The Generators: Excerpt from “The Ark”

From the opening chapter of The Ark, Dee takes Apollo out for a walk after Hurricane Sandy:

I took Apollo out toward Broadway. A threatening row of generators, inert grey metal boxes the size of trucks, lined the streets, steel bars and locks, red electric bolts along the rusted edges, thick cables and tubes clumped out across the sidewalk, into doorways, droning fierce metal on metal. IMAG1702A misery came into me, a weighty nothing, the tininess in my head gone. I was worthless. I knew that. It wasn’t just death, the meaningless of that, my stupid realization of my impending deterioration, but the clear pathetic thud of utter meaninglessness. IMAG1579It was this street, this fleeting attempt against the waters taking everything back, the cables and machines, the buildings and walls, huddled in the sharp early light, waiting for the inevitable next. IMAG2357Apollo pulled hard to the garbage truck and pissed.

New York Snow Storm: Anxiety Rules

There is no doubting that it snowed in the city. IMAG2370IMAG2379IMAG2374But it was just a snow storm, not a blizzard. IMAG2381IMAG2394IMAG2384Many in the city remain on edge about storms – storm alerts, panic buying, empty subways – given the fact that the last one was much worse than most expected.

Store opening - 101 days after Hurricane Sandy

Store re-opening – 101 days after Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy Cleanup: Sag Harbor

Some 25 trees were knocked down by Hurricane Sandy near our house. IMAG1774Three months later, with a little help from my friends, I’ve managed to finally fell, cut, split and pile it – a full five cords – for the winter. IMAG2292

I look forward to the many fires to come.Phone 160

Maiden Lane, Manhattan: 10 Weeks after Hurricane Sandy

The television cameras recently returned to the pier at the foot of Maiden Lane in Manhattan. IMAG2124This wasn’t for news on Hurricane Sandy, but a ferry accident in which 90 people were injured. manhattan ferryIt has now been over ten weeks since Hurricane Sandy, and this part of Manhattan, around Maiden Lane, remains much the same. IMAG2117The external generators and boilers are still in the streets. IMAG2115Many of the businesses remain closed. IMAG2120Yes, the Toyota Prius was removed, but it was just replaced by another external generator.

December 8, 2012

December 8, 2012

January 10, 2013

January 10, 2013

Now I am keeping watch on a pair of delivery bicycles which have been chained to the same spot since the storm.

November 15, 2012

November 15, 2012

January 10, 2013

January 10, 2013

It will be odd when all of these things are finally removed…by thieves or the city.

Christmas Card…with a stinger

I wish you a Merry Christmas. I wish you merry Christmas. I wish you a Merry Christmas. And a Happy New Year. 

Moon and World Trade Lit as a Christmas Tree

Moon and World Trade Centre lit as a Christmas Tree

Good tidings I bring to you and your kin.  Good tidings for Christmas. And a Happy New Year.

Construction Boots as Mistletoe

Construction Boots as Mistletoe

Bring me some figgy pudding. Oh bring me some figgy pudding. Oh bring me some figgy pudding. And a cup of good cheer.

Man Sleeping in Brooklyn Bridge Subway on Christmas Eve

Man Sleeping in Brooklyn Bridge Subway on Christmas Eve

I won’t go until I get some. So bring some out here. Good tidings I bring to you and your kin. Good tidings for Christmas. And a Happy New Year.

Empire State Building as Rudolph the Red-Nosed reindeer

Empire State Building as Rudolph the Red-Nosed reindeer

Prius Update: 44 Days after Hurricane Sandy

The Toyota Prius remains on Maiden Lane, 44 days after Hurricane Sandy.

December 11 – 44 days after Hurricane Sandy

The signs say it should move. But it won’t until the generators and boilers are gone too.

Prius hides three cars back.

And that doesn’t look like it’s happening any time soon.

Fueling up the generators

But Christmas is coming. Shouldn’t it be decorated or something? Some red and a wreath perhaps? We’ll see.

Wolf Leaves; Prius Stays

The Wolf of Wall Street was only on Maiden Lane for one day – Tuesday, November 27.

Mr. DiCaprio will be elsewhere.

