Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Stories from Stormville Part 2

Empire State Building

First of all so many thanks to all the super kind commenters and others who have sent us their good wishes. We are fine --powerless, waterless and heatless ( am at a friend's house uptown writing this!) . Heartbreaking  pictures on the TV or horribly widespread destruction. Awful, awful and horribly sad. We were totally fortunate.
Herewith some random thoughts jotted down over the last two days: 
So at about 8:30 on Tuesday evening the lights flickered and then went out.
No more TV, internet, video games.

took dog for walk past shut down subway at height of storm. Dog too well house trained!

 No water, flushing the toilet, washing of hands (though we do have enough water to drink if we are careful.) Refrigerator.
Walked dog about 9:30 --only 4 floors of leg improving stair climbing. 

our building with NO power!
Then realised that the votive candle lights aren’t bright enough to read by --unless I use lots of them, which I won’t -- since candles are impossible to come by.
Went to bed and listened to stormy gusts.

Got up at six in the dark and took the dog out. Frank, the doorman, asked if I was scared and I said, “What of?” But he stood by the door and kept an eye on me.
 Yvette, our other door person, was a blanketed bundle sleeping in the lobby since she’s frightened of ‘mousies’ in the basement. 
Went back to bed.
Claudia vibered from London about 8. Were we OK? Fine, I said.
Did we know Con Ed blew up? That the subways were flooded?
Did we have food? Apples and cheese and Robert’s homemade soup and all the Halloween candy for the Halloween that may not happen. (I made a good start on the Whoppers yesterday). And some cereal....
We do have gas so I can make tea without which I would be sad indeed. Went for another walk and met friends from 11th Avenue who had five feet of water in their stairwell. Met various friends with dogs like John with Big Henry and Alexis and Bunty with Baxter. Apparently the dog run was completely underwater.

the first coffee available above the Battery (27th St.)
No electricity below 39th except in the Penn South Development which has its own generator. Luckily I have friends there and will break in later to charge computer and hope to see a little TV news. 
Other people have much more dramatic photos than me. The front fell off a building on 8th and 14th St ( we are 8th and 23rd). Will go to look at that when I take Buster out at lunch time. The stairs are treacherous without light.
Storm itself completely over.

Went to Nancy’s in Penn South with Buster in the afternoon. She has electricity and water but no phone or TV. I washed my hands in warm water. Waved to our building, where Robert was looking out of the window, from Nancy’s terrace, but he did not see me......not even 24 hours yet. Hm.....
heading north in search of water
Robert has gone out to try to buy water. Lots of people wandering round aimlessly. No traffic lights.
Groundsman at Penn South was washing down sidewalk with a hose.

Penn South has a community room where you can charge your cell phone but Buster was with me. No dogs allowed.

A candlelit dinner: tortelloni with unfrozen peas and good parmesan. Sort of getting used to the weirdness. Nancy gave us a nice big pillar candle --maybe I can see enough to continue knitting hat I started this morning.
Planning to go uptown tomorrow to shower and recharge computer so I can write, but have revived ink pen for calligraphy.

romantic candle lit dinner. Note Robert's beer

last night

This morning it's brighter for us.

The hanging crane of 57th St.


  1. I had been worrying about you and Buster. Thanks so much for reporting from the trenches. I once waited out a hurricane at the Nantucket Island high school. They did take dogs. I'm hoping for a speedy recovery.

  2. So glad you checked in so we can stop wondering and worrying. I like how you didn't let the disaster stop you from having a romantic candelight dinner. Having a gas range is a great backup for power outages. You can even heat a room with the open oven if you're careful. Be careful.

  3. Glad you are all ok!!!
    We follow and followed all from here all the time and it was really scary...
    stay well,
    Beatrice from Germany

  4. Thank you for all the news ! We've been following everything from France and thought a lot about you.

    Glad to have good news.

    A bientôt !


  5. So glad you're reasonably O.K.
    I think Buster will like his park now that it's a big swimming pool.

  6. Thanks for the news and trust that getting back to norm eventually will be like the biggest present. As you say, many have suffered much more - sad and very uncomfortable.

  7. Been thinking of you constantly and glad you are Ok. Obviously some hardship but you write abut it in such a way you almost make it sound like fun. Thanks for update. A change from the constant news reports on Tv.

  8. Elizabeth, so pleased your family is safe and well. We have been receiving lots of detailed coverage reports over here and the devastation, loss of life and damage in some areas is just beyond belief.
    Prayers are with everyone over there.

  9. Glad you are OK, and can post from a cell phone.

  10. So pleased to hear you are OK, you and Frances have been in my thoughts.


  11. Was waiting for your post !
    I didn't know how much charge your phone had so I didn't want to e-mail...
    So very happy to hear you have survived.
    I have a friend in Connecticut who I haven"t heard from yet, we talked before the storm and said when it calmed down she would e-mail. I know she is fine but I worry.
    Buster looks grand.
    Glad to see your blog pop-up on my reader !

    cheers, parsnip

  12. This is the first blog I've read with details. It makes me sad, but it helps also. It really sobers one to understand that our routines are this fragile.

    I'm glad you are healthy and fine, and now I wish you patience and strength to wait out the weirdness.


  13. Oh my, roughing it in the middle of NYC. Glad you are ok and have found work arounds for the things we take for granted like heat and water. Hoping that things are back to normal sooner rather than later.

  14. Flooding and devastating wind are cruel partners. Even a tough NY City can't resist nature's worst fury. Glad you're OK.

  15. It is good to know that you and yours are well despite all the devastation. So much damage is mind boggling. We were glued to the TV for two days trying to absorb it all. Cannot imagine how much work it is going to take to get back to normal there. Prayers are being sent your way.

  16. so glad you're okay, if in the dark! i'm remembering last xmas and how frustrating it was to try boil water with tea candles...

    what i found weird then is how soon one adapts to the weirdness. we made so many decisions, like getting a generator, but time goes by and you soon start forgetting...we do have a lot of candles and i wish there was a way i could get them to you soon!

    stay safe

  17. Glad to hear you made it through the storm! It's at times like these that we appreciate the smallest of things in life - and it's amazing how we manage to create a new 'reality' and work with it until normality returns.

    For you, I hope normality is not too far away but some clean up job definitely required! When on hols in NY we stayed on 34th Street - hard to imagine so far up the island was affected by incoming water. Images looked nasty on TV!

    Great to have a personal account of how the recovery will progress - as some of news coverage is so sensationalist - I can't bear to watch it any more!

    Hope you benefit from the extra exercise of climbing all those stairs!

  18. My heart aches for your city, and I too am so glad you are alright, Elizabeth. You still share so much beauty and love even in the midst of this huge storm.
    take care.


I look forward to hearing from you!