewer than three people inside. Yesterday the streets were gridlocked to the horizon as people who normally take the train tried to drive instead.
I’m not going to post a letter today but here are some photos and a link to a new subway map unlike any I have every seen. Trains are allowed to go downtown only as far as 42nd street and lower Manhattan, which has literally been submerged, remains in darkness and it’s subways lines have disappeared from the map.
I hope everyone remains safe with their families during the aftermath of this storm. Please, be careful.