Whether that was their initial plan or it was due to the lack of power and excess of damage, there will be no DiCaprio sightings here. Meanwhile, 33 days after Hurricane Sandy, the generators and fuel trucks remain,

Fuel delivery on Maiden Lane

as does the Prius.

Prius on Maiden – 33 days after Hurricane Sandy

It is as smashed up and dilapidated as ever…but it is still there, and with a message.Leaving us to wonder how exactly ‘off’ does it mean?

One Month After Sandy – Closed for Business

It’s one month after Hurricane Sandy, and much of downtown Manhattan seems to be getting back to normal…except for the stores near the East River. The water damage has yet to be resolved for many of the businesses on the last three blocks of Maiden Lane (below Gold Street). Some of the signs are professionally printed.

Flowers of the World

Others are not.

First Republic Bank

Others have no sign at all…but the message is still clear.

Au Bon Pain

One business is open because of major external support.It is a little sad with so much shut down like this. Hopefully the city will do what it can to get things back to normal.

Holiday Star at the Federal Reserve.

At least that’s a start.

Hurricane Sandy in The Hamptons

Hurricane Sandy’s devastating effects have been well documented in New York City and the surrounding environs. The New York Times published a fascinating map on the flooded areas just today. But Hurricane Sandy’s damage is even more far-reaching, as it goes all across Long Island, to the Hamptons and beyond.

Flying Point Beach, Southampton, October 13, 2012 (Two weeks before Hurricane Sandy)

Flying Point Beach in Southampton, shown above, had been some 40-50 yards wide, all of it long and flat. It has since been pushed back at least 30 of those yards, right up into the dunes in parts. It has torn out fencing and grassroots, leaving behind a dark black residue. And while the ocean still breaks at the same edge, the water now flows across a wide shallows where there once was sand. There are also hundreds of trees down all over the region There is a certain beauty to all of this, even if it’s broken scattered, or just detritus. But even if it isn’t appreciated by all, as they say, life does go on. 

Prius on Maiden

I took Biba out for her morning walk the day after Hurricane Sandy. We found this car on Maiden Lane just below Pearl Street, a Toyota Prius, most unfortunately parked.

October 30 – One day after Hurricane Sandy

I didn’t think much about it except that I would hate to have found my car hit by one of the few trees in Downtown Manhattan. I imagined the owner was still in his apartment, calling his family, telling them that he was all right.

Biba and I came down Maiden Lane again the following morning; the car was still there.

October 31 – Two days after Sandy

I thought about how it would almost be worse to see the smashed hood and windshield without the tree still on it. I thought that the owner – let’s call him Tim – had probably come down to find it, cursed, and gone uptown to power his computer and email pictures of his afflicted Prius to the family. They could forward them to the insurance company for him.

A day later, three days after the storm, and the car was still there.

November 1 – Three days after

I figured that Tim had realized that there was nothing he could do about this and decided to deal with everything else first – water, power, food. If the city towed it, so much the better.

One week later, a day after the Nor’easter, the Prius was unmoved.

Tim had probably left town to get away from everything. Maybe he had got a ride with his girlfriend to her parents’ place in Virginia. He could have a proper shower there, sleep, and forget about all of this. That made sense.

Days turned into a week and then some; nineteen days in all; the Prius remained..

November 17 – Nineteen days after Sandy

Did Tim leave New York altogether? Was he not coming back? Was he that upset about it? Was it even Tim’s car? Or had he borrowed it from his girlfriend without asking and now he couldn’t admit it? Had he abandoned it just to get out of a lie? Didn’t he realize that the police would tow it eventually, and she would find out then?

November 18 – Twenty days after Sandy

No, he didn’t realize that. He was leaving it here. He didn’t care. He didn’t really love her anyway. It wasn’t worth the hassle. At least he had had those few good warm days in Virginia. The truth was that he had never even liked her or her Prius that much. I mean where had all of this environmentalism gotten him in the end? It had got him here. He had always dreamed of something else, something exotic and incredible. The Mercedes Sedan CLS…now that was a car!

Mercedes Benz CLS

He knew that he could really love that. (Poor Tim.)