I woke up so excited about the storm this morning that I couldn’t stay in bed. I had to run into the living room so that I could experience it on television. But on television, they were talking about like Delaware and New Jersey, not NYC.
I wanted to know if the rumors I had heard were coming true- would sewage and toxic metals flow through my neighborhood in Brooklyn? Were the wind gusts that sounded like an ordinary rainstorm from my window be much fiercer on the ground? Was the ground flooding in the zones of mandatory evacuation three blocks from my house?
If Frankenmonster took on the personality of a zombie, would it be eating people? That doesn’t make a lick of sense, so I’m going to get back to serious reporting.
Here’s what happened next. I put on my leggings. I put on a t-shirt. I grabbed Caleb’s North Face rain gear, and put that on too. I put on my rain boots. I said, “I’m taking Franke with me.” And Caleb said, “No you are not.” So I put on her ugly jacket (bought before Caleb and I started dating), wrapped her in a tote bag, and then stuck her in the front of my jacket.
“Au revoir,” I said to Caleb, and then walked outside to what was pretty much an ordinary rainy day in Brooklyn.
The weather is unseasonably warm—in the low 60s—and the rain was spatting.
I walked down my street, and over the BQE, which still had some cars on it. Then, I crossed into the red evacuation zone of Red Hook, where everyone has been evacuated.
I turned right on Columbia, and walked toward the piers. The first thing I passed was an annoying guy with a goatee. The second thing I passed was the live poultry market. It seemed as though they had evacuated the chickens.
The streets were pretty empty—some families, dressed in matching rain gear, made their way towards the water, no doubt already stir crazy. Some doorways had sandbags.
When I got to the waterfront, I found the park to be closed. So I walked directly over the barrier, and right up to the water’s edge. The water, I am pleased to announce, was actually coming up onto the pier, but only in this one spot that I took pictures of. Here’s an image with a “clarifying” filter, so you can see what I saw, only not at all.
Otherwise, the water was a few inches below the piers, even though it’s high tide in New York.
I wandered around the park for a few minutes, Franke whining to be set free, myself praying for some kind of epic wind burst so that I had something, anything to write about. Then I ran into a young man who looked like a bath salt smoker—he was carrying a paper bag and he had a finger hanging out of his mouth—and the sight of him gave me zombie apocalypse visions. So I ran towards the barrier, and hopped over it.
He was probably just an ordinary young gentleman waiting to do a drug deal, and I am a paranoid lunatic. Oh and also, by finger, I meant cigarette.
On the strip of land not blocked off by the police were some bored old men looking to start conversations about the weather. Or so I wanted to believe. Above us all, the skyline of Manhattan loomed.
“I’ve seen worse storms in my day,” I proclaimed, in their midst. “Like last week, there was some pretty nasty rain.”
But they all just ignored me.
On the way home, having ascertained that the wind was not strong enough to blow her away (yet), I let Franke walk on the ground.
I wanted to use the photographs of Franke in the leaves to fool you into thinking that New York is so beautiful in the fall! Because in actuality, there are very few leaves on the ground, and those that are are mixed in with garbage.
My final thoughts, before we reached our apartment, were that people who own bodegas are really the bravest people in New York, and everyone else are scardedy-cats. Bodegas NEVER close, no matter the weather (or ethnicity of owners). But wine stores? Those motherfuckers never fucking open in inclement weather. Their owners are like, “Ooooh, my feet are wet, I must stay home and open this nice Bourdeaux and sit with my slippers on listening to NPR.”
Anyway, the final report: The storm is thus far equivalent to an ordinary rainy day. See you out there, Soledad O’Brien.