I hesitate in the middle of a big storm to mention clouds, much less silver linings.
But, as some limited compensation, these terrible situations can bring out the “friendly” in people.
Often in New York City, casual acquaintances (meaning the people you live near for years) nod (at most). But yesterday, in Battery Park City (an evacuation zone), everyone in my laundry room, on the esplanade, or waiting interminably for the elevators, actually talked. The big topic – whether or not they were leaving.
If they were leaving, they talked of a friend somewhere; if they were not leaving, they talked about how difficult it had been last year (during Irene) staying with a friend somewhere.
Dogs seemed to be a particular problem at friend’s apartments during hurricanes.
One guy (who was not leaving) explained that the brick he carried into the elevator was to be put in his water-filled bathtub. (I never quite understood what the brick was supposed to do, but I did learn exactly which building site to go to to get my own.)
I personally had very mixed feelings about leaving. Our building–as many stayers pointed out–is concrete. Additionally, I’d bought a ton of food. (Bottled water, I was to learn later, is extremely heavy.)
That said, if you wanted to leave by subway, you had to get out before 7.
So now, I am up in Harlem (a far higher area of the City). And people have been super kind – helping us unwedge the suitcase (with all those bottles) from the subway stairs, retrieving my necklace (from the subway platform) when my own unwedging efforts caused it to fall off.
And, although, I know there are difficult things going on – flooding down in BPC and a horrible crane dangling on 56th street–it’s been calm enough here that we could, at one point this morning, walk over to a nearby community garden, taking wet garbage for its composting operation.
Soil, I guess, goes on.
(Regardless of Sandy.)
PS – I was a bit irritated waking up this morning that we’d left BPC – the weather had been so calm at that point- but then I read about the flooding and, in the end, I really do urge people to listen to the authorities. Terrible to make the lives of first responders worse in an already difficult situation. That said, I know I’m super lucky to have a place to go, warm, dry, and with people I love (who compost.) Good luck to all.