A hurricane in NYC – let’s be real, I didn’t believe for a second that Sandy would affect me. Despite my disbelief, I went out on that Sunday morning to stock up on some food. Two days later, I was kicking myself for only purchasing strawberry pop-tarts, cheese Pringles, pretzel and cheese snacks, and bags of chips. It was fairly late in the evening Monday when she came. It was dark and quiet, but then came a loud whistling sound that wouldn’t go away. The wind was picking up speed and smashing into our windows. It was louder than any wind in Kent, that’s for sure. But the wind wasn’t what I had been waiting on. Where was all the rain? That’s what I was expecting. Some tumultuous thunderstorm, not just wind. There were sirens and lights going up and down our street for quite some time, but none of us knew why. It turns out the entire facade of a building down the street had fallen off! At one point our lights flickered and my heart stopped, but then it was back to living our normal Monday evening routine. A little while later I sat down on the couch to watch a movie. As soon as I got comfortable – BAM! – no lights. No flicker of electricity, no loud explosion, just utter darkness. My roommates and I were instantly bored. After all, we are part of a generation that constantly needs to be entertained. We decided on playing Apples to Apples by candlelight. Again, let me reiterate the fact that we thought Hurricane Sandy was a joke, so we only had one candle. One smell good candle, zero flashlights. Yeah, we should have listened. We finally went to bed because there was nothing else to do and it was so dark.
The view from my bedroom window
We woke up Tuesday morning and decided to go on a walk around our neighborhood to see what was going on. There were no lights for miles. I’ve never seen the place so quiet and dark. We walked and walked and walked and found not one place with electricity. We went and saw the building that had fallen apart; it was crazy! Then we headed back to apartment to sit in the dark. It never really rained nor did we ever see water in our part of town though, which is crazy considering so many parts of the city were flooded and we aren’t far from the Chelsea Piers. After hours of sitting around on Tuesday, we played 20 questions around the candle that night. And back to bed it was. Looking out our bedroom window was something I never expected to see. Darkness everywhere. No lights except for the police cars passing by every ten minutes or so. Only the flickering of candles and shadows in the nearby buildings. To see the NYC sky so dark is in a way pretty neat though. How often does that actually happen?
The building down the street
I think the worst part about the hurricane was not having any cells service, although not being able to ride the subway was right up there with it. No social media, no texting, no phone calls, no emailing. I felt so disconnected from the rest of the world which is somewhat pathetic, I know. I did go outside one night to call home. To say it was really dark would be an understatement. People were walking around with flashlights and there were police officers on every corner. Places like Barney’s were being looted, and the amount of graffiti artists that came out in this time of turmoil was unbelievable. School was cancelled for the entire week and I didn’t intern either. On Wednesday, which happened to be the worst Halloween of my life, we went out in search of some lunch and electricity so we could charge our phones and laptops. We had to walk all the way to 27th street before we found anything, and it was probably more crowded than Times Square. There was no way were going to find any empty plugs. We even had to eat our Panera sitting in the cold outside of a hotel! We gave up on the search and headed home for the night, even though our apartment was absolutely freezing. On our way home we passed many business with signs on their doors that read: We have no batteries, no candles, no flashlights. Thankfully we were able to watch a movie on my laptop to help suppress the evening’s boredom.
My bedroom once it hit 5pm
Thursday we were finally able to find a seat in Panera, and luckily it was near an open outlet. We spent a few hours in there charging up before getting Chipotle and heading in for the night, which was completed by watching another movie. On Friday afternoon we went to Starbucks and the school, which now had power we could use, to charge and work on some homework. While we were here, we received the best news of our week: The power was back on at our apartment! Woohoo! We celebrated by going to eat at T.G.I. Friday’s before heading home and turning on every light we have and the heat. The subways weren’t up and running for the remainder of the weekend, but my life here in the city was pretty much back to normal by Monday evening.
Lesson learned. Predicted hurricanes will more than likely hit. You will lose power. You should stock up on food and candles and batteries. That way, you have some form of light and you don’t have to try to keep what food you have cold by sitting it out on the fire escape.