We got our power back at 7:30 last night. I was actually writing my previous post (Sandy IX) in a deli while it happened. Oh well, missed the moment. We did have the salmon and shrimp and then played Scrabble by candlelight – and waxed nostalgic over the recent dark days.
Two blocks below Stock Exchange, October 29
I read The New York Timeson-line later, and there are a lot of depressing numbers: casualties, those without power, percentage of operational gas stations, etc. It’s overwhelming. Here are my numbers, hopefully a little less daunting: 95 hours without power; 264 floors (ascended & descended) for Biba walks; 7 locations visited for connecting/powering up; 5 meetings cancelled; 3 buildings sighted with full power and no occupants throughout the week; 3 movies viewed (at $27 per visit!); 2 Negronis consumed ($12 per); 1 new bike lock purchased ($119!)…and 10 blogs posted. (By the way, the number of floors for Biba walks does not compare to people we were told about who lived on the 53rd and walked their dog three times a day. They eventually moved to a hotel.)
World Trade One: Power returned
It was still dark to the east and south of us; not everyone around here has their power back just yet. I took Biba out for her late-night walk before going to bed. The elevator is a marvelous thing.
Last night was very good. We learned that Battery Park City had power, and so we went to see Ben Affleck’s Argos. We got there an hour early and sat in the deserted corridor, eating candy – Sours, Skittles, and Peanut M&Ms – all terrible and good. The credits from the previous showing were still rolling when we moved into the theater, after which we listened to Taylor Swift explain her new song Red: “It’s an interesting color because it represents so many emotions: love, obsession, jealousy and anger.” There were previews for so many films for which I suddenly became very excited Gangster Squad, Lincoln and Flight. I’m going to see them all. The opening of Argos was great, laid out in a storyboard, and there were some good moments throughout, including some Canadian-proud moments with Ken Taylor and sharp lines delivered by Alan Arkin. Since it was Halloween, we decided to search out a bar in candlelight. The streets were completely dark, eerie, almost threatening. We turned home only to happen upon Ward III, exactly what we had hoped for: candlelit, like-minded people huddled in the dark and cold drinks.
Narragansett beer and a Negroni
We walked home under the full moon. I read over the New York Post‘s coverage in bed: Despair. The stories were all just that, not a good read before going to sleep. The next morning was clear and crisp. I carried Biba out for her morning tour. The tree was off the car. The pumps were gushing everywhere. We went to the Dog Run, which was empty; Biba was sad about that. A taxi passed by with the thickly-bearded driver gesticulating dramatically, indicating the surge flooding over the seawall to his passengers, three very big men, suited and earnest, in the back. It was a beautiful scene, to be honest, and I got stupidly emotional until I got to the bypass to the Battery Tunnel (still flooded) and was yelled at by a very grumpy policeman. A barge has arrived at Battery Park, I don’t know what for, but it’s the kind of thing that impressive machines come out of. I came home to a wonderful breakfast of cheese, bread, asparagus, tuna and kiwis before returning to Battery Park City for the charge up and connection time. We stopped at a deli – for matches, paper plates, batteries and a pesto sauce – and the woman serving us was gruff; she threw a couple of packs of matches into the bag and said she had no batteries. And then she suddenly realized we were from the ‘dark city’ (as cited by today’s New York Times) and dropped another handful of match packs in and asked her delivery guy to check all of the boxes for D batteries. They didn’t have them. And her manner never changed. She didn’t even acknowledge our thank you. But there her sudden awareness and desire to help was most touching. It wasn’t a show. It wasn’t an automated email, asking if I was doing well. It was something she consciously did. I thought about that and got all emotional when we arrived at the World Financial Center; we found a spot under the escalator. A cleaning man came by and said I wasn’t supposed to be there, but he said not to bother moving. “I didn’t see you.” And he left. And I wrote about all of this, until I was kicked out by security and moved on to Cosi, which is most accommodating – flatbread pizza, kind people, plugs and connectivity – and, yes, I got all emotional about that too. Maybe I need more sleep.