What was your Hurricane Irene experience like? Thankfully, we didn’t feel her effects here in New York as much as the worst case scenario predicted.

Except for the Whole Foods in Tribeca.

The entire subway system was shut down at noon on Saturday. I believe the last time that happened was 9.11. Before the subway system shut down (and most of the city shut down along with it), I ran out Friday night to see One Day and get my Shake Shack on. Of course I loved One Day. David Nicholls writing the screenplay was a treat. The book leapt off the screen. And even though seeing every day from the book in the film was a thing of beauty, perhaps the film would have captured more of the book’s magic by focusing in depth on only a few days instead of showing them all. People who didn’t read the book couldn’t really experience the same impact during some of the shorter glimpses. But since I spazzed out over the book, I had so much fun filling in the blanks each year. Recommended viewing for sure.

I knew that I probably wouldn’t be going out on Saturday and I definitely wouldn’t be going out on Sunday, so I stopped by the Whole Foods in Tribeca on my way home to stock up. Good thing I’d already gotten extra water. Whole Foods looked like it had already been hit by the hurricane. The entire water aisle was empty. The entire bread aisle was empty. Last time I saw anything like that was 9.11. There were announcements about how Whole Foods was staying open all night until 9:00 a.m. the next morning, then closing until Monday. It made me wonder who would go there at 4:00 a.m. and what there would be left to get. I couldn’t even score a grape. But I did manage some Popchips and 365 popcorn among other essentials. And a slice of carrot cake. What can I say? People were in full-on panic mode and it was stressing me out and when I’m stressed I want cake.

Part of the reason that particular Whole Foods was crazy Friday night was that it was right next to Battery Park City, one of the mandatory evacuation areas. There are some gorgeous buildings in that neighborhood. They have amazing views. But the last place I’d want to be with a hurricane headed my way is staring out of a floor-to-ceiling window on the 32nd floor of my apartment building. You could tell a bunch of people stayed. When I was leaving Whole Foods, I saw tons of crates of water stacked up near the door with delivery tags.

What was my evacuation plan? I wasn’t in a mandatory evac zone, so my evacuation plan was no evacuation plan. I did not survive 9.11 to be bested by some wind/rain.

One reason I don’t have a TV is that the media can be ridiculous. The news whipped people into such a frenzy of panic I wanted to bust out my Save the Drama for Your Mama tee I used to wear when I was teaching and messenger it over to Fox News. As a former meteorology teacher, I have two recommendations for media when dealing with future severe weather:

1. Chill the eff out.

2. Take five minutes to explain the science of hurricanes.

Seriously. Did any of them explain that once a hurricane touches down, it begins to lose energy? Or that hurricanes derive energy from warm ocean water, at least 80 F? Or that by the time Hurricane Irene arrived in New York she would be a tropical storm, so as long as we stayed in out of the wind and avoided getting smacked with a tree branch or a flying patio chair some genius in that penthouse didn’t take in, we would not die? Not from what I heard. Way to freak everyone out, news.

There is a positive side to everything. The positive side of storm aftermath is this gorgeous weather we’ll be having all week. Storms bring down particulate matter in the atmosphere, resulting in a hugely decreased amount of condensation nuclei so that clouds can’t form. Storms are like atmospheric cleansing. So we’re having the best summer breeze ever. Another positive note? My windows have now been washed.

If you’re in want of more good news, check out the Good News Network. All good news, all the time. A refreshing antidote to the media frenzy huffufle!


11 thoughts on “aftermath

  1. It was a tropical storm when it hit NY but it was still a Cat1 when it hit NJ. The frenzy helped get people to evacuate I’n sure. For the rest that didn’t or do something lacking I’n common sense like exploring the water and being knocked down… It’s my dad at PSE&G and my cousin I’n the National Guard that are risking their lives to rescue and restore power.

    • That is an excellent point about people going out when they should have stayed in. So many storm chasers and thrill seekers feel the need to be out in the middle of severe weather. That’s one reason why I wish the media would be more informative. In this case, they should have let people know that most deaths and injuries related to hurricanes happen to people who go OUT in the storm instead of taking safety measures at home.

      I hope your dad and cousin stay safe! My Gramp worked for PSE&G, too.

    • People were freaking out here by Friday night! You couldn’t find water anywhere. And I heard no one was out Saturday or Sunday. The subways shutting down played a major part in keeping people home. This whole city runs on them.

  2. I haven’t read One Day, but I’m interested in seeing the movie. What did you think of Anne Hathaway’s British accent? I’m not an expert on accents and based on the movie trailer, I didn’t think her accent sounded that bad, but she seems to be receiving a lot of flak for it. From Entertainment Weekly:

    I admit that I’m one of those people who gets freaked out when the media goes bonkers on reporting bad news. Sometimes I have to remind myself to chill the eff out, too.

    This is off topic, but which Quorn products do you recommend a newbie try? Have you ever had Gardein products?

    • The thing with Anne’s accent is that it sometimes suddenly became Scottish or Irish. There was one scene where her accent was so different I had to lean over to my friend and go, “Um…” But most of the time it was okay.

      The Quorn nuggets and patties are deliciousness in a box. You can really start with any that look most appealing to you – they’re all yum!

  3. I just started reading One Day yesterday, and I’m only at 1992 but I already love it. I especially love how Nicholls bases every thing on time — that one day of each year. It reminds me of The Time Traveler’s Wife, a book I absolutely loved. πŸ™‚


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