Sunday, August 28, 2011

Postscript: Hurricane Irene

All is calm, though not bright, this afternoon in Spanish Harlem. It's gloomily overcast, breezy, but dry. There's a lovely quiet, as the Metro North trains aren't up and running under my windows. The streets are still empty of cars and people. My hope is that everyone got so caught up in playing Monopoly or gin rummy with their families - or actually holding meaningful conversations (shock, horror!) - that they've forgotten to emerge from their apartment buildings.

I could tell you that I sat up all night, monitoring Hurricane Irene, watching the wind and rain do its best - or worst - to stir up trouble. I won't, though. Truth is, I slept through the whole thing. I went to bed around 1pm and didn't wake up until 9:30. Must've needed the sleep. So no Irene war-stories for you, dear readers. Sorry.

No broken windows. No lost power/water. I don't even see much debris on the streets.

Perhaps it was a Chicken Little response by New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, imposing mandatory evacuations and preparing for the worst. However, the devastation that could have taken place if Irene had hit at the right spot and the right strength would have been catastrophic. It's a gamble either way. That said, the local media was way over the top, even if the event had proved apocalyptic. Alas, it was ever thus.

I like to think it proved that New Yorkers can make rational decisions, prepare for potential chaos in an orderly fashion, and follow directions. These are traits not often attributed to New Yorkers, so a collective pat on the back for your solid reason and lack of panic, fellow citizens.

My favorite Mayor Bloomberg moment was when he was asked if preparations were in place to handle looters. He gave the questioner a sort of puzzled, but cock-sure, look and replied, "New Yorkers don't loot. That's not what we do nowadays." Yes, leave that to the likes of Londoners, Los Angelenos, and New Orleansters. It was then I realized that the main qualification of being mayor of New York is that core cock-sureness in New York City and its citizens. Thank you for having such faith in us, Mr. Mayor. (And I hope we would've lived up to your expectations re: looting.)

Now, back to normal. Goodnight Irene, thank you very much.


Carey said...

Glad to hear everything is okay! We've been thinking about you and hoping all would be well! My favorite thing about NY Mayor news conferences is that the Mayor always appears with all the city's top brass in the background, and they always have these grumpy "You better do what this guy says" expressions on their faces. Ironically, it always reminds me of a mob boss surrounded by his enforcers!

MaryB said...

Carey - Yeah, I know. Even funnier was Bloomberg's insistence on doing his own Spanish versions of his news conferences. Hilarious gringo Spanish. On the fence on whether I admire his personal attempt or whether he would've done a better service to the intended audience if he'd've let a real Spanish speaker do the interpretation. ah, well.

Joy Des Jardins said...

Hey, I can do without the Hurricane Irene war stories Mary. The main thing is that you're fine. Maybe things got blown a little out of proportion...but I'm sure everyone was thinking..."Not another way." All was well with my daughter in NJ too. She was the ONLY house in her area that didn't lose electricity or have a flooded grateful with a houseful of nine people at the time. Everyone helped out...pretty much back to normal now....or close. ~Joy

MaryB said...

Joy - glad your daughter didn't have flood damage or lose power. At least I'm prepared for the next weather catastrophe.

Liz said...

Glad you were safe. I slept through the Great Winds of 1987 when a tree fell down across the road outside our bedroom ...