As the lucky girl I am, my flight to Copenhagen was scheduled to leave on the exact same time that Sandy decided to drop by in NYC. Obviously I didn’t leave anywhere, but instead had the great opportunity of being trapped on Manhattan and witness a disaster event.
I think most people did not really believe in Sandy – or at least, most did not believe that anything bad possibly could happen to them. However, things started to get a little bit more serious when the subway system was shut down on Sunday 7PM, as, well, the subway system is the heart of NYC. If that is shut down the city literally dies out and becomes, what it also indeed did, a hollow ghost town. One thing that didn’t die though – were the supermarket lines. It is amazing that despite the fact that people kept joking about the whole thing, people prepared that we might starve to death. I waited in a line for 20 minutes to get into the shop, and 35 minutes to get out of the shop. Crazy? Yes.
At that point I actually still believed that I would be able to fly out on Monday. Because it seemed way too surreal – the weather was nice, a bit windy, and a “Day after Tomorrow”-situation seemed very unlikely.
However, slowly the panic started to creep around, and people were told to evacuate from certain city zones. On Monday at 2PM Bloomberg announced that the tunnels were being shut down, and I finally realized that I was trapped on Manhattan, waiting for the big girl to come.
Waiting for a disaster is very awkward. Because you don’t really know what exactly you are waiting for. However, to be honest there is a certain perversive excitement about being on the verge of a destructive event. Obviously it is an unhealthy excitement, but so is the excitement of drinking yourself into oblivion, smoking cigarettes and abusing drugs. A Hurricane is like your worst, most destructive binge-drinking weekend, but on a humongous scale. Property damage, frightened loved ones, blackouts, fear – yup, it’s all there.
The best way I figured to handle the whole thing was to drink multiple bottles of good wine, play uno, and listen to Bob Dylan from an old gramophone that happened to be around. At some point during the night I peacefully fell asleep. That night I happened to be so lucky that I was staying in one of the safest areas of the city – the Upper West side. We lost the internet for some time, but as of today, we can still shower and cook food. The worst thing we saw were some cars that got smashed by trees. However, the subway some blocks away was less lucky.
One amazing thing that I really liked was how NYC’ers handled the situation. Despite the fact that we were in an emergency situation, one huge topic was whether Halloween would be cancelled, but, no, it has been postboned and so have many of the Halloween parties. You gotta love NYC. Sandy herself could be followed on Twitter, where she even managed to make some strong political statements during the night: Hurricane Sandy @HurrrcaneSandy 11h. LMFAO YOU THINK I’M BAD? SEE WHAT HAPPENS IF MITT ROMNEY GETS ELECTED.
However, not all were as lucky as I, and have lost their life or homes. My thoughts are with them, and I know that NYC is doing all possible to help them to recover.