Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: The Halloween Surprise

Just a few photos today, while we pick up the pieces from Hurricane Sandy and look for something to smile about.

Above, a few days before the storm, Valerie and Jean merrily try on their Halloween costumes.

When New York got word that the hurricane was approaching from the south, and would run smack into a winter storm coming from the west, the government went into high gear. By Friday (the storm didn't hit till Monday), everyone was being warned that the all the train and bus systems would be shut down, electricity might be shut down, plumbing might not function, and we should lay in several days of food supplies. Out on Fifth Avenue on Sunday, Jean saw that Bergdorf Goodman, whose lavish windows we have photographed for you in the past, had boarded up its windows as a precaution. Most of the stores, including Saks Fifth Avenue, had closed by 5 PM.

Juicy Couture didn't board up its windows, but like many other shops on Fifth Avenue, stacked sandbags in its entrance. Fendi drew its plush curtains, and Camper papered up some of its windows, so in case the windows broke, the broken glass would be prevented from traveling too far inside the shops. Saks was also boarded up.

Everyone had their own way of dealing with the storm. Here's how a local nail salon handled it.

The Apple Store, which is completely underground, also had sandbags. This was taken the day after Sandy. In all the destruction, it was good to see a bit of humor.

The subways and tunnels took the brunt of the storm, inundated, in some cases to the ceiling, with water. There were reports of serious flooding on low-lying streets, but much of the visible city looked undamaged as early as the next day. Downed trees, however, were everywhere. Above, a bit of history is torn away. This long closed (2004) restaurant was the site of tiny Lutece, one of the most celebrated French restaurants in the city. It is said that Vladimir Horowitz dined here every day on filet of sole. Jacqueline Onassis was known to eat here; Woody Allen wooed Mia Farrow here. After it closed, the building fell into neglect.

If you look carefully, you can see that the tree actually grew up, around, and into the metal gate. When the storm took the tree down, the tree took its gate down. New York has few trees, and can't afford to lose any of them.

Moving from the old to the nouveau riche, perhaps one of the most stunning post-storm sights is this limp crane. An area of two blocks in each direction has been evacuated while engineers decide how to deal with this. Even in its incomplete state, someone purchased a $20 million dollar condominium in this building.

Valerie on the FDR Drive, acting out playing in traffic. Usually thronging with cars, the Drive, known to flood in some low-lying stretches, was totally closed down before and after the storm.

We just had to show you - this is another pair of costumes we considered. We took them out for a spin one day to see what kind of reaction we would get. The dog walker we hired to complete the costume wanted an extra $200 to appear in the picture, so we cropped him out. Extra points if you noticed (without being told) the synchronized walking thing we're doing. For the total look, we put our specs away, and are wearing contacts.


  1. "For the total look, we put our specs away, and are wearing contacts."

    ah, so THAT'S how you did it! at first glance, i thought the 'dog walker' was some kind of 'guide person for the blind pseudo-pooch' ;)

    thank you for posting, it is nice to see at least a bit of less-than-armageddon come out of the hurricane-hit zone. i have still to hear from my sis in law in Forest Hills, tho i am sure she is okay and has plenty else to contend with.

    the mass medium are showing endless pix of nyers grouped around any electric plug with signs of life, due to the lack of juice - where'd you two get electricity AND internet connection?

    stay safe and happy, best wishes, steph

  2. Just found your delightful blog! Such fun! So glad you're able to get out and about in NYC after Sandy.

    Looking forward to more great posts!

  3. Good to see your sense of humour wasn't damaged by the storm. I would have voted for the poodle outfits, had they been black and white, with a bit of red for accent. Was thinking of my NY friends this week, hoping everyone was ok, and that things get back to normal (or what passes for normal in NY) soon.