Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc last week as it tore through the East Coast. I had just come back from a trip to Barbados on Sunday night (Oct. 28), and I was lucky because I was the last flight that JFK allowed to come in before this storm hit. I landed at around 8pm, and the winds outside were already picking up. My mayor, the venerable Michael Bloomberg, halted all public transportation in New York City, such as the subways and buses, as of 7pm, to have enough time to prepare for the coming hurricane. I had to take a cab, and since it is always so expensive to get from JFK airport via a cab (>$60, usually), I decided to go straight to my friend’s apartment in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, rather than get stuck in my Brooklyn apartment. I already had everything I needed, basically, since I had just landed, so we decided to make a party out of it. Three of my friends were there, Joseph, Katia, and Bob, and for the next four days, we would be around each other the entire time.

I arrived at my friend’s apartment, and was immediately relieved to see that they had thought of all the essentials:

Hurricane day breakfast – Toast, peanut butter, bananas, covered in maple syrup. *Photo by Katia Slottke.

We ordered dinner, the last time we would be able to get delivery for days. We decided to walk over the Williamsburg Bridge into Brooklyn to try to feel the wrath of the next day’s storm, though the wind was not as strong yet as we thought it was going to be. Arriving back at the apartment, we drank half of our “supplies” before hitting the sack. The next morning, October 29th, was the day that Hurricane Sandy was supposed to hit New York City, scheduled to make landfall sometime in the evening. We got up and made breakfast, using more of our supplies. Work was cancelled for all of us, and most of NYC for that matter, since this storm was still coming. So, after that nutritious breakfast, we all decided to be productive into the afternoon. Laptops were pulled out, and we managed to not talk to each other for a few hours, until it was time for our late hurricane-day lunch:

After our late lunch, the weather outside became visibly evident of impending meteorological chaos, so we started preparing. Phone batteries were charged, we all took showers, and the bathtub was then filled to give us some extra emergency water. Joseph and I found any excuse we could find to go outside in the late afternoon to pick up more supplies, really just so we could feel the strong winds. We left the safety of the 20th-floor digs to hit up the bodega for different items. Katia and Bob prepared pasta for our dinner that night, and some more just in case the power would go out.

Darkness came early, and with it, stronger and louder winds. We did the best we could, so now it was time to wait it out. Joseph and I went outside continuously to experience the growing storm, while the other two were more responsible and stayed inside, for the most part. The winds became so strong on Houston St. that we could fall back during some of the gusts and not really fall, as the wind would hold us upright:

It got darker and darker, though the city lights remained lit through the fog and wind and rain:

Then, as we watched, we all witnessed two big explosions of light to the northeast of us; the power plant had gone. And just like that, all of lower Manhattan, everything below the 30’s had no more power or light:

*Photo by Katia Slottke.

And that was it. We had no more power, and we continued to drink by candlelight and play cards into the wee hours of the morning. The next day, we had breakfast again, one Chobani Greek yogurt each, which would go bad if we left it in the fridge any longer. My boss, who was stranded in LA, called me to go take the company car in to survey the damage at my office in New Jersey, so I took a cab to pick up the keys, and took another cab to pick up the car. When I got there, there was a flat tire, and I decided to drive it to the nearest service station I could find to get it fixed. I went back to the apartment to pick up my friends, who were starting to get cabin fever, and after finding a tire, we were all going to check out New Jersey together.

After schlepping all around Hell’s Kitchen, and tearing the tire further to shreds, we finally found a place that would sell us a used tire and put it on for us. When that was done, we ate a nice warm dinner at a nearby restaurant, where everything was powered like nothing happened, unlike downtown where we were staying. We drove into Jersey, but were met with downed trees and a driving restriction into the town I work in, which I would later find out was due to flooding.

So, we went back and brought the party over to another friend’s apartment, Gian, as he had power there on the Upper West Side. We stayed the night there, and then returned the next day finally to our respective homes. All in all, it was more fun than most other times, and I couldn’t have spent it with better people.

Any photos that are of good quality were probably taken by my good friend, Bob, who allowed me to use them in my article. Bob Leathers is a great photographer who constantly blows my socks off with his random shots, and he has some quite refined tastes in music. Check out his music project’s home page here: The Wandering Musicphile. Some other photos were taken by my other good friends, Katia and Joseph. Any shitty photos are probably mine :)

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