Sandy, Day 1

As I write these words, the lights have flickered for a moment, but are staying on.  Cable TV went out about 15 minutes ago; I have a pocket Internet hot spot that enables me to write this post.  The wind is blowing hard outside, but there has been relatively little rain.  It’s close to high tide, and the maximum storm surge that it’s supposed to bring.  That’s more of a concern than the rain and the wind, and if that’s peaking now, it’s one less thing to worry about.

At about 8:00 this morning, I went out to the Gowanus Canal, my handy spot for measuring storm surge.  A couple of taxis passed me on the street: I could have gone to work today!  The water was about five feet over its normal high tide, about the same as when Irene hit last year.

For the last month or so, I’ve been dreaming of roast chicken, one of the few dishes I know how to make, but haven’t had the time for this fall.  Today was the day: I prepared the chicken, threw it in the oven, and realized: if I want to have a really nice lunch, we need a bottle of wine.

Going out at 11:00 a.m., the weather felt like an ordinary autumn storm.  The sky was grey and the wind was blowing the drizzle into my face, but it wasn’t really raining.  The liquor store in my neighborhood was doing a brisk business at what I’m sure is normally a relatively slow time.  Usually, we have festive lunches at Thanksgiving and Christmas, so now I’m prepared for the holidays.

We all enjoyed the roast chicken, and then I nodded off for a while.  Later in the day, I went for a brief walk with my wife.  The wind was stronger and it was now really raining, but still more wind than rain.  The liquor store was closed for the day, but a little grocery store was open.  My wife wanted some strawberries, which they had.  And as we passed the Chinese restaurant near our apartment, we saw a guy head off on his bike to make a delivery.  Indeed we saw more bicycles than cars out on the street.

The news was nonstop Sandy reports.  A crane atop a building at 57th Street had collapsed; coastal areas were very soggy; Governor Christie of New Jersey, looking like a plumber in a running suit embroidered with ‘Chris Christie, Governor,’ berated the people who had disregarded mandatory evacuation orders, and the mayor of Atlantic City, who had opened shelters in public buildings that were subject to flooding.  He looked ready to send people to bed without their supper.  There would be no rescues, he said, until daybreak tomorrow.

So now I think I’ll watch a movie….

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